Our Lenten Journey with St Francis de Sales – 9 April – Easter Sunday, Alleluia, He is Truly Risen, Alleluia!
“Such is the case when one is without God … ” St Francis de Sales
EASTER SUNDAY! St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor Caritas
“Alas, how the faith of Jesus’ Apostles is shaken after His Crucifixion! Assembled in a room with closed doors, they are filled with fear. Then Jesus enters, stands in their midst and greets them: ‘Peace be with you.’ Showing them the signs and marks of the reconciliation of humanity with God, He says, ‘See My Hands and My Side.’ Why does He do this? To bolster their vacillating faith. Without the presence of our Saviour, they felt timid and lacked strength. Such is the case when one is without God. They were afraid. Like a ship tossed in a storm without a pilot, such was this poor boat. Our Lord appears to His disciples to bring relief to their fear.” – (Sermon of St Francis de Sales for Lent).
A Blessed and Holy Easter to you all! Alleluia! Christós anésti! Jesus Christ is risen! He is truly risen! Alleluia! Alleluia! Amen
[Easter is the Anglo- Saxon word for April, and was derived, as Venerable Bede tells us, (in his book De temporum ratione c. 13,) from Easter, a goddess of our pagan ancestors. Others derive Easter from Oest, Oost the Saxon for rising, or the east: and hence, Osteren, the Resurrection. Tr. from Butler’s Moveable Feasts.]
THIS IS THE DAY WHICH THE LORD HATH MADE; LET US BE GLAD AND REJOICE THEREIN!
The night between Saturday and Sunday has well nigh run its course and the day-dawn is appearing. The Mother of sorrows is waiting, in courageous hope and patience, for the blissful moment of her Jesus’ return.
… But Jesus is not to tarry in the gloomy sepulchre. Quicker than a ray of light through a crystal, He passes through the stone that closes the entrance of the cave. Pilate had ordered his seal to be put upon this stone and a guard of soldiers is there, to see that no-one touches it. Untouched it is and unmoved and yet, Jesus is free!
Thus, as the holy Fathers unanimously teach us, was it at His birth: -He appeared to the gaze of Mary, without having offered the slightest violence to her maternal womb. The birth and the resurrection, the commencement and the end of Jesus’ mission, these two mysteries bear on them, the seal of resemblance – in the first, it is a Virgin Mother; in the last, it is a sealed tomb giving forth its captive God.
And while this Jesus, this Man-God, thus breaks the sceptre of death, the stillness of the night is undisturbed. His and our victory has cost Him no effort. 0 death! where is now thy kingdom? Sin had made us thy slaves; thy victory was complete and now, lo! thou thyself art defeated! Jesus, whom thou didst exultingly hold under thy law, ( 1 Apec. 1, 5. 2 I. Cor xv, 26. ‘Ibid. 56) has set Himself free and we, after thou hast domineered over us for a time, we too shall be free from thy grasp. The tomb thou makest for us, will become to us the source of a new life, for He that now conquers thee is ‘the First-born among the dead ~ and to-day is the Pasch, the Passover, the deliverance, for Jesus and for us, His brethren.
He has led the way, we shall follow and the day will come, when thou, the enemy, that destroys all things, shalt thyself be destroyed by immortality. Thy defeat dates from this moment of Jesus’ Resurrection,and, with the great Apostle, we say to thee:
‘O death! where is thy victory?
