I arise (4) – Rising through the strength of resurrection

I arise (4) – Rising through the strength of resurrection

The “Lorica” or “Breastplate” of St. Patrick is so packed full of rich ideas, that it is rewarding to consider each section, even each line, in some depth – which is what this series of posts set out to do.

The next line moves from burial to resurrection:

“I arise…through the strength of His Resurrection with His Ascension”

Resurrection is a central Christian spiritual concept – the belief in Christ’s resurrection, and the Christian belief in the resurrection of the body.

But how can anyone rise “through the strength of His Resurrection”?

There is something here about drawing on the grace of God, on the energies of God, on the life-power of God that overcomes death.

Inhabiting this through prayer, receiving this gift, is a challenge, but it is also a gift that cannot demand or control it. It is freely given by God.

This painting, from the Isenheim Altarpiece by Grunewald, is the most striking image I know of resurrection. Here is transformation, in spite of suffering (notice the wounds on Christ’s hands), and overwhelming light.

I find it challenging, yes, but inspiring, and an image of hope and faith, that rising is not just a possibility but a promise, and that recovery and resurrection is a reality of many people’s day-to-day lived spirituality.

Grunewald – from the Isenheim Altarpiece

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