What is Easter? What is Passover?

I am a New Thought minister and tomorrow, Sunday, I will be at our spiritual center. I will find the words and articulate what Easter and Passover mean to me.

I was brought up in the Catholic Faith. I was indoctrinated through parochial schooling and a Catholic home life to believe in the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. I loved that time of year and went to church every morning. There was something about the rituals that filled my being with wonder and awe.

However, I was fairly ignorant about Passover. My only learning came from watching Charlton Heston in the film “The Ten Commandments.” That film was an Easter Season favorite in m home. We did believe in God and the Bible and Moses’s life was truth to us.

So, now what do I believe? I have been immersed in the New Thought Philosophy – the Science of Mind – for close to 25 years. Still, I ask myself that question every day, even though I’ve been studying the Science of Mind Principles and practicing them daily. What do I believe?

I know better than to believe what other people tell me or in what has been carried down through generations. I also know better than to think that my beliefs cannot change? What is a belief anyway? It is something that we make up based on a lot of things. Beliefs are not truths, because they are individual to each of us. Beliefs merely are the current state of consciousness that we hold showing up as our life. When we look at our lives, we will see our beliefs. Thank goodness beliefs can change, for I would hate to be stuck in any one belief. It would mean I was not expanding and I couldn’t change my life.

Historically speaking, as far as I know, there was a beautiful being named Jesus who lived on earth and taught love and peace. He embodied what we call the Consciousness of Wholeness. According to what we know, passed down by many voices, he lived, healed and was crucified. We have also read that he resurrected from the dead. This story has many versions, so we all have the opportunity to perceive it in any way we choose. Some believe he didn’t die and went off to live a life with Mary Magdalene.

Passover is a historical story passed down by many voices, telling us about the flight of the Israelites from Egypt lead by the prophet Moses. I love this story and its metaphorical implications. The parting of the Red Sea let’s me know that I must have faith in the unfolding of my life, even at times of great crisis. I must move, put my feet into the ocean of change, before I can expect the Universe to move with me.

So, what I believe is that it doesn’t matter if these stories are true or not. We will all believe what we believe, but there is something more important to me. That importance is how the stories, the people, the prophets and the saviors influence my spiritual growth. What matters to me is how these two Holidays apply to the present day. Have we moved on to become a healing consciousness in our own lives? Do we have faith in this challenging world that beyond it all, all is well? Are we prisoners of our own negative thoughts or do we realize that in any moment the Moses of our own mind can lead us to freedom by embracing our power to change those thoughts? Are we still hanging ourselves on the crosses of our past and crucifying ourselves over and over for mistakes that have no meaning in our present life? Are we nailed to the cross of our past?

Easter represents freedom to me from the chains that bind us to the past. We can resurrect ourselves in any moment and live in joy. Passover represents the change that we can bring to our lives by being willing to jump into the unknown with faith.

For me, everything that happens in life, past and present, has a bigger story behind it, a story that is individual to each of us. We have the opportunity to look for the good in everything and if we cannot see it, to still trust that it is there and that we will someday say, “Oh, that’s what that was about.”

Both these Holidays are about trusting life, its eternality and recognizing the savior and leader in ourselves and so much more. It’s our time to step up.

Much Love and Aloha,

Rev. Rita Andriello-Feren, Co-Spiritual Director CSL Kaua`i, Spiritual Coach

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