Sunday, March 27, 2016

Easter Joy

"Haec dies, quam fecit Dominus, exaltemus et laetemur in ea!"

"This is the day the Lord hath made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!"

Easter Sunday, the Solemnity of Solemnities, is a day of great joy. Christ has risen as He said. --- As He said. --- This is very important. Because many did not believe what Christ had foretold, that He would truly rise from the dead. Many did not trust through the Crucifixion that there would be a Resurrection. 

It is hard in our overwhelming trials, or great sufferings, or even day-to-day annoyances to see past them. That despite all these difficulties, there are two important things to remember. First, God is with us, and second, God will bring good out of it. That is easy to say, but hard to remember. 

This Easter Day reminds us of this important truth. That God is truth. What He says is true. He tells the disciples on the way to Emmaus, "Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and so to enter into His glory?" And St. Paul says, if we suffer with Him, we shall reign with Him. All our trials in life are given to us for a reason, that we may suffer with Christ so to share in His glory.

This Easter joy is really the hallmark of our Faith. Christ has risen from the dead and has redeemed us by His Blood. We are heirs to eternal life. We must never forget the inseparable connection between the Cross and the Resurrection. Without the Cross, there would not have been a Resurrection, and without the Resurrection, the Cross makes no sense. 

As we continue to celebrate Easter through the octave, may we be truly joyful and thankful for all God has done for us. And I hope this post is brief, that we may enjoy this time with our families on such a joyous occasion! Happy Easter!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

With Christ to Calvary

Ecce Homo: Behold the Man
I think that Holy Week inspires a lot of our own meditations to draw us deeply into the mystery of our redemption. And certainly many of the saints offer us great writings to ponder the Passion of Christ. So, I'm just going to offer one point that comes to mind with the richness of this sacred time. 

My favorite Station of the Cross is #6, Jesus meets Veronica. St. Veronica offers us a great example of how we are to prove our love to our Lord. Her courage surpasses everyone else in the crowd. Other than our Lady who consoles our Lord, and Simon of Cyrene who carries the cross with Christ, St. Veronica is the only one who has the love to meet our Lord along the Way of the Cross. Other women offer their sympathy at Station #8, but Veronica goes alone.

St. Veronica surely risks being killed, as that is what the Apostles feared by following our Lord to the Cross. It is more than likely she had to push pass the awful men who were treating our Lord so horribly in order to reach Jesus. All the crowds were bound to be watching every move she made. All these things mattered little because she loved God. Her one thought was seeing her Lord in agony and wondering what she could do to relieve Him. 

In the Offertory verse for the Mass of today for Palm Sunday it reads, "My Heart hath expected reproach and misery, and I looked for one that would grieve together with Me, but there was none; I sought for one that would comfort Me, and I found none..." Christ looks for us on the Way of the Cross. He looks for one to console Him, to be with Him. Will He find us there? Or will we leave Him?

During this Holy Week, we must be "other Veronica's." Look at the response Jesus gives to Veronica for her love, leaving an image of His Holy Face on her veil. Our feeble efforts to love Him will be repaid with His infinite Love. But let us not love Him in order to be loved in return, but to love Him because He is deserving of all our love. And may we have the courage like St. Veronica to love Him particularly on the Way to the Cross. 

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Country Life

Country life gives you peace and quiet, no traffic, wide open farmlands, friendly people, no rat-race atmosphere. City life has its advantages as well--excitement, entertainment, convenience, low maintenance, lots of people and things to do.

Where you live effects everything about your life. What your day to day will be. Most people live where they have to work, where their job is. Many people have an option. I think even if we don't choose our location, it reflects something about ourselves. Some people grow up in the same place their whole life. Others move around a lot. Many people deliberately travel and want to see the world and experience different cultures, and this in a way effects who we are and who we become. Not that circumstances should sway us, but at least when we have a choice, where we live shows part of our personality. 

For myself, I love being in the country because it is very laid back. I love the feeling of sitting on your front porch and looking at the fields, mountains, and wide open skies, knowing that life is supposed to be peaceful. It isn't supposed to make you feel like you have to be ambitious and busy all the time. Sure, we can't sit back and relax every moment of every day, but even in the midst of crazy activity we should be able to hear ourselves think. 

Of course this can be found wherever you are. City, suburbs, country, desert island. It's less about where you are and more about who you are with, don't you think?

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Ready for Spring

Flower buds. Sunny days. Fresh air. Warm breezes. 

I don't know about anyone else, but I am so ready for Spring! There is something about the change in seasons that really is exciting in a way. After the long haul of winter and the freezing cold, it is so refreshing to have nice warm, sunny, breezy days. Spring is the first change of seasons in the new year, and it always makes you feel like life is good. Winter is passed and with it, it seems in a way, many other difficult things. 

The change of seasons reminds us of the passing of the days. That this world is a temporary dwelling as we journey toward our lasting home in Heaven. The seasons show us the growth of new life. How something as small as a seed can grow as grand as a mighty oak tree. And with that example, that man is capable of great things with the hand of God in his life.

Not to mention the utter beauty of God's creation. I think the seasons especially show us that. To disprove the theory that the world is just set in motion and runs in automatic cycles year by year. But rather that God is continually creating, always bringing about whatever changes occur in the world in nature. Even though things are somehow the same, He is always surprising us. You see this so much for instance by the uniqueness of sunsets, as God always gives us a different picture.

As the days get shorter and darker they lead up to the feast of Christmas in December when the Light of the World comes to us. After Christmas the days start getting longer bit by bit. As we go through Lent, there is more daylight leading up to the glorious feast of Easter. 

Some may say this is a stretch, but I think Spring gives us a chance to begin again. To keep trying. To know that hard things in life can be overcome. To never give up because there is always hope. Hope of a new day tomorrow that holds the promise for something wonderful. To remember that "life is what you make of it." We are given the opportunity each day to either make things better or worse around us. But let's make it better.