Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!

Christ is Risen! He is risen indeed!

It’s always a joy after the long days of Lent, and hopefully much soul-searching, much conversion and penitence, and then solemnness of Holy Week to finally come to the Easter Vigil, a time of light and celebration and Alleuias and new beginnings and more.

We went to the Easter Vigil at our parish, probably the last one for a few years. Little bambini don’t do so well at late night and very lengthy Masses. But we were very grateful to be there. I am glad that the innovators haven’t yet gotten their hands on the Exulstet. I love all the readings (even if we don’t quite do all of them). I love the litany and the renewal of baptismal promises, the blessing of the holy water in which our baby will soon be washed clean of the stain of original sin and the paschal candle from which the baptismal candle will be lit.

That’s what’s so great about Easter. It’s about a continuity, a sense that from this moment all else, not just in Church, but in the universe, flows outward to touch everything. The rhythms of our life are the rhythms of the Church, from baptism to confession to first Communion to confirmation to marriage or holy orders (or both!) and in the end to the funeral Mass, which in itself is just the beginning of a whole new life.

The message of Easter is one of renewal and of the whole sweep of life. It is a great joy to celebrate it, to rejoice in the Resurrection of Our Lord who died and rose again that us sinners might die and rise again with him. God blessd you all.

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  • Yeah, not all Catholics get the meaning of everything. When we relit our candles for the renewal of our baptismal vows a couple of people pulled out lighters. I thought: They just don’t get it. I was sad they missed the symbolism when we light our candles from the Pascal candle, which symbolizes Christ, our light and how wonderful an image it is to receive that light from the stranger in front of you and to pass that light to the friend next to you.

    And yet, even if we don’t understand everything, we can still be moved by that which we do not understand. After all we will never understand the mystery of His death and resurrection, of His great love “so high are the ways of the Lord above our ways.” At best we can bow down and worship Him, love Him and each other and give thanks for the greatness of the gifts that pass all human understanding.

  • We had, like,…six baptisms last night. It was awesome, especially for me, to see what it’s like pew side!

  • In any event, I am of the opinion that we Christians move too soon from the terrible final shreik on Good Friday, followed by the tearing in half of the temple veil, to the smug “He is Risen” uttered just a few hours later by alleged believers.

    Smug? Seems an odd choice of wording. Smug implies that there is no reason to say that He is risen.

    And I don’t understand the “too quickly” either. We just spent the last 40 days in the desert of Lent, including Palm Sunday meditating on the Passion, returning to the topic on Holy Thursday and especially Good Friday, with quick visits on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

  • It sounds to me like the people whose faith is weak are those afraid to proclaim the resurrection. Those who interrupt a joyful thread about Easter glory to focus on gloom and doom. When the bridegroom is present you don’t fast, Jesus told us.

    We should rejoice. We must rejoice. He is risen. The victory is won. Sin is conquered, death is destroyed. True, we are still engaged in mop-up actions, skirmishes. True, there is a real fight and we are all warriors. But it sounds like some people have lost sight of the amazing fact of Christ’s victory. In short, have lost a sense of hope.

  • And in that sense of rejoicing, my roomate and very good friend was brought into the Church at the Vigil.  I am a little exhausted from our Sunday celebrations of the risen Christ and her confirmation (It went on all day), but
    Easter is not yet over folks.
    And I have to say, for those confirmed and baptised at the Vigil, that proclamation of the risen Christ has come after something like 8 months of waiting. Which is not fast at all.
    And thanks be to God, I read that something like 9 hundred thousand people joined the Catholic Church this year. Which is indeed a great cause for celebration

  • Uh no, James. Time to pull out your Catechism and your bible. Read Romans, the two Corinthians epistles, Hebrews.

    Christ has won the victory, the devil is definitively defeated. The war is won, but the individual battles rage on. Just like soldiers continued to die on the battlefield the day after the armistice is signed—until the cease fire order can be disseminated—so too souls are still lost.

