Walking and Talking

From Evening Prayer in the Liturgy of the Hours during Ordinary Time the closing prayer for Week IV on Monday evenings reads:

Stay with us, Lord Jesus,
for evening draws near,
and be our companion on our way
to set our hearts on fire with new hope.
Help us to recognize your presence among us 
in the Scriptures we read,
and in the breaking of bread,
for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
one God for ever and ever.
As his disciples were walking and talking along the way, Jesus comes up to them (though they were unable to recognize him) and he asks:
“What is this conversation which you are holding with each other as you walk?” 
(Lk 24: 17)
Why they were talking about Jesus! Should this not be our conversation with each other as we walk together along the Way? Shouldn’t we be able to help each other to recognize him? 
This can only be done if we get to know him through the Scriptures which will cause “our hearts to burn within us” sparked with the flame of faith. Then, after getting to know him in the Scriptures, we can see him with the eyes of faith in the breaking of the bread, the Eucharistic bread.
The Word and Eucharist are our sustenance – food for the journey. May his words be on our lips and  burn within our hearts as we walk and talk with each other, and may we see him and recognize him in each other when our eyes are opened at the breaking of the bread – all with Jesus as our companion on our way.

Weeping Outside the Tomb

“But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb.” (Jn 20 : 11)
“I wouldn’t consider it safe for a soul, however favored by God, to forget that at one time it saw itself in a miserable state. Although recalling this misery is a painful thing, doing so is helpful…”     “No relief is afforded this suffering by the thought that our Lord has already pardoned and forgotten the sins. Rather, it adds to the suffering to see so much goodness and realize that favors are granted to one who deserves nothing but hell.” (St. Teresa of Jesus, I.C. VI: 7, 4)
Such is the martyrdom of Mary Magdalene.  She who had received so many favors and had come to know the greatness of God, sits by the tomb remembering her misery. Her love for God was deep; indeed, she was sick with love, a love that cannot hide itself. “And such is the inebriation and courage of love: Knowing that her Beloved was shut up in the tomb by a huge sealed rock and surrounded by guards so the disciples could not steal his body, she did not permit this to keep her from going out with ointments before daybreak to anoint him.” (St. John of the Cross, Dark Night II: 13, 6)
As she turns around she sees Jesus standing before her, though she did not recognize Him. He asks her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom do you seek?” (Jn 20: 15) This is where her ardent love shows forth. She loved Him so much that she thought she would go and take Jesus away, regardless of any obstacles, if only the gardener would tell her where He is hidden.
“Such are the traits of these longings of love that the soul experiences…It anxiously and forcibly goes out in search of its God.” (Dark Night II: 13, 8) St. John of the Cross calls this unceasing searching for God the second step on the mystical ladder of divine love. (Dark Night II: 19, 2) Notice how this love is manifested in the Magdalene, she…”did not even pay attention to the angels at the sepulcher.” (Jn 20: 14 and Dark Night II:19, 2)
May our own hearts act similarly to Mary Magdalene’s and with ardent love let us go out in search for Him in the garden, Him who died for our sins and raised us out of our misery, blessing us with so much goodness and grace. 

Multitudes on Monday

Joining with those at A Holy Experience…counting a thousand gifts….

24. Warm sunny day with a light cool breeze

25. Chocolate on a little girl’s face

26. The smell of hyacinths

27. The glow of light from the flame of a candle

28. Laughter

29. Large, feast day meals

30. My faith, my family, my friends

31. The Resurrection of Christ

Why is this night different from all other nights?

The Exultet 
is a hymn in praise of the paschal candle sung by the deacon, in the liturgy of Holy Saturday. This hymn beautifully explains why this night is different from all other nights.


Rejoice, heavenly powers! Sing, choirs of angels!
Exult, all creation around God’s throne!
Jesus Christ, our King, is risen!
Sound the trumpet of salvation!

Rejoice, O earth, in shining splendor,
radiant in the brightness of your King!
Christ has conquered! Glory fills you!
Darkness vanishes for ever!

Rejoice, O Mother Church! Exult in glory!
The risen Savior shines upon you!
Let this place resound with joy,
echoing the mighty song of all God’s people!

My dearest friends,
standing with me in this holy light,
join me in asking God for mercy,

that he may give his unworthy minister
grace to sing his Easter praises.

Deacon: The Lord be with you.
People: And also with you.
Deacon: Lift up your hearts.
People: We lift them up to the Lord.
Deacon: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
People: It is right to give him thanks and praise.

It is truly right
that with full hearts and minds and voices
we should praise the unseen God, the all-powerful Father,
and his only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

For Christ has ransomed us with his blood,
and paid for us the price of Adam’s sin to our eternal Father!

This is our passover feast,
when Christ, the true Lamb, is slain,
whose blood consecrates the homes of all believers.

This is the night
when first you saved our fathers:
you freed the people of Israel from their slavery
and led them dry-shod through the sea.

This is the night
when the pillar of fire destroyed the darkness of sin!

This is the night
when Christians everywhere,
washed clean of sin and freed from all defilement,
are restored to grace and grow together in holiness.

This is the night
when Jesus Christ broke the chains of death
and rose triumphant from the grave.

What good would life have been to us,
had Christ not come as our Redeemer?
Father, how wonderful your care for us!
How boundless your merciful love!
To ransom a slave you gave away your Son.

O happy fault,
O necessary sin of Adam,
which gained for us so great a Redeemer!

Most blessed of all nights,
chosen by God to see Christ rising from the dead!

Of this night scripture says:
“The night will be as clear as day:
it will become my light, my joy.”

The power of this holy night dispels all evil,
washes guilt away, restores lost innocence,
brings mourners joy;
it casts out hatred, brings us peace,
and humbles earthly pride.

Night truly blessed when heaven is wedded to earth
and man is reconciled with God!

Therefore, heavenly Father,
in the joy of this night,
receive our evening sacrifice of praise,
your Church’s solemn offering.

Accept this Easter candle,
a flame divided but undimmed,
a pillar of fire that glows to the honor of God.

(For it is fed by the melting wax,
which the mother bee brought forth
to make this precious candle.)

Let it mingle with the lights of heaven
and continue bravely burning
to dispel the darkness of this night!

May the Morning Star which never sets
find this flame still burning:
Christ, that Morning Star,
who came back from the dead,
and shed his peaceful light on all mankind,
your Son, who lives and reigns for ever and ever.

The Last Words of Christ

The Last Words of Christ spoken during His passion on the cross are seven sayings that form part of a Christian meditation that is often used during Lent, Holy Week and Good Friday. 

Traditionally, they are meditated on in the following order:

1. “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)
2. “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43)
3. “Woman, behold your son: behold your mother.” (John 19:26-27)
4. “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34)
5. “I thirst.” (John 19:28)
6. “It is finished.” (John 19:30)
7. “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” (Luke 23:46).