Sunday, April 15, 2012

It's Still Easter

  There are only six weeks of lent, and it is great that most practicing Catholics make some kind of effort to observe these. Too bad so few go out of their way to observe the seven weeks of rejoicing after the six weeks of penance.  This is the time of year to let the kids stay up a tad later some nights,  to take them out to dairy queen, visit the zoo, or whatever strikes the family as fun and out of the ordinary, saying, "since it's Easter time, let's do X."

In the same vein, it's a great season for husbands and wives to go out on a few dates, buy and share a bottle of really fine wine, or go by themselves to a gorgeous state park or other Beautiful place and enjoy the scenery and have a picnic lunch.  It's Easter after all. He is risen. So act that way.

Keeping  up with the Divine Office will help preserve your Easter mood. Every day there are readings and antiphons reminding you that there is reason to rejoice. For example,Monday's Office of Readings has a nice second reading comparing Easter to Passover, by Pseudo-Chrysostom. First pause to wonder about this name. You get the initial impression of some impostor posing as St. John C., passing off his sermons as those of the golden-tongued orator of Constantinople. Would be very interesting if such a rascal had made it into the Church's liturgical books. Unfortunately, the truth is more prosaic. Pseudo-Chrysostom is really Anonymous, whose work has been mistakenly attributed to the real Chrysostom before the scholars figured things out. I wonder what Pseudo-Chrysostom and real-Chrysostom remark  to one another in heaven  about this little mix up.

So here's what Pseudo-C. says  about Old Testament types and figures of salvation: the presence of the reality makes the symbol obsolete: when the king appears in person no one pays any attention to his statue.  As a Catholic with a collection of graven images, I really enjoy this analogy. We certainly aren't staring at the Sacred Heart statue or the crucifix in church during the consecration, right?

And although this analogy seems at first glance pretty dismissive of our Jewish brothers and sisters, there's another way to look at it. If an entire people doesn't realize that the King has appeared in person, but continued through the centuries to honor the symbols of him, the rest of us who know better  would (should) respect and honor those people for their attachment to the symbols, even while feeling sorry that they missed the main event.  Correct?

The real King has come, defeated the enemy, and invited us to His banquet. Rejoice.


  1. Daria, BOOK ALERT related to your entry:
    Witness of the Saints: Patristic Readings in the Liturgy of the Hours [Hardcover]
    Milton Walsh (Author)Ignatius (Publisher)
    Book Description
    Publication Date: October 1, 2012
    The writings of the Fathers of the Church have never been more widely available, yet obtaining an exhaustive and userfriendly volume of patristics can still be a daunting task. Without realizing it, many priests, seminarians, members of religious communities, and even laity already own a patristic library-- their Liturgy of the Hours.

    In the four volumes of the Liturgy of the Hours, the official daily prayer of the Catholic Church, there are nearly 600 selections from the writings of Fathers and saints. Seeing the potential of this vast collection as a theological resource, Milton Walsh has organized these selections by topics according to the four pillars of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. This topical concordance allows the reader to compare what the various authors have written on the same themes, while a chronological timeline of the readings shows their relationship to each other in time.

    Walsh has also provided background on the liturgical celebrations of the Church, as well as historical information on each author. In addition, there is a chapter on how patristic readings can assist in understanding the Bible.

    This fresh and original presentation of material that is literally at the fingertips of anyone praying the Liturgy of the Hours can be a tremendous aid to both religious devotion and theological study.

    There is the blurb. Looking forward to it!


    1. Wow, that sounds wonderful. That will definitely be on my Christmas list.
      Right now I'm planning on ordering that African Pauline breviary you told me about for my combined birthday/wedding anniversary/mother's day gift this year. With postage it's gonna be $145, but I think it will be worth the use I get from it until a revised American edition comes along.

    2. I do not think you will regret the purchase and it will give you more to write about here. The Office of Readings for the saints include all saints added to the general Roman calender through 2007 (such as Padre Pio), plus those proper to Africa. In the African LOTH, if I recall correctly, all of the wonderful poetry is still in the back of every volume. In fact, while strictly speaking these are not "liturgical" like the old Roman hymns, the poetry is beautiful and in of itself a great source of meditation. As part of explaining the Palm Sunday liturgy to my 2nd grade church school class, I read them the hymn from the Monastic Diurnal Latin-English from St. Michael's Abbey. It went over well, so I plan to use some of the poetry from the LOTH with the class in in the future. Since poetry is written music, it has been my experience that children respond well to good poetry.

  2. Right you are: "He is risen, so act that way." I love it!

  3. I found the reading very interesting also, especially when he brought up about passover being the beginning of the year, and the ressurection the beginning of our new life. I thought it was a great insight.

    1. The reading during the Easter season are arguably the most intense, interesting, and satisfying readings of the entire year.