O death! where is thy sting?‘
Servant of God Abbot Dom Prosper Guéranger OSB (1805-1875) Abbot of Solesmes
EASTER SUNDAY +2021 The Resurrection of the Lord – Solemnity of Solemnities! __ Notre-Dame de Grace, Honfleur, Normandie / Our Lady of Grace, Normandy, France – 4 April:
Our Lady of Grace is one of the most ancient maritime Chapels of Normandy. This Sanctuary was built in consequence of a vow made by a Norman Duke, who was very devout to the Blessed Virgin. That Duke, Robert the Magnificent, was once caught in a terrible storm off the coast of Normandy and knew, that a shipwreck would surely cost him his life. He swore, in the midst of that tempest, that was even then overwhelming him, that if he could somehow survive, he would build a Shrine on the hill, which he could still see, through the rain and surf from his sinking ship ,in thanksgiving to God for his rescue. Robert was saved and so his harrowing experience ended, not in tragedy but instead, the duke kept his promise, which gave birth to a monument that millions of pilgrims STILL visit each year. The original Chapel he constructed was finished early in the 11th century, at a height 90 meters above sea level. That Chapel stood through the centuries until it was swept away by landslide in the 16th century. The present Chapel, the Chapel of Notre-Dame-de-Grace, replaces the original.
The site of this handsome Chapel of Our Lady of Grace, surrounded by large trees, in the midst of turf replete with flowers, is beautiful and calm, like the rich and fresh landscapes of the magnificent province of which it forms a part. Our Lady of Grace appears like the fortress of Honfleur; from the little mountain which it crowns, the mouth of the Seine is visible, and farther on, the ocean, with its long waves of dark green, which receives in its bosom, the river of blue waters. Two roads lead to the Chapel – the one rough and rocky, the other smooth and even. In other times the inhabitants of Honfleur took delight in pointing out Our Lady of Grace, in reducing its steepness, in covering it with small, fine sand, so that a gracious princess, who had made herself beloved in these parts by her generous bounty, might be able to ascend it without fatigue, when she went to offer her prayers and vows to the Blessed Virgin.
Quote/s of the Day – 12 April -– Easter Sunday – The Solemnity of the Resurrection of the Lord
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!!! For with thee is the fountain of life and in thy light, we shall see light.
“O Death, where is your sting? O Hell, where is your victory? Christ is risen and you are overthrown. Christ is risen and the demons are fallen. Christ is risen and the angels rejoice. Christ is risen and life reigns. Christ is risen and not one dead remains in the grave. For Christ, being risen from the dead, is become the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. To Him be glory and dominion unto ages of ages.”
St John Chrysostom (347-407)
Father and Doctor of the Church
“There is just one Name in the whole world that lives – it is the Name of One who passed His years in obscurity and who died a malefactor’s death. (Two thousand yeas) have gone by since that time but still It has It’s hold upon the human mind. It has possessed the world and It maintains possession. Amid the most various nations, under the most diversified circumstances, in the most cultivated, in the rudest races and intellects, in all classes of society, the Owner of that great Name reigns. High and low, rich and poor, acknowledge Him. Millions of souls are conversing with Him, are venturing at His word, are looking for His presence. Palaces, sumptuous, innumerable, are raised to His honour.
His image, in it’s deepest humiliations,
is triumphantly displayed in the proud city, in the open country,
at the corners of streets, on the tops of mountains.
It sanctifies the ancestral hall, the closet and the bedchamber,
it is the subject for the exercise of the highest genius in the imitative arts.
It is worn next to the heart in life, it is held before the failing eyes in death.
O fulfil Your Resurrection in us and as You have purchased us, claim us, take possession of us, make us Thine.” Amen
St John Henry Newman (1801-1890)
“It seems as if the human world has no doors opening toward God. It is locked in upon itself. It is a prison, a house of the dead.
[BUT TODAY] … The Door is open It is called Jesus Christ”
One Minute Reflection – 12 April – Easter Sunday – The Solemnity of the Resurrection of the Lord, Readings: Acts 10:34, 37-43, Psalms 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23, Colossians 3:1-4 or 1 Corinthians 5:6-8, John 20:1-9 or Matthew 28:1-10
Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. … John 20:1
REFLECTION – “Here is a wise saying: “The day of prosperity makes one forget adversity” (Sir 11:25). Today the first sentence passed against us has been forgotten – more! not just forgotten but cancelled! This day has wiped away completely all remembrance of our condemnation. In former times childbearing took place in pain, now we are born without suffering. Formerly we were no more than flesh, born of the flesh, today, what is born is spirit, born of the Spirit. Yesterday we were born mere children of men, today we are born children of God. Yesterday we were cast out of heaven to the earth, today, He who reigns in the heavens makes us citizens of heaven. Yesterday, death reigned because of sin, today, thanks to Him who is the Life, righteousness regains its might.
