This beautiful weather (and my neighbor's pretty flowers) makes me hop and skip and the lingering sadness goes away for a while. It has been an unusually somber Easter for us with Notre Dame in flames on Monday of Holy Week and just a month prior, another fire at St. Sulpice. I subscribe to Catholic news agencies and GetReligion published an excellent piece on the increase in vandalism and desecrations of Catholic churches. Alas, he points out that it's not reported. Newsweek reports that officials do not know the reason why. Oh please! France is a secular state; they have turned their back on their Catholic heritage. And just as God used Israel's enemies to punish them for turning their backs to Him, unless we repent and return to our dear Lord Jesus, we too shall perish at the hands of our enemies. Arise, O sleeping Catholics! And come home to Holy Mother Church! When the French president spoke about rebuilding ND, I wondered, for what purpose if it isn't to worship in? As a convert, I feel the loss of faith very, very deeply. Where is the France of the Little Flower? Of Bernadette? Of Catherine Laboure? Of Rene Goupil? Of Joan of Arc? Wikipedia mentions 147 of them and these are just the ones who are known! Oh pray for us, all ye angels and saints! My own response is to pray, pray, pray unceasingly for conversions. And look at these beautiful gifts from the Holy Land from my sister to keep me focused!
After all the beautiful liturgies of the Sacred Triduum and Easter Masses, it was a shock to come home Sunday afternoon to the news of the bombings of Catholic churches and hotels in Sri Lanka. They were killed solely for their faith. I consider them martyrs and their blood will be the seed of the church's growth. Already the West has a declining population of religious--priests from Africa and Asia come here to evangelize. Fr. Dwight Longenecker has a good article about it.
My mother always said we are an Easter people. Even at Christmas, she kept in mind why He was born. To suffer and die for us--the perfect Lamb; to save us all from our sins. And He will be with us until the end of time. He assured us of this on Holy Thursday when he gave us His own Body and Blood and instituted the priesthood. And so I share this beautiful motet with you: Ave Verum Corpus by Josquin, which we had the delight to sing! We only recently learned to sing the chant and although I love both the Byrd and Mozart versions, you can almost hear the chant in the Josquin. I hope we get to sing this again.
We're having a wonderful Easter break, sleeping in daily, cooking, harvesting the first of our lettuce, reading, writing, watching movies. I pray you all have a very happy Eastertide!
Ah vanity, vanity! It makes me post these extra pictures :) It *is* a hoppy Easter!