Thursday, March 20, 2008


At every stage of the change of liturgical seasons I go back to my mother's missal from 1942 to see what the Church had to say about the new season. I was reading the introduction to the season of Easter this morning and it struck me that what the Benedictine Monks who put out this missal wrote there as an instruction is as true today as it was yesterday. We may have a
different reaction to the lesson, but the foundation remains the same.

At this point of our history as Catholics, when so much is made of the "old and reverential ways of Mother Church", I decided to translate the short paragraph entitled "Dogmatic Expose: Easter" for your reflection.

"The Church, who, each year renews the memory of the significant events of the life of the Savior through the liturgy so that we can take part in them, celebrates the anniversary of Christ's victory over death at the time of Easter. It is, in the words of the great homilist, Bossuet, 'the core event of all of history. It is towards this event that all history converges in the life and death of Christ. It is the culminating point of the life of the Church in its liturgy.'

"The resurrection of the Savior is the most glorious event of his existence. It is the most explosive proof of His divinity and serves as the foundation of our faith. By right, we have resurrected with Christ. But in fact the force of this mystery operates in and through the lives of the faithful, and especially during the festivities of Easter so that we can pass from sin to grace here and now, and later be born into eternal glory from grace.

"At the Incarnation it is the soul of Jesus that was being born into the divine life through the experience of the beatific vision. At Easter, it is His body which now enters into the joy of the glory of God.

"The Easter Season is an image of heaven, a radiant image of the eternal Easter which is the goal of our entire existence."

(Missel Vesperal-Romain; Dom Gaspar LeFebvre, Benedictin de l'Abbaye de St. Andre, Bruges, Belgique)
(Roman Missal - Vesperal: Dom Gaspar LeFebvre, Benedictine of St. Andrew's Abbey, Bruges, Belgium) Copyright, 1942 My translation from the French
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