HAPPY EASTER!

God raised up Jesus on the third day and granted that he be seen, not by all, but only by such witnesses as had been chosen beforehand by God — by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. He commissioned us to preach to the people and to bear witness that he is the one set apart by God as judge of the living and the dead. To him all the prophets testify, saying that everyone who believes in him has forgiveness of sins through his name. – Acts of the Apostles 10:40-43 (From today’s Morning Prayer Reading)

To all of my followers/readers through WordPress, Twitter, Facebook, and other social media and Catholic sites, I wish you a very Blessed and Joyful Easter Season! Thank you for your support and your prayers.

Christ has Risen, indeed! Alleluia!

“Mondays with Mary” – The Easter Homily of Melito of Sardis

Melito of Sardis is considered an early church apologist. The word, apology, comes from the Greek term, apologia, which means, “to defend.” He gave a defense of Christianity sometime around the year 170 AD to the Roman emperor, Marcus Aurelius. The only reason we know this document exists is because of the writings of Eusebius of Caesarea and the document, Paschal Chronicle.

Melito of Sardis was the bishop of Sardis, which was in Asia Minor at the time. It appears that he was in the middle of the controversy surrounding the celebration of Easter between the Eastern and Western Churches. In recent years, one of his complete Easter homilies was found, which mentions the importance of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Incarnation of Christ.

The content of this Easter homily has essentially a Christological dimension, which most homilies on Easter should contain. When he composed this homily he did so in the style of an Easter Proclamation. The homily, which you can read below, has three distinct points focusing on the saving work of Jesus Christ –

  1. The Incarnation
  2. Passion-Death
  3. Glorification

Mother of Jesus Christ

Melito focuses on the mystery of Mary’s maternity in the section on the Incarnation and the Nativity of Jesus Christ. An essential element of the mystery of the Incarnation and Jesus’ birth relies heavily on the Virginity of Mary. In the homily below, Melito names her the “fair ewe”, which connects beautifully and poetically to the Gospel of John (1:29) where Jesus is called the “Lamb of God.”

He it is, who came from heaven to earth for the same of suffering man; he clothed himself in man’s flesh in the womb of a Virgin from he came forth as man and took upon himself the sufferings of him who suffered, by means of a body capable of suffering, and destroyed the sufferings of the flesh and slew death-dealing death by his spirit which cannot lie….

It is he who became incarnate in a Virgin, who was hung upon the wood, who was buried in the earth, who was raised from among the dead, who was lifted up to the heights of heaven. He is the mute lamb, he is the slain lamb, he is born of Mary, the fair ewe, he is taken from the flock and delivered over to immolation and slain in the evening and buried in the night; who was broken on the wood, was not captured in the earth, he rose from the dead, and raised man from the depths of the tomb….

He it is who made heaven and earth, who formed man in the beginning, who was announced by the law and the prophets, who became incarnate in a Virgin, who was hung upon the wood, who in the earth was buried, who rose from the dead and ascended into the heights of the heavens.

As we begin the 50 days of Easter, let us keep in mind the importance of Jesus’ Passion and Death, which leads us to the Resurrection and eventually his Ascension into Heaven. Allow Mary’s maternity, which conceived and bore Jesus, to envelop us and always through her intercession lead us closer to Him.

Source:

Gambero, Luigi, Mary and The Fathers of the Church, Ignatius Press. 1999.

CHRIST IS RISEN! HE IS RISEN INDEED! HAPPY EASTER! ALLELUIA!

Resurrection Icon

CHRIST IS RISEN!

HE IS RISEN INDEED!

PRAISE BE JESUS CHRIST NOW AND FOREVER! 

AMEN! ALLELUIA! 

I would like to wish all of my readers, Facebook followers, Twitter followers, and those in the different Catholic Facebook groups I am a member of, a very blessed and sacred Easter Season. Don’t forget, just like Christmas, the Catholic Church celebrates Easter for days and weeks, not just one day. Thank you for reading my posts and helping the promotion of the one truth faith of Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church.

It’s not easier in our world today to be a Catholic. Don’t be fearful to let the world know that you are a Catholic…Profess it boldly and Be Not Afraid!

To the 23 adults in our RCIA/Adult Confirmation process that received Sacraments last night at the Easter Vigil – allow the light of Christ to shine in you today and everyday. Congratulations and Welcome to the Family!

“Mondays with Mary” – The Regina Caeli

During the Easter Season, which runs from Holy Saturday to the Sunday following Pentecost (Trinity Sunday), the Regina Caeli is one of the four seasonal antiphons that should be chanted or recited to the Blessed Virgin Mary after night prayer, also known as vespers or compline, in the Liturgy of the Hours. It is also the prayer that should be chanted or recited in place of the Angelus during the same season.

The authorship of the Regina Caeli is not fully known, although there are a couple different traditions that surround the prayer. Some believe that Pope St. Gregory the Great had a part in the composition of the prayer. In the late 6th century, a great plague hit the city of Rome. In order to combat this epidemic, St. Gregory the Great asked that a procession of prayer be organized. Beginning at the church of Ara Coeli (now the Basilica of Santa Maria in Ara coeli), the Holy Father, along with his clergy, began the prayerful procession through the streets of Rome, which would conclude at St. Peter’s Basilica. As he walked the streets, he carried what is said to be the traditional icon that was written by St. Luke the Evangelist of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Virgin_salus_populi_romani - St. Luke Icon

As Gregory approached St. Peter’s, he and his clergy walked by the Castle of Hadrian. It was there he heard the most beautiful angelic voices singing. The amazed Pope replied, “Ora pro nobis Deum. Alleluia!” Instantly an angel appeared and quickly wiped out the drastic disease that plagued Rome. To bring honor to this supernatural event, Pope St. Gregory the Great changed Hadrian’s Castle to the Castel of Sant’Angelo (Castle of the Holy Angel). The words were also written on the roof of the Church of Ara Coeli.