    Which is all the more tragic, because they have been redeemed by Christ.

    If you think that sin and evil are winning, you are sadly misinformed about the Church’s teachings.

  • James,

    You sound like the guy who watches the Patriots win the Super Bowl, but who stands there sputtering, “But they lost eight games this season, and look at all those penalties, and Brady gave up too many interceptions, and the kicker missed that field goal.”

    Yeah, but they won the Super Bowl.

    Admit it, James, whatever tripe you’re spouting is not Catholic teaching. Yes, people still sin and yes there is still evil in the world.

    But Christ has won the victory. And to deny that is to deny Christ.

    How can you be an effective witness to the Good News, when all you offer is the Doom-and-Gloom News? You must be a hoot at parties.

  • Of course the work of Satan is evident around us. He has definitely lost the war, but he will take as many with him as he can. But the Church teaches that Evil has been defeated, salvation is achieved. It is a matter of joining ourselves to Christ and his salvation, of fighting the personal battle for holiness.

  • James,

    I never said Satan isn’t at work in the world, or that individual souls don’t continue to be lost. That sad truth is why we are commissioned at our confirmation to be soldiers for Christ, to evangelize all peoples, to boldly proclaim the Truth who is Christ.

    But we are less effective soldiers for Christ if we do not keep our eyes on our King who has already conquered sin and death, if we lose hope and begin to despair. How can you win souls for Christ if you go around proclaiming the power of Satan? Instead, preach Christ who was crucified, who is risen and who will come again. Look not to what is seen but to what is unseen.

    I can’t imagine anyone talking to you fired with zeal to convert. Where is your conviction in the truth?

    I’m not blind to the realities of sin and evil, as you seem to imply. I know as well as anyone how bad things seem. But I know that God is more powerful than they are. And I trust in him. So I do what I can and pray that he gives me the power to do more than I can and don’t worry myself over the seeming triumphs of wicked men. Because I know that their victories are illusions while Christ’s victory is real.

    I don’t understand how someone who really believes in that can sound as bleak and hopeless as you do.  It’s depressing to me that you can’t even take one day to rejoice in Christ’s victory.

      “He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord is laughing them to scorn.”

    “Calm your anger and forget your rage;
    do not fret, it only leads to evil
    For those who do evil shall perish;
    the patient shall inherit the land.”

  • James: You act like you’re telling us stuff we don’t know. You’re not. But recognizing the evil that exists in the world doesn’t mean that Christ has not conquered sin and death.

    You’ve ignored my suggestion that you read what the Church teaches on this. How does that make you different from all those who reject the Church’s teaching on other matters?

  • CCC 671 “Though already present in his Church, Christ’s reign is nevertheless yet to be fulfilled “with power and great glory” by the king’s return to earth. This reign is still under attack by the evil powers, even though they have been defeated definitively by Christ’s Passover.”

    Here, in the Catechism, the Church clearly states that yes, the world is still fallen and full of sin, sinners, and evil. The kingdom of God is here, but not fully so, as we await the second coming. But notice, that the Church also clearly states that the powers of evil “have been defeated definitively by Christ’s Passover.”

    This is not a matter of semantics. It is a clear teaching of the Church.

  • James, you continue to strain at gnats and completely miss the point. Your attitude of negativity is unbecoming. Maybe just once a day you could focus on the Good News and set the negative aside for a moment.

    We are all of us here capable of being realistic and quite aware of the many problems that beset the Church and the world. But we try to leaven that awareness with time spent rejoicing in the great victory that has been won.

    You seem to only want to look at the negative and never admit the possibility of God’s joy.

    Granted people can take a positive Pollyanna attitude too far, but frankly I don’t see that happening here with the people responding to you. We have acknowledged all of your points about the presence of evil in the world. But you seem unwilling or incapable of meeting anyone halfway and acknowledging that Good ultimately defeats evil and that there is a time for rejoicing as well as a time for the wailing and gnashing of teeth.