Holy Week and Easter can be a bit overwhelming. We sense this is an opportunity we should not miss, but just what to do can be elusive. An insight into human nature from Plato and Aristotle can encourage and give us practical direction.

Plato once asked, “Do you think that someone can consort with things he admires without imitating them?” So simple, so significant. In the upcoming days we can consort with that which we admire. Imitation will naturally follow.

Aristotle points out that imitation “is natural to man from childhood, one of his advantages over the lower animals being this, that he is the most imitative creature in the world, and learns at first by imitation.” Elsewhere Aristotle adds a key corollary: “Good imitation is impossible unless a good example is set.”

This for me is a very encouraging starting point: the upcoming holy days are an unparalleled opportunity to ‘consort’ with the most important things; to bring myself and my loved ones into the presence of incomparably beauty—things most worthy of imitation. This much I know I can do. I have the means to make myself present to what is most worthy of imitation.

But truth be told, there is actually much more here, something that far exceeds anything ancient philosophers imagined. Aristotle had a profound sense that human life is a story, a drama in which by human choices the plot unfolds. What he could not have known was how this plot unfolds within a broader and even divine drama, while never losing its human integrity.

The very stage of our own life has had its scene and context fundamentally set by earlier and ongoing actors; including, the most dramatic of divine interventions. This drama is the real story of my life. Who I am, where I come from, and where I am going is incomprehensible apart from it.

To enter into the events of Holy Week and Easter, even just by ‘being there’ and ‘consorting’ with them, is actually to discover the very unfolding of my own life. This we can do year after year. And perhaps each year we can come a little closer, by imitation and by divine assimilation, to becoming the person that our story calls us to be. May these days be filled with signal graces. ~ ~ ~

A clip from an upcoming PODCAST… Check out our first posted episode HERE.

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