Some claim the writing of the Regina Caeli is given to Pope Gregory V, who is said to have written the prayer in the late 10th century, however there isn’t much evidence to support this claim. The stronger of the two traditions most definitely is with Pope St. Gregory the Great, who is attributed to writing part of the prayer. The actual prayer itself is believed to have been composed between the ninth and twelfth centuries. According to Franciscan heritages, it was being recited in the late twelfth century and early thirteenth century. It was later added to a variety of chant manuscripts.

In the year 1742, Pope Benedict XIV professed that the Regina Caeli was to be prayed in place of the Angelus during the Easter Season when the bells were rung.

It’s a beautiful and simple request to the Blessed Virgin as our Queen who can intercede and pray for us. Because Jesus Christ has risen, she is a rejoicing with joy. The Season of Lent has concluded and it’s time to sing with Our Lady, pray with her, and know that we now have been given life over death through the Resurrection.

English:

Queen of Heave, rejoice, alleluia.The Son whom you merited to bear, alleluia, has risen as he said, alleluia. Pray for us to God, alleluia. Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, alleluia! For the Lord has truly risen, alleluia!

Latin:

Regina caeli, laetare, alleluia, quia quem meruisti portare, alleluia, resurrexit sicut dixi, alleluia, ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia. Gaude et laetare, Virgo Maria, alleluia. Quia surrexit Dominus vere, alleluia.

Sources:

“Marian Antiphons.” Marian Antiphons. University of Dayton, n.d. Web. 13 Apr. 2015.

“Regina Caeli.” Regina Caeli. Treasury of Latin Prayers, n.d. Web. 13 Apr. 2015.

HE IS RISEN!

Slide1

HE IS RISEN!

PRAISE BE JESUS CHRIST NOW AND FOREVER! 

AMEN! ALLELUIA! 

I would like to wish all of my readers, Facebook followers, and Twitter followers a very blessed and sacred Easter Season. Don’t forget, just like Christmas, the Catholic Church celebrates Easter for days and weeks, not just one day. Thank you for reading my posts and helping the promotion of the one truth faith of Jesus Christ.

Don’t be fearful to let the world know that you are a Catholic Christian…Profess it boldly and Be Not Afraid!

5 Quotes on Pentecost from Pope St. John Paul II

Today, Pentecost Sunday is the day we celebrate the birth of the Catholic Church. From this day when the Holy Spirit enkindled the hearts of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Apostles, the Church began to grow. As the Apostles went out into the world to preach the gospel message to all the nations, Christ through his Church was with them.

Mary is the Mother of the Church on Pentecost

Before Pentecost they were simple men, but after the Spirit came upon them, they were men of self-sacrifice and full of great strength. In the book, The Spirit of Catholicism, Karl Adam says,  “Twelve simple, uneducated fisherman revolutionized the world, and that with no other instrument than their new faith and their readiness to die for that faith.”

On the day of Pentecost, the Table of the Nations in Genesis 10 is being reunited (reunification) and the Tower of Babel is being undone in the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church is the restoration of the family of mankind under one language, not a literal language, but the “language” of the Holy Spirit. From that moment till today, the Church has become the universal means of salvation for all nations.

No one knew the message of Pentecost better than Pope St. John Paul II, who as Holy Father traveled far and wide across the globe, much further than any of the Apostles originally traveled, to bring the Gospel message of Jesus Christ to nations and continents.

Being that this is the first Pentecost since his canonization, below are 5 quotes from Pope St. John Paul on today’s solemnity. Each one is packed with great wisdom focusing on the importance of the Church as a mission.

Pope St. John Paul II - Pentecost 1982 in the United Kingdom.

Pope St. John Paul II – Pentecost 1982 in the United Kingdom.

“The Church of Christ is always, so to speak, in a situation of Pentecost: she is always gathered in the Upper Room in prayer, and at the same time, driven by the powerful wind of the Spirit, she is always on the streets preaching” (June 8, 2003).

“On the day when we celebrate the memorial of the Church’s birth, we want to express heartfelt gratitude to God for this twofold, and ultimately one, witness, which has involved the great family of the Church since the day of Pentecost. We want to give thanks for the witness of the first community of Jerusalem which, through the generations of martyrs and confessors, has become the inheritance of countless men and women down the ages around the world” (June 10, 2000).

“Mary Most Holy, since Pentecost you have kept watch with the Church as she prays for the Holy Spirit: remain with us at the centre of our extraordinary Upper Room. To you, whom we venerate as Our Lady of Divine Love, we entrust the fruits of the City Mission, so that through your intercession the Diocese of Rome may offer the world a convinced witness to Christ our Saviour” (May 22, 1999).

“How can we not give thanks to God for the wonders the Spirit has never ceased to accomplish in these two millenniums of Christian life? Indeed, the event of grace at Pentecost has continued to bear its marvellous fruits, everywhere instilling apostolic zeal, a desire for contemplation, the commitment to live and serve God and our brothers and sisters with complete dedication” (May 31, 1998).

“In the Acts of the Apostles, St Luke describes the extraordinary manifestation of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost as a communication of the very vitality of God who gives himself to men. This divine gift is also light and power: light, to proclaim the Gospel, the Truth revealed by God; power, to infuse the courage of witnessing to the faith, which the Apostles begin at that very moment” (May 18, 1997).

Let us pray…Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful, and enkindle us the fire of your love. O Lord, on this day of Pentecost, give us the grace and strength to go forth from our homes and parishes to bring the Gospel message to the world we encounter each day of our lives. Amen.