He Has Risen as He Said, Alleluia!

I was deeply moved as we sang this Marian antiphon (seasonal for Eastertide) at chant practice tonight:

Regina caeli, laetare, alleluia. 
Quia quem meruisti portare, alleluia. 
Resurrexit, sicut dixit, alleluia. 
Ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia.

Translation: “Queen of Heaven, rejoice, alleluia. For He whom you did merit to bear, alleluia, has risen, as he said, alleluia. Pray for us to God, alleluia.”

The word “allelluia” has returned to our liturgy, and we see it everywhere in the hymns and prayers of Easter. As we move through this season, let us take great hope: Jesus Christ is risen from the dead! Death has not won, evil has not had the final say! Alleluia! Through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and all the saints, let us find great joy and comfort in this glorious reality.

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“God has died in the flesh, and the underworld has trembled”

“What is happening? Today there is a great silence over the earth, a great silence, and stillness, a great silence because the King sleeps; the earth was in terror and was still, because God slept in the flesh and raised up those who were sleeping from the ages. God has died in the flesh, and the underworld has trembled.

Truly he goes to seek out our first parent like a lost sheep; he wishes to visit those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death. He goes to free the prisoner Adam and his fellow-prisoner Eve from their pains, he who is God, and Adam’s son.

The Lord goes in to them holding his victorious weapon, his cross. When Adam, the first created man, sees him, he strikes his breast in terror and calls out to all: ‘My Lord be with you all.’ And Christ in reply says to Adam: ‘And with your spirit.’ And grasping his hand he raises him up, saying: ‘Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light.

‘I am your God, who for your sake became your son, who for you and your descendants now speak and command with authority those in prison: Come forth, and those in darkness: Have light, and those who sleep: Rise.

‘I command you: Awake, sleeper, I have not made you to be held a prisoner in the underworld. Arise from the dead; I am the life of the dead. Arise, O man, work of my hands, arise, you who were fashioned in my image. Rise, let us go hence; for you in me and I in you, together we are one undivided person.

‘For you, I your God became your son; for you, I the Master took on your form; that of slave; for you, I who am above the heavens came on earth and under the earth; for you, man, I became as a man without help, free among the dead; for you, who left a garden, I was handed over to Jews from a garden and crucified in a garden.

‘Look at the spittle on my face, which I received because of you, in order to restore you to that first divine inbreathing at creation. See the blows on my cheeks, which I accepted in order to refashion your distorted form to my own image.

‘See the scourging of my back, which I accepted in order to disperse the load of your sins which was laid upon your back. See my hands nailed to the tree for a good purpose, for you, who stretched out your hand to the tree for an evil one.

`I slept on the cross and a sword pierced my side, for you, who slept in paradise and brought forth Eve from your side. My side healed the pain of your side; my sleep will release you from your sleep in Hades; my sword has checked the sword which was turned against you.

‘But arise, let us go hence. The enemy brought you out of the land of paradise; I will reinstate you, no longer in paradise, but on the throne of heaven. I denied you the tree of life, which was a figure, but now I myself am united to you, I who am life. I posted the cherubim to guard you as they would slaves; now I make the cherubim worship you as they would God.

‘The cherubim throne has been prepared, the bearers are ready and waiting, the bridal chamber is in order, the food is provided, the everlasting houses and rooms are in readiness; the treasures of good things have been opened; the kingdom of heaven has been prepared before the ages.’”

~From a Holy Saturday homily by an unknown early Church Father

 

"The Harrowing of Hell" by Duccio di Buoninsegna

“The Harrowing of Hell” by Duccio di Buoninsegna

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…And So We Enter Into the Triduum Once Again

The Paschal Mystery we relive in the Easter Triduum is not just a memory but a current reality. Even today, Christ overcomes sin and death with His love. Evil in all its forms does not have the last word. The final triumph is of Christ, truth, love! If we are prepared to suffer and die with Him, as St. Paul reminds us in the Easter vigil, His life becomes our life. It is upon this certainty that our Christian lives are built.”

~Pope Benedict XVI

 

Unless there is a Good Friday in your life, there can be no Easter Sunday.”