In former times one man opened for us the gates of death, today, the one Man brings us back to life. Yesterday, life was lost to us because of death but today, Life has destroyed death. Yesterday, shame caused us to hide ourselves beneath the fig tree, today, glory draws us towards the tree of life. Yesterday, disobedience expelled us from Paradise, today, our faith causes us to enter it. Once again the fruit of life is held out to us to be enjoyed as much as we wish. Once again the stream of Paradise, whose water irrigates us through the four rivers of the gospels (cf. Gn 2:10), comes to refresh the whole face of the Church. (…)
From now on what are we to do but imitate the mountains and hills of the prophecies in their leaping for joy: “Mountains, skip like rams; hills, like lambs of the flock!” (Ps 114:4). “Come, then, let us sing joyfully to the Lord!” (Ps 95:1). He has broken the power of the enemy and raised up the great trophy of the cross… So let us say: “The Lord is a great God and a great king above all gods!” (Ps 95,3). He blesses the year by crowning it with His bounty (cf. Ps 65:12) and He gathers us together in spiritual chorus in Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom be glory for endless ages. Amen.” … St Gregory of Nyssa (c 335-395) – Father of the Church – Homily for the holy and life-giving Pasch
PRAYER – Breviary Hymn
Jesus Christ is ris’n today, Alleluia
Our triumphant holy day, Alleluia!
Who did once upon the cross, Alleluia!
Suffer to redeem our loss, Alleluia!
Hymns of praise then let us sing, Alleluia!
Unto Christ our heav’nly King, Alleluia!
Who endured the cross and grave, Alleluia!
Sinners to redeem and save, Alleluia!
But the pains which He endured, Alleluia!
Our salvation have procured, Alleluia!
Now He rules eternal King, Alleluia!
Where the angels ever sing, Alleluia!
Praise to God the Father sing, Alleluia!
Praise to God the Son, our King, Alleluia!
Praise to God the Spirit be, Alleluia!
Now and through eternity, Alleluia!
Solemnity of Solemnities
Easter Sunday – 12 April – The Solemnity of the Resurrection of the Lord
A Blessed and Holy Easter to you all!
Jesus Christ is risen! He is truly risen!
Today we forget the troubles of the world, for we have reached our goal, today is Easter, the day we celebrate Christ’s Resurrection. This is the single most important feast day of the Church. With Christ’s Death and Resurrection, Christ has conquered sin and death, the gates of heaven are now open to man.
Yes, Lord, make us Easter people, men and women of light, filled with the fire of Your love. Amen
Fr Francis Fernandez from his ‘In Conversation with God: Daily Meditations, Volume Two.’ explains why this feast is so pivotal:
“The glorious Resurrection of the Lord is the key to interpreting His whole life and the ground of our faith. Without this victory over death, says St Paul, all our preaching would be useless and our faith in vain.
Furthermore, the guarantee of our future resurrection is secured upon the Resurrection of Christ, because although we were dead through sin, God, full of mercy, moved by the infinite compassion with which He loved, gave us Christ…and He raised us with Him. Easter is the celebration of our Redemption and, therefore, the celebration of thanksgiving and joy.
The Resurrection of the Lord is a central reality of the Catholic faith and has been preached as such since the beginning of Christianity. The importance of this miracle is so great that the Apostles are, above all else, witnesses of Jesus’ Resurrection (cf. Acts 1:22; 2:43; 3:15; etc.). They announce that Christ is alive and this becomes the nucleus of all their preaching. After twenty centuries this is what we announce to the world – Christ lives! The fact of the resurrection is the supreme argument for the divinity of Our Lord….”
