‘There is a wonderful economy about the grace of God, and though he never fails us, yet he combines his gift of grace with a complete respect for our own freedom and responsibility.
That means that we must expect to find the proof of the powers of his grace not in easy effortless victories because all our difficulties and temptations melt away, but in strength for the conflict. What is asked of us is not the limp surrender of ourselves to some blind force which will work in us without our knowledge or consent, but the active vigorous response of our whole being to the grace that is given us.
We shan’t drift into living the new life of the man who has been buried and raised again with Christ. God’s grace isn’t given to us to save us trouble or to enable us to do without effort what in fact requires all the effort which our wills can muster; but it does ensure that his power is always available for us, and we can always rely on it.
But remember that if we’re to share his triumph, we must also share the method by which it was achieved. We are committed to the victory of the Cross. And that means not only that we must follow the example of his patience before we can be partakers of his resurrection, but also that God’s power is a power which is only made perfect in weakness and therefore it always involves for us, as it did for the apostles, a real trial of our faith. We can’t separate Easter from all that has gone before. The continuation of Christ’s victory in us means the continuation of Christ’s struggle in us. But never fear. “God giveth us the victory through Our Lord Jesus Christ”. We are actors in the Easter drama, and the crucified risen Lord still continues his Easter triumph in countless human souls. For “we are more than conquerors through him that loved us”’.
from The Easter Drama, 1958, by Hugh Bishop
(Superior of the Community of the Resurrection, Mirfield, 1965-1974)
O God, who by the glorious Resurrection of thy Son Jesus Christ destroyed death and brought life and immortality to light: grant that we, who have been raised with him, may abide in his presence and rejoice in the hope of eternal glory; through the same Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen. - Collect for Tuesday in the Easter Octave, Divine Worship: The Missal.
Fr Lee Kenyon