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Spreading the Good News

Lex orandi, lex credendi, lex vivendi.

This Latin liturgical saying has been on my mind all week as we progress deeper into the Easter Season.

 Lex orandi. means the law of prayer. Lex credendi is the law of belief. Together, these combine to determine lex vivendi, or the way we live.

 One of the most evident ways this concept is illustrated is in the rhythm of the liturgical year, which always seems to beat in time with the rhythm of our lives. Each year I am struck by the way that the most sacred times in the Church year, like Advent and Lent, coincide with the busiest times in our lives.

The Easter Season is no different. Throughout the fifty days of the Easter Season, the period between the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the Solemnity of Pentecost, where the Church receives anew the superabundant outpouring of the Holy Spirit, we are called to be like the first disciples, as we encounter the risen Christ and respond to his call to “go out into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).

This week in Acts 8:26-40, we learn of Phillip, one of the first deacons appointed by the Apostles to minister to those who were on the margins of the fledgling Church. Phillip was prompted by “the angel of the Lord” who said, “get up and head south on the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza, the desert route.” Philip “got up and set out,” putting in motion a series of events that saw him running, proclaiming Jesus, baptizing, and spreading the Good News.

This is a crazy time of year, especially with the end of the academic year fast approaching. Many are burning the candle at both ends, balancing the excitement, as well as the stress and anxiety that comes with this time of year. Even still, like Philip, let’s be prepared for those moments when the Spirit prompts us to go – to run – to where God wants us to go. Despite the demands of our busy lives, and all that comes with each of those demands, we are still called by Christ, and sent by Him to proclaim the Good News and to bring others into relationship with Him. Whether it's through our words, actions, or simply our presence, we can bear witness to the transformative power of Christ's love. When we are tempted to slack off on our prayer life (how ironic that praying tends to be the first thing to go during times when we need it the most!) let’s remember: lex orandi, lex credendi, lex vivendi.

 How we pray, and how we believe, will determine how we live and move through this sacred time.

Fr. Ryan Lerner, Chaplain

Fr. Ryan Lerner, Chaplain

Fr. Ryan Lerner is Yale's 8th Catholic Chaplain.