Monday of the Third Week of Easter
One of the overarching themes of the Easter season is presented in this week’s readings, namely, eternal life. The Gospel presents this theme beautifully with the words, “Do not work for food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life which the Son of Man will give you” (John 6:27). Too often in today’s world, we are consumers who are constantly looking for things to fill our stomachs, our minds, our houses, or our quiet time. Yet, Christ takes a different approach; happiness is found by those who believe in Jesus and who share in His meal (the Eucharist). As we enter into this week, the question that we should continuously ask ourselves is, “whether we looking for Jesus because of the signs that He worked or because of our faith in our Risen Savior?”
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.