Contemporary Scripture Reflections for Spiritual Seekers
Dr. Elizabeth-Anne Stewart, BCC, PCC
Easter Sunday, April 12th, 2020
Excerpt from

Laughter, then, is an appropriate response to the event of the Resurrection. "If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is useless and your believing is useless" writes Paul (1 Cor 15:14). Precisely because Jesus rose from the dead, the Christian story cannot be viewed as a tragedy but as a comedy of "restoration" in which all who suffer death and humiliation are vindicated. Because Christ himself suffered every indignity, every grief, every outrage --and has triumphed-so, too, we will overcome all that afflicts us. Laughter brings relief; betrayal, bitter disappointment, torture and death are not the final realities after all. The worst that could happen has happened and yet all is well and all will be well. Through Jesus' self-offering, we have also been made aware of how intricately and intimately God is immersed in the circumstances of our lives, suffering with us, grieving for us, holding nothing back in terms of love, forgiveness and mercy... Never again do we have to fear being abandoned; never again do we have to dread being alone in our anguish. God is a faithful God, a motherly God, a compassionate God. And so we, too, can find release in holy laughter.

Stewart, Elizabeth-Anne. Jesus the Holy Fool .
WI: Sheed & Ward, 1999.


  1. What are you finding most difficult about life during this pandemic?
  2. What "self-care" practices can be part of your survival kit?
  3. Where are you experiencing God right now?
  4. What is your hope for humanity once we emerge from this global crisis?
  5. What is your spiritual "take-away" from this moment in history?


Sacred Union through Lectio Divina
Infinity Foundation, Highland Park, IL
Saturday, April 25th,
9:00 a.m.-noon
* Class now virtual, via Zoom! Join from anywhere!

Beyond God
The Well Spirituality Center , LaGrange Park, IL
Summer Institute,
June 26-27, 2020

Out of Your Comfort Zone
Infinity Foundation, Highland Park, IL
Sunday, August 2nd,
1:00-4:00 p.m.

Decoding the Archetypes that Drive Us
Theosophical Society, Wheaton, IL
Thursday, Sept. 24th, 2020
7:00-8:30 p.m.

Balancing Archetypes
Theosophical Society, Wheaton, IL
Saturday, Sept. 26th, 2020
2:00-5:00 p.m.

Mind-Shifting Imagery
ICF (International Coaching Federation) Midwest Regional Conference, Madison WI
October 1-3, 2020

Greetings, Readers!

"So much depends upon a red wheel barrow," writes William Carol Williams. Not just any red wheelbarrow but one " glazed with rain water/ beside the white chickens." This 16 word poem became the focus of my creative writing class last week, as my SXU students and I navigated online learning via Zoom. Some students felt that the red wheel barrow was necessary for farming or yard work; others thought it might serve as a vessel to capture rain water; still others couldn't imagine what purpose it might have. Then we got into the realm of color and physical sensation, of the juxtaposition of red with white, of animate with inanimate, of a sterile world now glistening with rain drops. Then poetry began to flow:

So much depends
the pearly clouds
dancing in the sky,
over the cardinal
soaring through the trees,
upon streams of water
silently trickling down
next to wolves
growling at grizzlies.

So much depends
a purple flower,
illumined by the sun,
surrounded by buzzing bees,
upon a wave from a neighbor,
a smile from a stranger,
and the sun rising every day,
upon a white house
filled with noise,
growing old alongside
two deciduous trees...

This fragment from our class poem offers a glimpse into an Easter moment in which my students and I beheld the inter-connectedness of all people, of all creatures, of all the material world. As each student contributed a few lines, poetry became the doorway through which we could see the unity of life, Divinity present in every moment, in every experience, in every place and in every time.

As I reflect upon the meaning of Easter, I am drawn to this poem, relishing every image, every sound, every perception. "So much depends upon" everything, especially upon Christ at the center of the Cosmos. So much depends upon Resurrection, renewal, resiliency; upon healing rivers and plastic-free oceans, upon pure air and clean drinking water for all, upon food for the many and liberation for the oppressed. So much depends upon the God who calls us out of our tombs into life in the Spirit. All is One, and One is in the many, indivisibly radiant and triumphant...

Easter Blessings!

Be well/ Stay well!

PS Try my spiritual self-assessment tool! I hope you find it useful!


On the first day of the week, while it was still dark,
Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, and saw the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she ran to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, saying,
“They have taken the Lord from the tomb,
and we don’t know where they put him.”
Peter and the other disciple both ran to the tomb,
but the other disciple ran faster than Peter
and arrived there first; bending down, he saw the burial cloths, but did not go in. When Simon Peter arrived, he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths, and the cloth that had covered Jesus' head, which was not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place. Then the other disciple, the one who had arrived at the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed.

JN 20:1-9

While it was still dark.. .. that's when the first Easter happened. While it was still dark ... in the dark, before the dawn, before the first song of the lark, before the unfolding of fragile Morning Glory blossoms, before the world was up and about, in the hours before sun rise-- that's when the Son shone in glory. While it was still dark ... that's when the stone rolled away from the tomb and Light poured forth from the confines of Death, overcoming night, defying decay... While it was still dark....

This Easter, darkness covers the earth as surely as it did on the first day of Creation. We are living in a global wasteland, a treacherous abyss that is seemingly bottomless. Death's roll-call includes the names of celebrities, first-responders, everyday folk, prison inmates, those in detention centers, nursing home residents, and those who take care of the rest of us-- "the saints next door"-- by collecting garbage, driving buses, checking-out groceries, delivering food ... More than 90,000 people have died world-wide and, in many cases, they died alone, deprived of the presence of family members who, to their sorrow, have been unable to bury their loved ones or find comfort in ritual and tradition.

Compounding this is the darkness of ruined economies as companies close down and laid off workers lack the means to feed their families, pay rent and utilities and even survive. Those who were living on the edge before COVID-19, are now in free-fall, without a safety net to break the impact. Without savings, health insurance and, in some cases, without documentation, their plight is desperate beyond anything we can imagine.

Add to this toxic mix, all the ugliness that has surfaced: the blaming, the scapegoating, the racism, the violence, the hoarding, the price-gauging, the insider-trading, the profiteering, the medical scams, the "fake news" regarding cures, the politicizing of a medical catastrophe when what is required is unified national leadership, global cooperation, generosity and good will. A devastating calamity has become so much harder to endure because of ugly rhetoric that falsely claims those who have died were "on their last legs anyway," or argues that the elderly should be prepared to sacrifice their lives for the sake of the economy, or that "true Christians" should continue attending church because 1) they are covered by the Blood of Jesus and 2) because they should be prepared to die for their faith...

While it is still dark.. .. that's when Easter happens. While it is still dark ... in the dark, before the dawn, before the first song of the lark, before the unfolding of fragile Morning Glory blossoms, before the world is up and about, in the hours before sun rise-- that's when the Son shines in glory. While it is still dark ... that's when the stone rolls away from the tomb and Light pours forth from the confines of Death, overcoming night, defying decay... While it is still dark....

Christ is risen! Alleluia !
If you have canceled your retreat because of the coronavirus, you may want to think about a virtual alternative. I will be available for group or individual "virtual retreats" (by phone or Zoom) from May 15-August 15. Please contact me by email for more information. Thank you!
This video explains my approach to this ministry, while my website provides further details as well. I work "in person" as well as remotely by phone, Zoom or Skype; I am also available to facilitate retreats for groups and individuals.
Dr. Elizabeth-Anne Stewart |

C. All Photos by Elizabeth-Anne Stewart,