Celebrating the Resurrection by Finding the Why

Alexis Riesberg ('23)

We live in a society filled with distractions. That is why some Loras students did not just give up sweets this past Lent, but instead, handed everything over to God. They allowed their mind, body, and soul to be transformed over the Lenten period by participating in Fiat or Exodus.

Around Loras, students for forty days took cold showers, did not snack between meals, and put their phones away. Grace Henrich (’23) was one of these students who preserved through Fiat this Lent.

These “challenges” are spiritual exercises that require growth in prayer, self-discipline, and community. They were created with intentionality to get rid of worldly desires and instead rely on God to fill those holes.

Exodus was created by the influence of the Desert Father from the Early Church and their practices of self-denial found in the book of Exodus in the Old Testament. Accompanied by scripture, participants grow in their masculinity with other men and challenge themselves to more.

Fiat was modeled after a Marian devotion to meet the needs of females wanting to get rid of the habits that lead them away from Christ. Fiat was inspired by Mary’s immediate acceptance to choose God’s will over her own at the Annunciation. In a community with other women, participants are called to become more like Mary and invited closer to her son.

Throughout the years, Henrich had heard of Fiat but always said no because she did not think she could handle it. This year something was different. “There was a good group of girls who were all determined to make an effort towards bettering themselves through this program,” Henrich said.

During the forty days of this mind, body, and soul challenge, Henrich saw many difficulties that lead to major blessings. “Through self-discipline and self-denial, I was able to create the space in my life necessary to reflect and grow. I hope to continue some of these things going forward because the way I was living my life before was not always healthy,” Henrich said.

In the Easter season, she was able to celebrate the resurrection in a new way that she would not have been able to do without participating in Fiat. Henrich reflected, “I was able to contemplate the pain and suffering that Christ went through for us. I shared in His sacrifice in very minor ways compared to what He went through, but nonetheless, it helped me to understand how much He did for us. I feel like I have been able to live life to the fullest this Easter, celebrating Christ’s victory over death!” Students continue to unite their sufferings to cross in order to fully grasp and celebrate Jesus’ resurrection throughout the Easter season.

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