“And Jesus Christ lives. And this crowns us with happiness. This is the great truth which fills our faith with meaning. Jesus, who died on the cross, has risen. He has triumphed over death, He has overcome sorrow, anguish and the power of darkness… In Him we find everything. Outside of Him our life is empty “
Christ is Risen! He is Truly Risen, Alleluia! – Thought for the day – 23 April – Tuesday of Easter Week
So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb and we do not know, where they have laid him.”…John 20:2
“Church of men, Church of women”
By Cardinal Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905-1988)
In the Gospel, Mary of Magdala, the first person to see the open grave, rouses the two most important disciples – Peter (ecclesial office) and John (ecclesial love).
Both disciples run there “together” yet not together, for, unburdened by the cares borne by Office, Love runs faster. Yet Love yields to Office when it comes to examining the tomb and Peter thus becomes the first to view the cloth that had covered Jesus’ head and establish that no theft had occurred. That is enough to permit Love to enter, who “sees and believes” – not precisely in the Resurrection but in the correctness of all that has happened with Jesus. This is as far as the two symbolic representatives of the Church go – things have happened properly, faith in Jesus is justified, despite all the opaqueness of the situation.
It is the woman for whom this first turns into genuine belief in the Resurrection. She does not “go home” but perseveres at the place where the dead one disappeared, searching for Him.
The empty place becomes luminous, measured off by the two angels at the head and the foot. But this luminous emptiness is not enough for the Church’s love – the forgiven woman here, seems to represent the Woman herself, Mary the Mother, she has to have her one true Love. This she receives in Jesus’ call – “Mary!” With that, everything is more than complete – the sought after corpse is the eternally Living One. But she dare not hold Him, for He is on His way to the Father and earth ought not hold Him back. Instead it must consent. As it was with His Incarnation, so now with His return to the Father.
This Yes, turns into the happiness of the mission to the brethren, giving is more blessed than holding on.
The Church is Woman at her most profound depths, as woman she embraces both ecclesial office and ecclesial love, which belong together. “The woman will encompass the man” (Jer 31:22).
Jesus Christ is risen! He is truly risen!
“The star of Bethlehem
shines forth in the dark night of sin.
Upon the radiance
that goes forth from the manger,
there falls the shadow of the cross.
In the dark of Good Friday,
the light is extinguished
but it rises more brightly, as the sun of grace.
on the morning of the resurrection.
The road of the incarnate Son of God,
is through the cross and suffering.
to the splendour of the resurrection.
To arrive with the Son of Man,
through suffering and death,
at this splendour of the resurrection,
is the road for each one of us,
for all mankind.”
St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross
[Edith Stein] (1891-1942)
Day of resurrection, day of our joy !
A homily attributed to Saint John Chrysostom (345-407) – Father & Doctor
“This is the day the Lord has made; let us be glad and rejoice in it.” (Ps 118:24) Why? Because the sun is no longer darkened and everything is illuminated, the curtain in the Temple is no longer torn, the Church is revealed; we are no longer holding palm branches, we are surrounding the newly baptised.
“This is the day the Lord has made”… This now is the day in the real sense of the word, the triumphant day, the day consecrated to celebrating the resurrection, the day when we adorn ourselves with grace, the day when we share the spiritual Lamb, the day when we give milk to those who have just been born, the day when the plan of Providence for the poor is realised. “Let us rejoice and be glad in this day.”
This is the day when Adam was freed, when Eve was delivered from her pain, when savage death shuddered, when the power of rocks was broken, when the bars of the tomb were torn away…, when the unchangeable laws of the powers of hell were abrogated, when the heavens were opened because Christ, our Master, rose.
This is the day when, for the good of humankind, the green and fertile plant of the resurrection multiplied its offshoots all over the world as in a garden, when the lilies of the newly enlightened opened…, when the crowd of believers rejoices, when the martyrs’ crowns again grow green.
“This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
Christós anésti. Jesus Christ is risen! He is truly risen!
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).
“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.
“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!”
