24 April 2011

Alleluia! He is Risen

O Christ, our risen Lord,
have mercy on us Your Children.

23 April 2011

Holy Saturday

23 APRIL 2011. Consider where we commemorate that Christ is today. He has descended to the dead. Today He is dwelling with the dead to lovingly search them out and call them forth to resurrection with Him in the glory of the heavenly host.

These lost sheep who had gone into the grave before Christ are the first for whom He searches. But, today He is searching for us also, lost by our own sin.Yet, still He calls us forth:
Something strange is happening—there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. God has died in the flesh and hell trembles with fear.

He has gone to search for our first parent, as for a lost sheep. Greatly desiring to visit those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, he has gone to free from sorrow the captives Adam and Eve, he who is both God and the son of Eve. The Lord approached them bearing the cross, the weapon that had won him the victory. At the sight of him Adam, the first man he had created, struck his breast in terror and cried out to everyone: “My Lord be with you all.” Christ answered him: “And with your spirit.” He took him by the hand and raised him up, saying: “Awake, O sleeper, and rise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.”

I am your God, who for your sake have become your son. Out of love for you and for your descendants I now by my own authority command all who are held in bondage to come forth, all who are in darkness to be enlightened, all who are sleeping to arise. I order you, O sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be held a prisoner in hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead. Rise up, work of my hands, you who were created in my image. Rise, let us leave this place, for you are in me and I am in you; together we form only one person and we cannot be separated.

For your sake I, your God, became your son; I, the Lord, took the form of a slave; I, whose home is above the heavens, descended to the earth and beneath the earth. For your sake, for the sake of man, I became like a man without help, free among the dead. For the sake of you, who left a garden, I was betrayed to the Jews in a garden, and I was crucified in a garden.

See on my face the spittle I received in order to restore to you the life I once breathed into you. See there the marks of the blows I received in order to refashion your warped nature in my image. On my back see the marks of the scourging I endured to remove the burden of sin that weighs upon your back. See my hands, nailed firmly to a tree, for you who once wickedly stretched out your hand to a tree.

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 has healed the pain in yours. My sleep will rouse you from your sleep in hell. The sword that pierced me has sheathed the sword that was turned against you.

Rise, let us leave this place. The enemy led you out of the earthly paradise. I will not restore you to that paradise, but I will enthrone you in heaven. I forbade you the tree that was only a symbol of life, but see, I who am life itself am now one with you. I appointed cherubim to guard you as slaves are guarded, but now I make them worship you as God. The throne formed by cherubim awaits you, its bearers swift and eager. The bridal chamber is adorned, the banquet is ready, the eternal dwelling places are prepared, the treasure houses of all good things lie open. The kingdom of heaven has been prepared for you from all eternity.
(the second reading from today's Office of Readings--"From an ancient homily on Holy Saturday")

Image: Hans Holbein, The Body of the Dead Christ in the Tomb (1521).

19 April 2011

A Prayer to be Nothingness

O Lord, ever loving and faithful God,
help me to be little in your eyes,
and in the eyes of men.
May I shrink until there is nothing left of my will.
Take my willfulness and admonish it,
reduce it to nothingness, so that I may reside,
with Mary, the most chaste spouse of the Holy Spirit,
and Saint Joseph, her earthly husband, alone in the light
of Your Divine Will.

Our Father, may your Will reign in me as it does in heaven.
By grace may I be buried in the ocean of Your Will,
so that it is not my life, but Yours.
Not my living, but You living in me.
Not my my prayer, but Your prayer to the Holy Trinity in me.
Not my love, but Your love returned to You.
Not the glory You have given me,
as a creature created in your image and likeness,
but Your Glory returned to You in full.

May I be so little as to no longer count, but
to live only in You, dear Savior,
only-begotten Son of the Father Almighty.

In these last days of Lent, during this Holy Week,
as the Church struggles with anxieties of hope
for the coming celebration of Your Resurrection,
may this prayer be pleasing to You,
so that I may be nothing,
and, in my nothingness gain true servitude to You,
one, holy and true God.


13 April 2011

Blessed Margaret of Castello

13 APRIL 2011. Today we commemorate Blessed Margaret of Castello, patron of the poor, crippled, and unwanted.


Blessed Margaret,
unwanted by your parents and abandoned to the world,
you entrusted everything to God,
and prayerfully lived in loving service to others.
Help us by your prayers,
to also be so trusting of our Lord.
May we, by your holy intercession,
gain the freedom to truly open ourselves 
to the workings of the Divine Will,
to the supernal incarnation of our Eucharistic Lord in each of us.
We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord.


12 April 2011

New Feast Day and Prayer for Blessed John Paul II

12 APRIL 2011. To coincide with today's announcement from the Vatican that Blessed John Paul II's feast day will be celebrated on 22 October, the date that Cardinal Wojtyla became pope, Rome has also released a new collect to be said during the feast day and thanksgiving masses for Blessed John Paul II:


O God, who are rich in mercy
and who willed that Blessed John Paul II
should preside as Pope over your universal Church,
grant, we pray, that instructed by his teaching,
we may open our hearts to the saving grace of Christ,
the sole Redeemer of mankind,
Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.