Posted in EASTER, NOTES to Followers, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, The RESURRECTION

Thought for the Day – 1 April 2018 – Easter Sunday – A Blessed and Holy Easter to you all!

Thought for the Day – 1 April 2018 – Easter Sunday

A Blessed and Holy Easter to you all!

“Be Lifted Up, O Ancient Door”

It seems as the human world has no doors opening toward God.   It is locked in upon itself. It is a prison, a house of the dead.
People of the Old Testament and of other early civilizations initially applied the idea of the prison only to the world of the dead – the man who dies will not return.   They imagined the underworld as a vast dark prison in which death reigns, a ruthless tyrant. It is a place of no return.   Gradually, however, the feeling grew that, if all our paths lead to the prison which has entrances but no exit, then we are all prisoners.   In that case, even this present world is a house of the dead, the antechamber leading to a dungeon of horrors!   And it is a fact, if death has the last world – the world is a waiting room leading to the void (as manifested in many Eastern religions – my note).
Poets of our century have set down this feeling in terrifying visions.   The Jewish poet Franz Kafka has probably gone farthest into this abyss of ANGST.   His portrayal of a world of totalitarian control is intended as an interpretation of human life as such. In “The Castle”, life appears to be a futile waiting, a doomed attempt to penetrate the maze of bureaucracy and reach some competent authority and hence freedom.   In “The Trial”, life itself is present as a trial ending in execution.   The story ends with the parable of a man who waits all his life outside a door and cannot get in, in spite of the fact that it was made especially for him.
If Christ is not risen, there is nothing more to be said about man than this – all else, is merely an endeavour to deaden the pain.   The cries of despair we hear and the cruel attempts at liberation we see, are the necessary consequences of a world that will not accept Christ, its hope.
“Be lifted up, O ancient doors!” – these words of the psalm (24:7) are not liturgical symbolism, the gate liturgy of a long-past age.   They are the cry of man in a world that is far too narrow, even if he can travel in spaceships to the moon and beyond.
Christmas is only the first half of the Christian answer to this cry.   Christmas tells us that there is not only the tyrant, Death – there is God, who is Life and this God can and will reach us – He has broken a way into us.   He has found the door that was big enough for Him, or rather, He has made such a door for Himself.
But this answer is only complete if there is not only an entrance by which God can reach us but also an exit for us.   It is only satisfying, if death is no longer a prison from which no-one returns.   AND THIS IS THE CONTENT OF THE MESSAGE OF EASTER.   Not only is there a door in, there is also, a door out.   Death is no longer a house with no exits, a place of no return.
The ancient Church saw in this verse (ps 24:7) an interpretation of the article of faith “descended into hell”, referring particularly to Holy Saturday, not as a word of mourning but as a word of victory.   The Church expressed this word in poetic form – the bolts of death’s dungeon, of the world’s dungeon, are wrenched off – the ramparts are thrown down – the gates are torn from their hinges.   The one who has done this, Jesus, takes the long-imprisoned Adam and Eve, i.e. humanity, by the hand and leads them to freedom. Life is not a waiting room leading to the void but the beginning of eternity!   The world is not the universal concentration camp but the garden of hope!   Life is not the futile search for meaning, mirrored in the tangle of bureaucracy.   God is not a bureaucrat – He does not live in a distant castle, nor does He hide Himself behind impenetrable anterooms.   The door is open – it is called Jesus Christ!the door is open - pope benedict - 1 april 2018

The celebration of Easter is intended to show us the radiant light which streams from this door.   It challenges us steadfastly to follow this radiance, which is no will-o’-the-wisp but the brilliance of saving truth….Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) Seek that Which is Above 1985

A Blessed and Holy Easter to you all!

Christós anésti.
Jesus Christ is risen! He is truly risen!
Amena blessed and holy easter to you all - 1 april 2018


Christós anésti. Jesus Christ is risen! He is truly risen! Easter Sunday – 1 April 2018

Christós anésti.
Jesus Christ is risen! He is truly risen!Christós anésti. -1 april 2018

In the words of Pope Francis in the Urbi et Orbi Message of Easter 2013, “let us accept the grace of Christ’s Resurrection!  Let us be renewed by God’s mercy, let us be loved by Jesus, let us enable the power of His love to transform our lives too and let us become agents of this mercy, channels through which God can water the earth, protect all creation and make justice and peace flourish”.

The tomb is empty.   It is a silent witness to the central event of human history:  the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.   For almost 2,000 years the empty tomb has borne witness to the victory of Life over death.   With the Apostles and Evangelists, with the Church of every time and place, we too bear witness and proclaim:  “Christ is risen! Raised from the dead he will never die again; death no longer has power over him” (cf. Rom 6:9).gospel-easter-sunday-be-not-affrighted-ye-seek-jesus-of-nazareth-who-was-crucified-he-is-risen-he-is-not-here

“Mors et vita duello conflixere mirando; dux vitae mortuus, regnat vivus” (Latin Easter Sequence Victimae paschali).   The Lord of Life was dead;  now He reigns, victorious over death, the source of everlasting life for all who believe.

Resurrection of Christ – Bartolomé Esteban Murillo
Resurrection of Christ – Bartolomé Esteban Murillo

“Dear Brothers and Sisters,

These have been days of intense emotion, a time when our soul has been stirred not only by the memory of what God has done but by His very presence, walking with us once again in the land of Christ’s Birth, Death and Resurrection.   And at every step of this Jubilee Pilgrimage Mary has been with us, lighting our pilgrim path and sharing the joys and sorrows of her sons and daughters.

With Mary, Mater dolorosa, we stand in the shadow of the Cross and weep with her over the affliction of Jerusalem and over the sins of the world.   We stand with her in the silence of Calvary and see the blood and water flowing from the wounded side of her Son.   Realising the terrible consequences of sin, we are moved to repentance for our own sins and for the sins of the Church’s children in every age.   O Mary, conceived without sin, help us on the path to conversion!

With Mary, Stella matutina, we have been touched by the light of the Resurrection.   We rejoice with her that the empty tomb has become the womb of eternal life, where He who rose from the dead now sits at the Father’s right hand.   With her we give endless thanks for the grace of the Holy Spirit whom the risen Lord sent upon the Church at Pentecost and whom He continually pours into our hearts, for our salvation and for the good of the human family.

Mary, Regina in caelum assumpta  . From the tomb of her Son, we look to the tomb where Mary lay sleeping in peace, awaiting her glorious Assumption.   The Divine Liturgy celebrated at her tomb in Jerusalem has Mary say:  “Even beyond death, I am not far from you”.   And in the Liturgy her children reply:  “Seeing your tomb, O holy Mother of God, we seem to contemplate you.   O Mary, you are the joy of the angels, the comfort of the afflicted.   We proclaim you as the stronghold of all Christians and, most of all, as our Mother”.

In contemplating the Theotókos, almost at this journey’s end, we look upon the true face of the Church, radiant in all her beauty, shining with “the glory of God which is on the face of Christ” (2 Cor 4:6).  O Advocate, help the Church to be ever more like you, her exalted model.   Help her to grow in faith, hope and love, as she searches out and does the will of God in all things (cf. Lumen gentium, n. 65).   O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary!”