The glory of the Catholic Church

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I am once again sharing one of my best essays. I hope you like it, readers.

 

As the medieval times marched towards the creation of Western Civilization, the Catholic Church was the driving force behind all that was good at that time such as the Crusades, the wars fought in defense of the Church, as well as the art and architecture of that time which was the crowning glory of society and the Church.  Medieval comes from the latin word, “medium aveum” meaning the Middle Ages. The medieval times were a glorious era in the Church and the history of the world, but many refuse to see it and instead refer to these times as the dark ages.  In demonstrating the truth about the crusades, one should be able to see that they were just wars fought in defense of the Church and the Holy Land.  The medieval times was a major period in classical civilization, as shown through the art and architecture that came forth from that period. The Catholic Church was the driving force behind all of this good.  It was the Catholic Church that influenced men to join the Crusades and it was the Catholic Church that was behind the architectural beauty in the art and architecture of these medieval times.  All of these things existed for the greater glory of God and His Church.  By showing the proof of the good that came forth from the medieval times, one should be able to see that this was not a period of darkness, but of light.  The world that we experience owes a great deal to the medieval times because they contributed much to what is now the modern world.  The Medieval Ages were not the “Dark Ages” as supported by the truth of the Crusades, as well as the art and architecture that came out of the Catholic Church at that time which formed Western Civilization.

The Catholic Crusades were military wars, taken in defense of the Holy Land against rowenathe Moslems, in the name of the Church.  The truth of these battles is to be found with the Church. The Church has always been militant and at all times she has had valiant warriors to defend her. These warriors were knights of Christ and the Church.  “By translating the notion of a “holy warrior” into Christian terms, a succession of medieval popes and churchmen created the crusader, a “knight for Christ.”[1]   The Crusades were called at a time when the infidels i.e. the Mohammadens had taken control of the Holy Land.  There were four principal crusades. The First Crusade was called by Pope Urban II in 1095.  The First Crusade, from 1095-1099, established the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem and provided more lands for the crusaders.  To understand the important connection between the Crusades and the Catholic Church, one would do well to listen to the words of Pope Urban II, calling the crusaders to battle:  “Christians, hasten to help your brothers in the East, for they are being attacked. Arm for the rescue of Jerusalem under your captain Christ. Wear his cross as your badge. If you are killed your sins will be pardoned.”  Thus, the Crusades were Catholic in origin and fought in defense of Christ’s Church.  The Second Crusade, from 1147-1149 was called in response to the capture of Edessa by the Turks.  This Crusade was mostly a failure because only a few thousand crusaders escaped death at Asia Minor.  However, in the interval between the Second and Third Crusade, the two famous military orders were established, namely the Hospitallers and the Templars, whose duty was the care of sick and wounded crusaders, as well as the protection of the Holy Land.  Third Crusade failed in part because it resulted in the capture of Jerusalem by Saladin in 1187. This Crusade also marked the beginning of the Teutonic Knights.  “Finally, in failing to regain Jerusalem, the Third Crusade marks the beginning of forty years of almost continuous crusading from Europe.”[2]   The Fourth Crusade resulted in the capture of Constantinople instead of Jerusalem.  Thus, one can see that the objectives of the Crusades was the capture of the Holy Land, particularly Jerusalem, from the occupation of the Moslems.   Finally, the Crusades gives one a perfect example of the Church Militant in action.  The duty of the Church Militant is to fight against the world, the flesh and the devil.  The militant crusaders fought the enemy, which were the Moslems.  Thus, the truth about the Crusades demonstrates that the Crusades were not the hallmark of the Dark Ages, but were rather the wars fought in the name of the Church that saved the Holy Land and Christendom.

[1]  “The Crusades and Medieval Christianity,” Utah State University, 2013, http://www.usu.edu/markdamen/1320hist&civ/chapters/15crusad.htm (accessed November 25, 2014).

[2]  Professor Ellis Lee Knox, “Results of the Third Crusade,” History by Knox, http://europeanhistory.boisestate.edu/crusades/3rd/17.shtml  (accessed November 26, 2014).

