Threatened With Resurrection

by Kathleen Ryan, SND on April 10, 2012

in Blogs

The exiled Guatemalan poet, Julia Esquivel wrote about Easter like no other poet I have read.  She wrote during the 30 years in which Guatemala suffered unspeakable political violence.  She wrote during the time many thousands of Maya, Quichez and other indigenous groups were savagely murdered.  Hundreds of villages were literally wiped off the face of the earth.

Julia emerged as a voice for peaceful nonviolent resistance and used her pen to tell the world about the immense suffering her people endured.   Sharing the final portion of her most famous  poem, Threatened With Resurrection, is an Easter privilege:

…There is something here within us
Which doesn’t let us sleep, which doesn’t let us rest,
Which doesn’t stop pounding deep inside,
It is the silent, warm weeping of Indian women without their husbands,
It is the sad gaze of the children
Fixed there beyond memory,
In the very pupil of our eyes
Which during sleep, though closed, keep watch
With each contraction of the heart
In every wakening…

 What keeps us from sleeping,
Is that they have threatened us with resurrection!
Because at each nightfall,
Though exhausted from the endless inventory
Of killings since 1954,
Yet we continue to love life,
And do not accept their death!

…Because in this marathon of Hope,
there are always others to relieve us
in bearing the courage necessary
to arrive at the goal which lies beyond death…

Accompany us then on this vigil
And you will know what it is to dream!
You will then know how marvelous it is
To live threatened with resurrection!
To dream awake,
To keep watch asleep
To live while dying
And to already know oneself resurrected!

(by Julia Esquivel, Guatemalan poet and theologian, from her book, Threatened With Resurrection: Prayers and Poems from an Exiled Guatemalan, Brethren Press, 2nd Edition, published 1994.  See for more details.)  Excerpt of the poem can be found at 

What Easter thoughts do you wish to add?  How does the reality of the Resurrection impact our daily life?

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Emmy April 10, 2012 at 7:47 am

Love this! Happy Easter!


Kathleen Ryan, SND April 13, 2012 at 2:06 pm

Thanks, Emmy. I love it too.


Deb Carlin April 11, 2012 at 9:40 am

Thank you, Kathy. As I sit in the beauty of all creation at this Easter Time, I ponder the reality that so few of the world’s people cannot get a glimpse of the New Creation because “man’s inhumanity to man.” Risen Lord, fill the whole world with your glory, Alleluia.


Kathleen Ryan, SND April 13, 2012 at 2:05 pm

Thanks, Deb. I think that your gentle, faithful commitment to bringing that glimpse of the New Creation is what sustains us on the way. Happy Easter to you. Sr. Kathleen


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