1.Know That God is Good
In the days before His death, Jesus repeats that He was sent on behalf of his Father. In fact, the wording in many of His miracles, especially the raising of Lazarus, points back to the goodness of the Creator: “For the Father loves the Son and shows Him everything that He Himself does, and He will show him greater works than these, so that you may be amazed” (John 5:20).
Blessed Angela of Foligna, a 14th century mother and wife who later became a prominent mystical writer, wrote that “the first step that the soul must take when it enters the way of love, through which it desires to reach God, is to know God in truth…. To know God in truth is to know Him as He is in Himself, to understand His worth, beauty, sweetness, sublimity, power, and goodness, and the supreme Good inherent in Him who is the supreme Good.”
I think that, right there–trusting that God is good and is there for us (unlike so many other people we know)–is the point of the Resurrection. Is God good? Yes. We can say that with confidence because of the Resurrection.
2.Turn it Over to Him
The third step of most 12-step recovery programs is to “turn our will and our lives over to the care of God.” The first three steps, which are the most important, can be summed up this way: “I can’t” (first step), “He can” (second step), and “I think I’ll let Him” (third step).
If you want to take a more sophisticated route, read Saint Thomas’ words: “Sanctity consists in nothing else than a firm resolve, the heroic act of a soul abandoning herself to God. By an upright will we love God, we choose God, we run toward God, we reach Him, we possess Him.”
We are living the Resurrection every time we turn to God and say, “Take it from me.” When we do this, we are remembering God’s promise that He will provide for us, that He didn’t leave His Son hanging, and that, despite what our inner skeptics might claim, He is truly trustworthy.
If Jesus is God, and there is only one God (assuming that you hang in monotheistic circles), then that means this: none of us is God.
That is another important truth of the Resurrection: God became man; man didn’t become God. I know that I often get the two confused, especially when I’m on the phone with a health-care insurance representative, because I feel like I should have more power than I do.
The Christian mystic Catherine of Siena wrote, “Be small in deep and genuine humility. Look at God, who lowered Himself to your humanity. Don’t make yourself unworthy of what God has made you worthy of.”
Along with humility, then, comes our ability to become more than we are because of the Resurrection. It’s like the makeover we can’t afford to have–but God can provide it for us if we believe in the empty tomb.
4.Pray Always and Everywhere
Even within the Bible stories that touch us most, there is always a passage or verse that stands out the most and really touches us. For me, my favorite line in Luke’s narrative about the Road to Emmaus is the way the disciples describe how they felt in the presence of the risen Lord. Luke 24:32 says. “They asked each other, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?'”
The entire walk to Emmaus became a prayer in the same way that our commonplace, trivial tasks can become prayers. My patron saint, Therese of Lisieux, defined prayer as “an outburst from the heart; it is a simple glance darted upwards to Heaven; it is a cry of gratitude and of love in the midst of trial as in the midst of joy.” That’s how we pray when we live the resurrection.