Sunday, April 20, 2014

2014 Easter Card

The Resurrection of Christ by Paolo Veronese

May our Lord, Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, bless you abundantly.  May He Who overcame the grave bestow upon you true peace and love. May this Easter triumph bring you much Easter joy.

Happy Easter, everybody!

He is risen! He is risen indeed!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

"...Ablaze With Light..."

Consider the words of the prophet Isaiah (8:23-9:3):
There is no gloom where there had been distress. Where once he degraded the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, now he has glorified the way of the Sea, the land across the Jordan, Galilee of the Nations. The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; upon those who lived in a land of gloom a light has shone. You have brought them abundant joy and great rejoicing; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at harvest, as they exult when dividing the spoils. For the yoke that burdened them, the pole on their shoulder, the rod of their taskmaster, you have smashed, as on the day of Midian.
You should recognize it as the start of the First Reading from the Christmas Mass:  During the Night. But what does this have to do with Easter? Plenty.

The beginning of the Easter Vigil Mass can start no earlier than sunset. While twilight provides its own kind of "gloom", it is also not symbolic of the state of our souls, both as an individual and humanity, after being plunged into sin by Adam? Then comes the lighting of the Vigil fire, the Easter Candle, and those smaller candles given to the congregation, continuing to dispel the darkness. The triple proclamation of "Christ, our Light" and our grateful response of "Thanks be to God" begins the rejoicing at the harvest, the gathering of souls redeemed.  "This is the night" when the yoke of sin, the pole of guilt, the rod of death is smashed through the act of the Resurrection. Indeed, we do exult as Christ divides the spoils of salvation and allots us our share.

I make no claim of any theological accuracy, much less brilliance; I just think these thoughts are a possible insight. What was started at the Annunciation finds it zenith tonight.  Christmas and Easter unite. God's promise is fulfilled.

Rejoice as you hear the Exsultet.  The Latin and English texts are provided.

Friday, April 18, 2014

A Belated But Merciful Remeinder

For the past few months I have been praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, albeit on a rather infrequent basis. It is an easy devotion to learn and maintain.  God knows how much I need it in my life right now, much less the world.

Good Friday traditionally marks the beginning of a novena using these prayers, each of the nine days focusing on a specific intention as mentioned in the writings of Sr. Maria Faustina. This year's novena takes on more significance as its promoter, Blessed Pope John Paul II will be canonized on Divine Mercy Sunday, along with Blessed Pope John XXIII.

Full details about this devotion may be found here.

Blessed are they who show mercy.  May mercy be shown to those who ask for it as well.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Nine Times "Seven"

And so Palm Sunday arrives. Such an unusual Mass on this day, as we go from joyful acknowledgement in our "Hosanna's" to angry disdain in our "Crucify Him's" in the Liturgy of the Word, coloring the Liturgy of the Eucharist which follows. First we raise our palm branches, saluting Him; then we raise a Cross, sacrificing Him.

Humans are such a fickle creature, no?

With Holy Week upon us, I humbly offer again my brief meditations on the "Seven Last Words" of Christ as He hung upon the Cross.  For the next seven days inclusive, the final thoughts of our Lord and Savior come to the fore. I hope each post will allow you to contemplate on what this act of redemption means in your life, to add to what little I have said.

Jesus leads us outside the walls of Jerusalem.

There He will deliver an even more elegant "sermon" on a mount.

For those who have eyes to see and ears to hear; let us follow the Master to Calvary.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

April 2014 Morning Offering Prayer Intentions

Here are the intentions for this month when reciting the Morning Offering:
General:  Ecology and Justice.  That governments may foster the protection of creation and the just distribution of natural resources. 
Mission:  Hope for the Sick.  That the Risen Lord may fill with hope the hearts of those who are being tested by pain and sickness.