Friday, March 28, 2008


Rejoice, heavenly powers! Sing choirs of angels! Exult, all creation around God's throne! Jesus Christ, our King is risen! Sound the trumpet of salvation!
Rejoice, O earth, in shining splendor, radiant in the brightness of your King! Christ has conquered! Glory fills you! Darkness vanishes for ever!
Rejoice, O Mother Church! Exult in glory! The risen Savior shines upon you! Let this place resound with joy,echoing the mighty song of all God's people!
My dearest friends, standing with me in this holy light,join me in asking God for mercy,that he may give his unworthy minister grace to sing his Easter praises.

The Lord be with you.
-And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
-We lift them up to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
-It is right to give him thanks and praise.

It is truly right that with full hearts and minds and voices we should praise the unseen God, the all-powerful Father,and his only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. For Christ has ransomed us with his blood, and paid for us the price of Adam's sin to our eternal Father!
This is our passover feast,when Christ, the true Lamb, is slain,whose blood consecrates the homes of all believers.
This is the night, when first you saved our fathers: you freed the people of Israel from their slav'ry, and led them dry-shod through the sea.
This is the night, when the pillar of fire destroyed the darkness of sin.
This is night, when Christians ev'rywhere, washed clean of sin and freed from all defilement, are restored to grace and grow together in holiness.
This is the night,when Jesus broke the chains of death and rose triumphant from the grave.
What good would life have been to us, had Christ not come as our Redeemer?
Father, how wonderful your care for us! How boundless your merciful love! To ransom a slave you gave away your Son.
O happy fault, O necessary sin of Adam, which gained for us so great a Redeemer!
Most blessed of all nights, chosen by God to see Christ rising from the dead!
Of this night scripture says: "The night will be as clear as day: it will become my light, my joy."
The power of this holy night dispels all evil, washes guilt away, restores lost innocence,brings mourners joy; it casts out hatred, brings us peace,and humbles earthly pride.
Night truly blessed, when heaven is wedded to earth and we are reconciled to God!
Therefore, heavenly Father, in the joy of this night, receive our evening sacrifice of praise, your Church's solemn offering. Accept this Easter candle, a flame divided but undimmed, a pillar of fire that glows to the honor of God. Let it mingle with the lights of heaven and continue bravely burning to dispel the darkness of this night! May the Morning Star which never sets find this flame still burning: Christ, that Morning Star, who came back from the dead, and shed his peaceful light on all mankind, your Son, who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.

Friday, March 21, 2008

God on a cross

We adore You O Christ and we praise You, because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world.

God reveals Himself to us in the Person of Jesus Christ. Today is Good Friday. Contemplate the Crucifixion long enough, and it will tell you everything you need to know about the love of God.

He Himself bore our sins in His body upon the cross

so that, free from sin, we might live for righteousness.

By His wounds you have been healed.
-1Pt 2:24

He poured Himself out for us without reservation; He held nothing back. He didn't calculate the amount of suffering He would endure based on the number of people who would believe and return His love. He didn't love us so that we would love Him back. That would be manipulative and true love is never coercive. He loves us for the sake of Love itself. In the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the Church returns to Calvary over and over again. Is it to remember Christ's suffering that we "do this is memory of [Him]?" No - it is to remember the Love behind the suffering, the Love working in suffering, the Love that is greater, higher, deeper, truer than the suffering, the Love that is the One who suffered.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

"This is my Body, this is my Blood"

Today is Holy Thursday, and I was blessed to have a beautiful conversation with a friend about Christ's presence in the Eucharist. She was talking about a discussion she's been having with several other people about this topic. The direction of their questions and comments has turned scientific - talk of molecules of bread changing in to molecules of Body, etc. This is, of course, wrong in so many ways and robs the Eucharist of it's true Meaning. If someone were to ask who I am, and I reply with statistics like 5'9", red hair, blue eyes... does that answer their question? No - it only tells them some tiny and fairly insignificant details about me. I am so much more than the atoms that make up my physical body, and so is the Eucharist - infinitely so. Jesus Christ is truly present in the Eucharist - truly present not just physically. He comes to us in a completeness that is unique to God alone. He gives His whole self to us, His entire Being - Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. I am so grateful.

The significance of this reality in the life of a Catholic is HUGE. Because if Christ were only present physically in the Eucharist, He would only be nourishing my body when I receive Him. I would get a little protein, some carbs, maybe a few vitamins and minerals - and that would be all. The Mass would be reduced to an elaborate cocktail party with the purpose of serving a very special horderve. Thanks be to God, it is infinitely more. Jesus is fully present to each individual and to all of His Church and to all creation in the Eucharist. And so He fully feeds us - our whole person. He doesn't just say, "Sara looks hungry, she needs a snack." He says, "Sara's soul is tired and weighed down by sin, it needs my Refreshment and Trasformation. My Church's soul is struggling, it needs my Strength and Direction. Creation's soul is suffering and dieing, it needs the Life of my Resurrection." The whole person, the very Self, of Jesus Christ, our Lord and our God, is present to my whole person and to the whole world is this most Holy Sacrament that we remember in such a profound way on Holy Thursday.