Thursday of the Octave of Easter
Despite the fact that the Resurrected Jesus often appeared to the disciples, they really did not believe. Surprising? Not at all!
The Lord let the disciples touch him. He ate with them. When they recognized him they were filled with joy. But even then they did not believe, not really. Faith always demands a deepening. Easter joy has to take root in our heart, and that takes time, patience.
Our joy will never be more than superficial until we are convinced that we too are resurrected with Jesus Christ. When that comes we will see the small part in which we play, as St. Paul says, in making up for what is lacking in the Passion of Christ. Easter joy is the lens that enables us to see our daily crosses in the proper perspective. And that takes grace. That takes time.
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.