Friday of the Octave of Easter
Getting a little tired of contemplating the many after-Easter appearance of Jesus? Well, lets look at the responsorial psalm for today’s mass. “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.” Name another time in the year when we should give more thanks to the Lord. This is the week we celebrate his definitive victory over evil, sin and death.
“By the Lord has this been done.” The more we are filled with wonder and admiration for a person we love, the more we are able to give thanks for who he is. The Lord is always spinning situations around, causing surprise graces for ourselves and unexpected conversion of the hardest of hearts. Here is where we witness his work, the “what has been done.” Here is where we are filled with wonder and admiration. Here is where he opens to us his greatest joy.
“It is wonderful in our eyes.” Easter is the time of joyful light. Jesus has passed from death to life and we pass from the shadows into his astonishing light. This is the Easter victory in which we all partake, able to join in thanksgiving with the whole Church.
Grace: An intimate knowledge of the many blessings received, that filled with gratitude for all, I may in all things love and serve the Divine Majesty.
Reflection: In the meditation upon sin, we made reference to Dante’s vision of hell, a cold, desolate place where the fire of love has been extinguished and all lies in a spiritual torpor. This is the perfect image of the heart grown cold to the stirrings of love which God places within it. At the opposite end of Dante’s journey lies a vision that perfectly encapsulates the final meditation of the Spiritual Exercises, the Contemplation to Attain Divine Love. From the lowest reaches of the spiritual universe, Dante ascends to the heights of heaven, where he views “the love that moves the sun and the other stars.” At the heart of the universe lives the Trinitarian God, whose perfect love draws all being into an ordered symphony of praise. Dante feels himself drawn into this harmonic vision through the enflaming of his passions and desires. No one with eyes to see can sit impassively at the vision of God’s love. From the disordered state in which Dante had fallen at the beginning of the poem, he becomes progressively cleansed of his disordered affections through the grace of God and the intercession of Beatrice until finally he is able to pass through the heavens and stand in the presence of God. But notice that Dante only sees God’s depths after he has been interiorly transformed.