April is such a powerful month!
Latin and Greek for “To Open” or “Opening,” the name April has special meaning for the trillions of flowers all over the world that begin to open in April. In Slovene, the most established traditional name is mali traven, meaning the month when plants start growing.
April is more than just the celebration of the opening of flowers. It’s the opening to new life. Winter, with its death and hibernation is over. Spring, is here in full bloom. In the color scale, April is green. The grass and new leaves give testimony to the promise that all will be well.
At times, we celebrate the birthday (and life) of the Buddha in April. This year it’s April 8th in the United States of America. Many of us know how the astrologer Asita prophesied that the baby Gautama would become a holy man instead of the next king if he ever went outside the palace walls. The Buddha’s father, King Suddhodana, therefore, never let him leave.
But his eyes and soul were open when, at the age of 29, Gautama left the palace walls several times. These experiences prompted Gautama to leave the palace for good, fulfilling the prophecy of becoming a holy, enlightened man instead of a king. The Buddha opened up to us the idea of overcoming adversity, whether it be internal or external, riches or poverty, old age or inexperience, in an effort to end suffering.
Some religions and historians place Jesus Christ’s birth and death in April as well. “Jesus said, I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.” (St. John 11:25) What better representation of “opening” than the atonement of Jesus Christ in bursting the paralyzing, damning bands of death and sin.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” The open tomb is testimony of the fact that Jesus was and that all of us will be resurrected. There is no act we can do, no money we can give, to merit that gift. It is an Easter blessing that removes our souls from Satan’s power and places them into and under God’s.
Faith in Jesus Christ, however, is a prerequisite to removing our sins – thus giving us the ability to feel confident and peaceful while in the presence of God, our Eternal Father and his son, the actuator of the plan of salvation. The eight Beatitudes as taught by Christ start with obtaining a poor, humble spirit and end with consecrating our very lives for righteousness’ sake. Those teachings alone can open our minds to the powerful, everlasting blessings bestowed on true disciples of Jesus Christ.
Whatever your motivational methods, be they spiritual, educational, social or personal, make the commitment during the month of April to be more open: More open to filling the needs of your neighbors – or complete strangers; more open to sharing with those closest to you; more open to making internal changes for the better; and more open to increasing your knowledge and understanding of this world, its history and future.
I invite you to stop to smell the sweet fragrance of the opened flowers of April.
Thanks in advance for opening your heart and soul to all that is good,
Aaron, Stephanie, Alka, Marvin and Mac