~ Ven. Fulton Sheen

“Truth wears a crown of thorns”

~St. Faustina

“Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song.”

~ Pope John Paul II

JP2

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Happy Birthday!

A very happy birthday to 2 of my all-time favorite Roman Catholics: my son, Arthur, is 3 today, and the Pope Emeritus is 87. May God richly bless them both, and grant them many years!

 

 

Arthur 3

 

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Upcoming Appearance on the Catholic Channel

If any of you are Sirius Radio subscribers, tune in to the Catholic Channel around 8:15 a.m. tomorrow morning. I’m scheduled to be interviewed on Gus Lloyd’s program tomorrow! Gus has a segment called “Conversion Corner”, and we’ll be discussing how I became Catholic.

 

GusLloyd

 

Gus Image

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My Testimony on “Why I’m Catholic”

The great website “Why I’m Catholic” has just published the testimony of how we converted to the Catholic Church. You can read it here!

Why-Im-Catholic-Logo

“Why I’m Catholic” is a wonderful resource for all those who are investigating the truth of the Catholic faith. It features a host of testimonies from people who have come home to the Catholic Church from a wide variety of backgrounds. I’m honored to be a part of the community of people who have shared their stories there!

Especially as we draw close to the Easter Vigil–liturgically, the second “anniversary” of our coming into the Church– I am reminded of how much grace and mercy the Lord has shown us in this journey. Of all the reasons I love being Catholic, first and foremost is the profound depths of love that Jesus Christ shows us in the Holy Eucharist. I will never forget that first night we received Holy Communion, and I pray that others may come to that profound joy soon.

 

 

 

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St. Leo the Great on the Passion of Christ

Many thanks to John from Wilderness Outreach for sharing this…

 

“The cross of Christ is the source of all blessings, the cause of all graces

Our understanding, which is enlightened by the Spirit of truth, should receive with purity and freedom of heart the glory of the cross as it shines in heaven and on earth. It should see with inner vision the meaning of the Lord’s words when he spoke of the imminence of his passion: The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Afterward he said: Now my soul is troubled, and what am I to say? Father, save me from this hour. But it was for this that I came to this hour. Father, glorify your Son. When the voice of the Father came from heaven, saying, I have glorified him, and will glorify him again, Jesus said in reply to those around him: It was not for me that this voice spoke, but for you. Now is the judgment of the world, now will the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all things to myself.

How marvelous the power of the cross; how great beyond all telling the glory of the passion: here is the judgment-seat of the Lord, the condemnation of the world, the supremacy of Christ crucified.

Lord, you drew all things to yourself so that the devotion of all peoples everywhere might celebrate, in a sacrament made perfect and visible, what was carried out in the one temple of Judea under obscure foreshadowing.

Now there is a more distinguished order of Levites, a greater dignity for the rank of elders, a more sacred anointing for the priesthood, because your cross is the source of all blessings, the cause of all graces. Through the cross the faithful receive strength from weakness, glory from dishonor, life from death.

The different sacrifices of animals are no more: the one offering of your body and blood is the fulfillment of all the different sacrificial offerings, for you are the true Lamb of God: you take away the sins of the world. In yourself you bring to perfection all mysteries, so that, as there is one sacrifice in place of all other sacrificial offerings, there is also one kingdom gathered from all peoples.

Dearly beloved, let us then acknowledge what Saint Paul, the teacher of the nations, acknowledged so exultantly: This is a saying worthy of trust, worthy of complete acceptance: Christ Jesus came into this world to save sinners.

God’s compassion for us is all the more wonderful because Christ died, not for the righteous or the holy but for the wicked and the sinful, and, though the divine nature could not be touched by the sting of death, he took to himself, through his birth as one of us, something he could offer on our behalf.

The power of his death once confronted our death. In the words of Hosea the prophet: Death, I shall be your death; grave, I shall swallow you up. By dying he submitted to the laws of the underworld; by rising again he destroyed them. He did away with the everlasting character of death so as to make death a thing of time, not of eternity. As all die in Adam, so all will be brought to life in Christ.”

 

St Leo

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