This morning, the bright spring flowers and relics were absent from the altar, the white and gold of the Easter season were muted by the black vestments, and the hauntingly beautiful chants of the Requiem Mass filled the chapel as we united our hearts to the great prayer, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, offered for the repose of the soul of a dear friend.
"Spiritual elevation to union with God through the power of Christ is what this holy night accomplishes...we must believe firmly that now, at Easter, God enters the world and our souls, to consecrate and sanctify." Fr. Pius Parsch
Resurrexit sicut dixit! Alleluia! May the grace of the resurrection of our Lord fill your hearts this joyous season! As might be imagined, the Sacred Triduum is a most beautiful and very full time for the Sisters. Living as we do at the service of the Sacred Liturgy, there was scarcely a breather between Palm Sunday and the present moment for side duties (such as blogging), but now that we are basking in the glow of the Easter season, there may be time to share a little about our Holy Week and Easter, beginning with a few highlights.
O God, who through thine only-begotten Son didst on this day overcome death and open unto us the gates of everlasting life: prosper with thine aid the desires which thou didst anticipate with thine inspiration. Through the same Lord. Amen. - Collect
“…All the mysteries were lived by Jesus for us, in order to grant us to be, some day, with him where He is by right – in the glory of His Father. Yes, each of us can say with St. Paul: Christ ‘loved me and have Himself up for me.’ And His immolation on the cross was not only the crowning point of the mysteries of His earthly life. It was for me, because He loved me, that He accomplished everything.” - Blessed Columba Marmion
The Son of God has come down upon the earth, in order to restore man to Life; and yet, here we have this creature of death daring to summon his Divine Benefactor before a human tribunal, and condemning him to Death! And Jesus is silent! - Dom Gueranger
This past Thursday, we gathered with a full Cathedral of faithful to join our Bishop and priests for the annual Chrism Mass.
At the gateway of Holy Week stands Palm Sunday. Holy Mother Church celebrates with triumphant joy Christ's Kingship, and simultaneously calls to mind the mystery of His reign on the Cross. From her we receive the blessed palms, carrying them in procession as a proclamation of our readiness to die and for Christ, that dying with Him we may also rise with Him. Concerning this mystery, Fr. Pius Parsch writes: "We cannot separate the Cross from the resurrection; they belong together. They belong together, too, in the life of the Christian, a life of grace which consists in conforming to “the likeness of Christ’s death and resurrection”.
Everything around us urges us to mourn. The images of the saints, the very crucifix on our altar, are veiled from our sight. The Church is oppressed with grief. During the first four weeks of Lent, she compassionated her Jesus fasting in the desert; His coming sufferings and crucifixion and death are what now fill her with anguish. We read in to-day’s Gospel, that the Jews threaten to stone the Son of God as a blasphemer: but His hour is not yet come. He is obliged to flee and hide Himself.
“Live joyfully; our Lord looks down upon you, and looks upon you with love...” - St. Francis de Sales