For Parish Nurses

Spiritual Development

                          Reflection for Easter 
                   by Carol DeSchepper, National Chair

“Early Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance.”  John 20:1

Alleluia!  He is risen!!  He is risen, indeed! 

Today we celebrate the joy of resurrection.  The sadness we felt on Friday is dissipated by the words of the angel.  “He isn’t here.  He has been raised from the dead.”  (Matthew 28:6)  They are words that share the announcement of resurrection, not just for Christ, but also for us!  We light the paschal candle and we visually see the light of Christ with us.  The stone has been rolled away and we rejoice, for He is risen!

Ponder with me the thought of the stone being rolled away.  Why was the stone rolled away?  The physical walls of a structure had never kept Christ out or in.  Elsewhere in scripture He appeared to the disciples, even though the doors were locked.  The stone was not rolled away so Christ could come out.  The stone was rolled away so that we can come in.   The tomb becomes an entrance into the heart of the eternal and shows us that the heart of God is love and life.  God rolls the door of the tomb away to allow us to see that Christ's promises are true.   The stone is rolled away for us to know intimately, the humanity and divinity of God’s love.

So today we, like the disciples on the road to Emmaus, begin anew our walk with Jesus.  He comes to us.  Do we recognize him? Do we know Him in the scriptures, as He opens them up to us?  Do we know Him in the breaking of the bread?  What will be our response to His presence with and among us?  Are we willing to boldly embrace the opportunity, indeed the command,  to share the good news of his dying and rising with those that do not yet know?

One of my favorite Easter hymns is Alleluia, Alleluia, Let the Holy Anthem Rise. Today we experience the joy expressed in those words.  Today we rejoice because the stone is rolled away and Christ is risen!  He is risen indeed!

  1. Alleluia! Alleluia!
    Let the holy anthem rise,
    and the choirs of heaven chant it
    in the temple of the skies;
    let the mountain skip with gladness,
    and the joyful valleys ring
    with hosannas in the highest
    to our Savior and our King!

    2. Alleluia! Alleluia!
    Like the sun from out the wave,
    he has risen up in triumph
    from the darkness of the grave.
    He’s the splendor of the nations,
    he’s the lamp of endless day;
    he’s the very Lord of glory
    who is risen up today!

Amen!  Alleluia!  He is risen!!  He is risen, indeed!  Alleluia! 

To see the three devotions in Graceful Aging series click on the following:
The Gift of Hope                   The Gift of Humor                             The Gift of Vision

Resources for Spiritual Development
Spiritual Direction – Seeking a Spiritual Companion
Spiritual direction is, in reality, nothing more than a way of leading us to see and obey the real Director — the Holy Spirit hidden in the depths of our soul. (Thomas Merton, Trappist monk, USA)

Some of you may wish to seek a spiritual director as a way to nurture your own spirituality.  This document briefly describes what spiritual direction is, identifies common misconceptions about spiritual direction, and gives you ideas on how to find a spiritual director.  Spiritual maturity and growth is critical for the parish nurse.  As you support others wholistically, tending to your own soul is important.  Spiritual Direction is only one way of keeping yourself on solid footing spiritually.  You might have other disciplines and practices that meet this need for you.
Please Click here for a more indepth discussion of Spiritual Direction by Carol DeSchepper,
including a web site to locate a Spiritual Director in your area.

Melissa's Prayer Journal:  The Power of Prayer in the Face of Cancer
A resource for faith encouragement and development, especially for people with health issues. In her letters to God, Melissa perfectly illustrates the power of positive coping in any circumstance! Give this book to anyone struggling with faith, health, or life issues, and let them learn Melissa’s secret for thriving in spite of difficulties!

Web sites for Spiritual Renewal and Growth
This is a wonderful spiritual resource from author and retreat and conference speaker, and spiritual "midwife"".  Joyce has a B.A. in English, a M.R. E. in Religious Education, and a M.A. in Transpersonal Psychology.  She is a member of the Servites (Servants of Mary) Community and was a volunteer for Hospice for fifteen years.  She currently resides in Des Moines, Iowa.  To sign up for her monthly newsletter go to

Joyce Rupp will be leading a retreat at Spirit in the Desert Retreat Center,  9/24-28/2017.
For more information see:

God Pause Daily Devotion
Looking for spiritual refreshment? God Pause email devotions are short, meaningful reflections on the following Sunday's lessons and gospel delivered directly to your email box. By Sunday, you'll be ready for an extra meaningful worship experience.