Saturday, March 31, 2018

A Fire Into Many Flames

In a previous post, I attempted to make a connection between Christmas and Easter using a text from the prophet Isaiah. (Your mileage may vary depending on how insightful you thought I was. Remember, my theological musings are as infinitesimal as this 'blog.) However, going where angels fear to tread (out of fear they would be a laughingstock), I shall again look toward some parallelism.

So, let us compare and contrast again the openings of Mass of the Feast of the Nativity:  Mass During the Night with the Easter Vigil liturgy.

The Church is plunged into darkness at the start of both, reminding us of the darkness of sin that has overcome the world via the "happy fault" of Adam. The Light of the world must be brought forth so we may be able to see again. And so it is, although in very different measure.

At the Christmas Mass a statue of the Christ Child is processed to the creche, the way illuminated only by the light of candles from the faithful. The introit "Dominus Dixit" (if Gregorian chant is used) and/or "Adeste Fideles/O Come, All Ye Faithful" fills the air as the "Gloria" of the angels originally did. At the Easter Vigil the Pascal Candle is processed to the ambo, the way illuminated only by the light of the candles from the faithful. "The light of Christ./Thanks be to God" fills the air (although I wonder if "Alleluia" rang out in Heaven upon His Resurrection).

But, you ask, from where did the original flame for the candles come? At Christmas there is no specific or special ritual. The Vigil, however, provides one. Perhaps symbolizing the first command from God in ordering creation, a fire is lit and blessed. This is use to light the Pascal Candle after it has been prepared. That flame is then passed to the candles used in the congregation.

And so the Light of the world, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the Son of God, appears on earth. At Christmas, He came from a womb; at Easter, a tomb. At Christmas, His Glory was "veiled in flesh"; at Easter,  "flesh" was glorified. At Christmas, it was the beginning of our redemption; at Easter, its culmination.

In our unending joy, we give thanks and praise for this marvelous work of His hands.

The Exsultet "sounds aloud our mighty King's triumph".

The text of this prayer, in both Latin and English, is provided for your meditation.

Friday, March 30, 2018

"Remember Your Mercy, O Lord"

Today marks the beginning of the Novena of Divine Mercy.

From now until the 2nd. Sunday of Easter the Chaplet of Divine Mercy is recited, leading to a plenary indulgence (under the usual conditions).

If you are new to this devotion, this website will provide the information you need.

If you practice this with regularity, you know what to do.

What the world needs now is both Love and Mercy.

Here is an opportunity to practice both.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

13th. Echo Of "Last Words"

For those of you who visit this infinitesimal corner of the universe on a somewhat consistent basis, you know I have a habit of re-posting things I have previously written. In a way, it is a type of laziness, as new material is few and far between. But like the rhythm of the liturgical cycle, you can also come to expect things in due season.

So it is as we begin Holy Week this year. Once more, I humbly present my series of brief meditations on the "Seven Last Words" of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, uttered in the three hours He hung upon the Cross. I offer them with my usual caveat:  they are a point of departure for you to find more substantial literature to help in your recollection of the pinnacle of His Passion. I have made no changes to them since they first appeared in 2006, save for adding images of famous paintings of the Crucified. But if they get you to reflect on "what wondrous love is this", then they have served their purpose.

One a day, every day this week, appearing at the hour of mercy.

Come, draw near to Him at Calvary.

Listen with a grateful heart.

Thursday, March 01, 2018

March 2018 Morning Offering Prayer Intention

Here is the intention for this month when reciting the Morning Offering:
Evangelization: Formation in Spiritual Discernment. That the Church may appreciate the urgency of formation in spiritual discernment, both on the personal and communitarian levels.
A reflection for this intention is found here.