Wishing you all a Holy, Blessed and grace-filled Easter – 16 April 2017
Easter is the feast of feasts, the unalloyed joy and gladness of all Christians.
In the very centre of the Mass, the great prayer of thanksgiving, from the first words of the Preface, expresses the unrivalled motive for this joy: if it is right to praise You, Lord, at all times, how much more so should we not glorify You on this day when Christ our Passover was sacrificed, for He is the true Lamb who took away the sins of the world, who by His Death destroyed our death and by His Resurrection restored our life. Easter means, then, Redemption obtained — sin destroyed, death overcome, divine life brought back to us, the resurrection of our body which is promised immortality. With such a certitude, we should banish all trace of sadness.
Haec dies quam fecit Dominus: “This is the day which the Lord has made.”Throughout the octave we shall sing of the unequalled joy which throws open eternity to us. Every Sunday will furnish a reminder of it and from Sunday to Sunday, from year to year, the Easters of this earth will lead us to that blessed day on which Christ has promised that He will come again with glory to take us with Him into the kingdom of His Father.
“Look into Peter’s wide open eyes and John’s intense gaze. Their eyes contain a mix of anxiousness and hope, the way a parent or grandparent’s eyes look at the news of an impending birth. A new life is about to emerge, but there is still uncertainty because it is a mystery beyond full human comprehension or control. Peter and John’s faces capture the same sense of anticipation.
Burnand created a sparse, simple painting capturing two of the most important players in the greatest story ever told. Meditate upon their faces as Burnand intended you to do and through them discover the empty tomb.”Elise Ehrhard
Jesus asked that the Feast of the Divine Mercy be preceded by a Novena to the Divine Mercy which would begin on Good Friday. He gave St. Faustina an intention to pray for on each day of the Novena, saving for the last day the most difficult intention of all, the lukewarm and indifferent of whom He said: “These souls cause Me more suffering than any others; it was from such souls that My soul felt the most revulsion in the Garden of Olives. It was on their account that I said: ‘My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass Me by.’ The last hope of salvation for them is to flee to My Mercy.” During the Solemn Novena leading to Divine Mercy Sunday, the Chaplet of Divine Mercy should be offered each day for the day’s intentions.
DAY THREE – EASTER SUNDAY
“Today bring to Me all Devout and Faithful Souls, and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. These souls brought me consolation on the Way of the Cross. They were a drop of consolation in the midst of an ocean of bitterness.”
Most Merciful Jesus, from the treasury of Your mercy, You impart Your graces in great abundance to each and all. Receive us into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart and never let us escape from It. We beg this grace of You by that most wondrous love for the heavenly Father with which Your Heart burns so fiercely.
Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon faithful souls, as upon the inheritance of Your Son. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, grant them Your blessing and surround them with Your constant protection. Thus may they never fail in love or lose the treasure of the holy faith, but rather, with all the hosts of Angels and Saints, may they glorify Your boundless mercy for endless ages. Amen.
PRAY THE CHAPLET here: https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/04/15/divine-mercy-novena-day-one-good-friday/
It is only right,
with all the powers of our heart and mind,
to praise You Father and Your Only-Begotten Son,
Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Dear Father, by Your wondrous condescension
of Loving-Kindness toward us, Your servants,
You gave up Your Son.
Dear Jesus You paid the debt of Adam for us
to the Eternal Father by Your Blood
poured forth in Loving-Kindness.
You cleared away the darkness of sin
by Your magnificent and radiant Resurrection.
You broke the bonds of death
and rose from the grave as a Conqueror.
You reconciled Heaven and earth.
Our life had no hope of Eternal Happiness
before You redeemed us.
Your Resurrection has washed away our sins,
restored our innocence and brought us joy.
How inestimable is the tenderness of Your Love!
We pray You, Lord,
to preserve Your servants in the peaceful enjoyment
of this Easter happiness.
We ask this through Jesus Christ Our Lord,
Who lives and reigns with God The Father,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, forever and ever
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