March 31, 2013

Happy Easter! Christos Anesti!

Easter Vigil, fire and Pascal candle, Fr Xavier

Easter Vigil, St Dominic's Church, March 30, 2013.
This picture I took may be a blur to most people, but it's a very cool moment. Sunday in the Church's reckoning begins at sunset on Saturday. The Easter Vigil commences in spooky darkness. A fire blazes up. The procession enters and approaches the fire, for the Service of Light, the Lucinarium. The fire is blessed and the Pascal Candle is prepared--you can see our pastor reading, and the candle. Everyone has small candles, and the flame begins to be passed from person to person, until the whole church is ablaze. Christ is risen!

The Vigil is the real celebration of Easter in the Church. The Sunday services are awesome, but secondary.

Bl. John Henry Newman, on why Jesus did not show himself to the multitudes when he was resurrected from the dead. [link]...

..It would seem, then, that our Lord gave His attention to a few, because, if the few be gained, the many will follow. To these few He showed Himself again and again. These He restored, comforted, warned, inspired. He formed them unto Himself, that they might show forth His praise. . . .

Doubtless, much may be undone by the many, but nothing is done except by those who are specially trained for action. . . . If the witnesses were to be such as really loved and obeyed the Truth, there could not be many chosen. Christ's cause was the cause of light and religion, therefore His advocates and ministers were necessarily few. . .

Now, let us observe how much matter, both for warning and comfort, is supplied by this view. We learn from the picture of the infant Church what that Church has been ever since, that is, as far as man can understand it. Many are called, few are chosen. . . .

But, besides this, we are comforted too; we are comforted, as many of us as are living humbly in the fear of God. Who those secret ones are, who in the bosom of the visible Church live as saints fulfilling their calling, God only knows.

. . .Let all "who love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity" be quite sure, that weak though they seem, and solitary, yet the "foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men." The many are "deceitful," and the worldly-wise are "vain;" but he "that feareth the Lord, the same shall be praised." The most excellent gifts of the intellect last but for a season. Eloquence and wit, shrewdness and dexterity, these plead a cause well and propagate it quickly, but it dies with them. It has no root in the hearts of men, and lives not out a generation. It is the consolation of the despised Truth, that its works endure.
Posted by John Weidner at March 31, 2013 6:44 PM
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