Monday, April 09, 2007

This side of Easter

It is not dutiful observance that keeps us from sin, but something far greater: it is love. And this love is not something which we develop by our own powers alone. It is a sublime gift of the divine mercy, and the fact that we live in the realization of this mercy and this gift is the greatest source of growth for our love and for our holiness.

This gift, this mercy, this unbounded love of God for us has been lavished upon us as a result of Christ’s victory. To taste this love is to share in His victory. To realize our freedom, to exult in our liberation from death, from sin and from the Law, is to sing the Alleluia which truly glorifies God in this world and the world to come."

Thomas Merton Seasons of Celebration . New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1950: pp. 156-57

Enter all of you, therefore, into the joy of our Lord, and, whether first or last, receive your reward. O rich and poor, one with another, dance for joy! O you ascetics and you negligent, celebrate the day! You that have fasted and you that have disregarded the fast, rejoice today! The table is rich-laden; feast royally, all of you! The calf is fatted; let no one go forth hungry!

Let all partake of the feast of faith. Let all receive the riches of goodness.

Let no one lament his poverty, for the universal kingdom has been revealed.

Let no one mourn his transgressions, for pardon has dawned from the grave.

Let no one fear death, for the Saviour’s death has set us free.

St John Chrysostom, Paschal Homily quoted by Karen Marie Knapp in From the Anchor Hold

Truly his grace and his mercy are without end "...if the many died through the one man’s trespass, much more surely have the grace of God and the free gift in the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, abounded for the many." (Romans 5:15) for "...mercy triumphs over judgement." (James 2:13)

We are as free today as feathers on the breath of God, to borrow St Hildegard's phrase... I pray God will never let me forget the immediate and absolute truth that that is how we are, forever, this side of Easter! Alleluia!

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