Tag Archives: Easter

The Holy Spirit… the most precious gift, that personal love

We are fast approaching the great feast of the Pentecost, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon those who follow Christ. This feast, like all others we observe in the liturgical life of the Church, is not about an event of 2000+ years ago but an experience of great proportions evidenced today. Yes, we remember liturgically the first event (anamnesis) but it is a remembrance that spills into today’s context. Attentive to our sacred Liturgy, we see that one piece of Scripture interprets another, one liturgical observance of Sunday (or daily) sheds light on another. Pentecost is coming  in two weeks and last Sunday the Church gave us a foreshadowing of a future gift. Below is an excerpt of a homily delivered by an American Benedictine monk in Italy giving us “taste” of what’s coming. These paragraphs are presented for our lectio.

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The departure of Jesus in terms of his bodily presence, therefore, is not a reason to be sad; instead, it is a cause of great joy.  And this is exactly what the Lord promises when he says: “I tell you the truth; it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you” (Jn 16:7).


Christ sends us the Counselor, that is the Holy Spirit, in union with his Father.  In fact, the Holy Spirit is the special promise of the Father (cf. Acts 2:33; Eph 1:13; Lk 24:49), the gift which allows us to know him more intimately, “for the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God” (1 Cor 2:10).  The good fathers of this world show their goodness towards their children giving them the most precious gift, that of personal love.  The Lord says to earthly fathers: “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Lk 11:13).  Given that “every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights” (Jas 1:17), as we heard in today’s epistle [May 9, 2012], it is clear that the best gift that the Father can bestow is that of his Holy Spirit, through whom the Father and the Son are able to dwell in us (cf. Jn 14:23).

How eager, therefore, should we be to receive this Spirit! O how we should implore the Father for this perfect gift!  We should say, therefore: Come, Holy Spirit!  Fill the hearts of thy faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth thy Spirit and they shall be created, and you shall renew the face of the earth. Amen.

Father Basil Nixen, OSB

9 May 2012
Monastery of Saint Benedict

Norcia, Italy

O day of resurrection!

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O day of resurrection!
Let us beam with God’s own
Let everyone embrace in joy!
Let us warmly greet those we meet and treat
them all like brothers,
even those who hate us, for in His rising from the dead
is all grace and pardon! 
Let all the earth resound with this song:
Christ is
risen from the dead, conquering death by death,
and on those in the grave
bestowing life!!!

The Christian … like the Easter Candle

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Last week, during his Easter vigil homily, Pope Benedict XVI said: …the Church presents the mystery of light using a unique and very humble symbol: the Paschal candle. This is a light that lives from sacrifice. The candle shines inasmuch as it is burnt up. It gives light, inasmuch as it gives itself. Thus the Church presents most beautifully the paschal mystery of Christ, who gives himself and so bestows the great light. Secondly, we should remember that the light of the candle is a fire. Fire is the power that shapes the world, the force of transformation. And fire gives warmth. Here too the mystery of Christ is made newly visible. Christ, the light, is fire, flame, burning up evil and so reshaping both the world and ourselves.” St. Catherine of Siena once said: “If you are what you should be, you will set the whole world on fire.” Bishop Roman’s last hours were spent in the same way he spent his entire life: evangelizing, preaching the gospel. He was what he should have been: a friend of the poor, the sick, the imprisoned, the exile and the immigrant. He was a friend to us all – because he was first of all and above all a friend of Jesus. He was light; he was fire. His passion for evangelization, for catechesis, was never about making people follow him but rather it was about leading them to Jesus.

Archbishop Thomas Wenski

from the Funeral homily for Bishop Agustín Román

April 14, 2012

Christ risen is constantly present

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Eucharist means the Risen Lord is constantly present, Christ who continues to
give Himself to us, calling us to participate in the Banquet of His Body and
Blood. From the full communion with Him comes every other element of the life
of the Church, in the first place the communion among the Faithful, the
commitment to proclaim and give witness to the Gospel, the ardor of charity
towards all, especially toward the poor and the smallest.

Pope Benedict XVI

The Pope hits on something significant in the life of the Christian: keeping in front of oneself that God has not abandoned humanity AND that He thirsts for us, He desires to be in relationship with us. In our daily living the baptized seek the face of God (as it is spoken of in the Scriptures) and to recognize Christ in the faces of the people around us and in creation.

This week we’ve heard some beautiful readings of the resurrected Lord thus giving perspective on His previous preaching about the Cross. The resurrection makes things clearer, hopeful. The resurrected Christ laughs in the face of death. Now, He is present to us not merely in one location but now in all places and constantly through the Eucharist. The Incarnation is now a recognizable Divine Fact that walking and talking could not manage. By action of the Holy Spirit Christ is present to all who call on his Name. And we ought to give witness to this fact.

Christ’s resurrection means that now our humanity is elevated to the divine

Addressing all Christians through the mouth of Saint Paul, the Spirit cries out: “If you have risen with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God” (Colossians 3:1).

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For all its brevity, that sentence contains the most amazing assertion. In effect, it signifies not only that Christ has risen and that we ourselves shall one day rise with him, but that we have already risen with Christ through our baptism. The whole mystery of what it is to be a Christian subsists in that statement. Apparently, our human condition remains unchanged; yet Christ’s resurrection has already accomplished its transforming work in the hidden world of our souls. Christians are now only waiting for the outward manifestation of what has already been achieved in Christ. Saint Paul, in fact, goes on to say: “Your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you too will be revealed with him in glory” (Colossians 3:3-4).

The resurrection, therefore, means that here and now our humanity is elevated to the inaccessible realm of the divine. The resurrection is the Good News par excellence, the glorious destiny, far above its own nature, to which the Father’s love has called the human race in his only Son through the gift of the Spirit.

All this only possible through the action of God. In Christ, God comes down to us, takes our carnal nature, and raises it above itself in order to carry it into the intimate presence of the Father, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.

Thus the resurrection of Christ constitutes the first-fruits of our own resurrection. With Christ, part of our humanity is already taken up into the abyss of the Godhead. According to the metaphor employed by the writer to the Hebrews, Christ is like an anchor, which instead of being let down in the depths of the sea, is cast up into the heights of heaven (cf. Hebrews 6:19). He is the guarantee of our hope, because that hope has already been fulfilled in him.

Jean Cardinal Danielou, S.J. (1905-1974)

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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