Category Archives: Easter, Ascension & Pentecost

The newly baptized, the new lambs: Isti sunt Agni novelli


B16 baptizes Easter 2010.jpgThese are the
lambs, newly-baptized,

who proclaimed the
glad tidings:  Alleluia! recently come to
the waters, and full of God’s
light and splendor. Alleluia! Alleluia!

Lady, Queen, whom
grace from heaven, Has preferred to
all on earth, Now renewed, the
world is brightened, By your holy
virgin-birth.

Oh, how lovely and
how wondrous, Is the cure that
saved us all: Jesus, in His love,
becomes now, Victim for His people’s
fall!

Now renewed through
holy washing, In the font of our
rebirth, Soon the chrism’s
oil and fragrance, Will give strength
to us on earth!

To each Christian
now is given, Christ’s own Flesh
as Bread of Life. Christ’s own Blood
becomes the sweetest, Source of joy in all our strife!


Easter week brings so many joys, graces and consolations. One such joy, grace and consolation that I’ve been thinking and praying about all week during Mass and praying the Divine Office, is the is new life in Christ that those received into the Church at the Easter Vigil and on Easter Sunday. The gift of salvation given to us is has once again been given to other called not by human concern but by the Holy Spirit. The Neophytes –the newly-initiated Christians who were baptized and confirmed and communicated– live differently now that the doors of our God-given destiny has been received. Musically we can think of the chant text given above, “Isti sunt Agni novelli,” taken from the Cistercian collection Laudes Vespertine (Westmalle, Belgium, 1939) which gives a keen insight into this beautiful mystery of faith. May Christ shower His blessing on all of us!

Christ’s resurrection changes everything


Christ's appearance RWeyden.jpg


After your descent into Hades, O Christ, and your
Resurrection from the dead, the disciples grieved over your departure. They returned to their occupations and attended to their nets and their boats; but
their fishing was in vain. You appeared to them since you are the Lord of all; you
commanded them to cast their nets on the right side. Immediately your word
became deed. They caught a great number of fish, and they found an unexpected
meal prepared for them on the shore; which they immediately ate. Now, make us
worthy to enjoy this meal with them in a spiritual manner, O Lord and Lover of
us all!

The poetic text above draws our attention to the fact that for the believer, that is, the person who is aware of his or her humanity and spiritual need, Christ is the answer …

Christ’s glorified body heals us of disbelief

Incredulity of Thomas.jpgLooking at Luke 24:38ff Christ says, “Why are you troubled, and doubts arise in your heart? Look at my hands and my feet, touch and see.”

Commenting on appearance of Christ in His glorified body, Saint Augustine of Hippo in Sermon 246 tells us that Christ wanted to offer evidence of His resurrection from the dead as a reality!  “Was He perhaps already ascended to the Father when He said: ‘Touch me and see’? He let His disciples touch Him, indeed, not only touch but feel, to provide a foundation for faith in the reality of His flesh, in reality of His body [ut fides fiat verae carnis veri corporis]. The well-foundedness of the reality had to be made obvious also through human touch [ut exhibibeatur etiam tactibus humanis solidatus veritatis]. Thus He let Himself be touched by the disciples.”

Later on Augustine asks about the women who were asked by the Lord not to touch Him because He had yet made the ascension, “What is this inconsistency? The men could not tocuh Him if not here on earth, while the women would be able to touch Him once He ascended to heaven? But what does touching mean if not believing? By faith we touch Christ. And it is better not to touch Him with faith than feel with the hand and not touch Him with faith.”

Augustine points us to the proof Christ offers: faith. “The scar of the wound on His flesh served to heal the wound of disbelief.” The Lord wanted to cure those who disbelieved.

Christ is Risen!

Love is stronger the life!

Happy Easter

Christ's Resurrection.jpg

The Special work of the Holy Spirit

Each of the three Divine Persons is holy, and each is a
spirit, and we give the name “Holy Spirit” to the Third Person precisely
because He is all that the Father and the Son have 

Holy Trinity Hungarian.jpg

common -their divinity,
their charity, their blessedness, their delight in each other, their holiness
and their spiritual nature. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of the Father and the
Son, proceeding from both, and He is the unity and charity of them both. The
Holy Spirit is so completely, so truly, God’s gift that unless someone has the
Holy Spirit, he has none of God’s gift, and whoever has any of them, has them
only in the Holy Spirit. Many things are given to us through the Holy Spirit,
but they are valueless if the chief gift of charity is lacking. And the reason
why the Holy Spirit is called “Gift of God” is because “the charity of God is
poured forth in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who is given to us.”

Nothing is more excellent than this gift, which ultimately
differentiates between the children of the kingdom and the children of
darkness. Even if all the other gifts are lacking, charity will take us to the
kingdom of God. Although faith can exist without charity, only the faith that
works through love can have any value. The Holy Spirit is the charity of the
Father and the Son, by means of which they love each other. He is the unity in
virtue of which they are one. When he is given to us, he enkindles in our
hearts the love of God and of one another. This same love, living in our
hearts, is the love by which God is love.

This is “the Spirit of the Lord which fills the whole world”
with his all-powerful goodness, appointing a perfect harmony among all
creatures, and filling them all with the vast riches of his grace, according to
the capacity of each. It is he who teaches us to pray as we ought, making us
cleave to God, rendering us pleasing to God and not unworthy to have our
prayers answered. He enlightens our minds and forms love in our hearts. All
this is the work of the Holy Spirit. We may even call it his own special work,
if we remember that he is sufficient for this task only because he can never be
separated from the Father and the Son.

William of Saint Thierry

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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