The art of the medieval times was heavily influenced by the Catholic Church because it showed forth the glory of God in all aspects.  The Passion of Christ was a frequent focus of Italian painting and this was done with much emotion.  “…The episodes of the Passion are colored by painful emotions, such as guilt, intense pity, and grief, and artists often worked to make the viewer share these feelings. In this, they supported the work of contemporary theologians, who urged the faithful to identify with Christ in his sufferings that they might also hope to share his exaltation.”[3]   The artists wanted the viewer to meditate upon the event being portrayed in the picture, thus; medieval art provided much good for the Church.  “The climactic moment of the Passion story is the Crucifixion itself. Paintings of the subject were usually intended to foster meditation on Christ’s self-sacrifice, and they thus indicate his sufferings by showing him hanging heavily, with bowed head and bleeding wounds.”[4]   Many of the famous paintings that one can still see today are a cause for meditation upon the event they portray and thus; even art can lift one’s mind and soul to God.  “According to resolutions agreed at the Council of Trent in 1563, the Catholic Church reaffirmed the value of images in Christian devotion and the importance of the emotions in religious experience.”[5]   In addition to the Passion, the Life of the Blessed Virgin Mary was another popular theme in religious art.  In Byzantine spirituality, she was central.  “Most images of the Virgin stress her role as Christ’s Mother, showing her standing and holding her son. The manner in which the Virgin holds Christ is very particular. Certain poses developed into “types” that became names of sanctuaries or poetic epithets. Hence, an icon of the Virgin was meant to represent her image and, at the same time, the replica of a famous icon original. For example, the Virgin Hodegetria is a popular representation of the Virgin in which she holds Christ on her left arm and gestures toward him with her right hand, showing that he is the way to salvation.” [6]   In Byzantine art, all manner of symbols were used to represent an aspect of virtue.  The color blue represented the Blessed Virgin.  The white lily was a flower used to represent the purity of Our Lady.  The rose represented Our Lady’s love for God.  The crown represents authority, exultation, triumph and grandeur and was always most fitting to adorn the head of the Queen of Heaven.  Therefore, art played a major role in the medieval times, especially in inspiring a greater love for God and the Church through meditation on the wonders of the Faith shown therein.

[3] Sorabella, Jean. “The Crucifixion and Passion of Christ in Italian Painting”. In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–. http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/pass/hd_pass.htm (accessed December 1, 2014).

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid.

The greatest and most beautiful works of art in all of Christendom are found in the architecture, displayed most notably in the famous cathedrals of Europe.  The Gothic architecture flourished during the late middle ages.  The many great cathedrals of Europe attest to this.   Of course, it was the Catholic Church that was behind this architectural beauty that made Christendom so great.  “Gothic architecture and Gothic art are the æsthetic expression of that epoch of European history when paganism had been extinguished, the traditions of classical civilization destroyed, the hordes of barbarian invaders beaten back, or Christianized and assimilated; and when the Catholic Church had established itself not only as the sole spiritual power, supreme and almost unquestioned in authority, but also as the arbiter of the destinies of sovereigns and of peoples.”[7]   Chartres Cathedral is the finest example of the Gothic style of architecture.  Still standing tall and perfectly preserved, it proves the great influence the Catholic Church had over the great wonders of Christendom in the architectural beauty of the greatest churches.  What is most notable about the Gothic style is its tall structure, attained through the development of pointed arches and ribbed vaults.  High towers and arches also emphasize height.  All of this represents the might and glory of God.  The pointed arches reach towards Heaven, which these churches so gloriously represent and are instrumental in lifting one’s mind towards the Heavenly. Another cathedral that stands tall in honor of the Catholic Church is Notre Dame.  It’s the epitome of what Gothic architecture looks like.  One of the first Gothic Cathedrals, it has weathered many storms and today stands as a testament to the indestructible Catholic Faith, which it represents in its beauty, revealed most gloriously in the Gothic style of architecture.  Another popular style of architecture is that of the Romansque architecture.  This architectural style was most notably known for its semi-circular arches, which eventually evolved into the Gothic style of architecture.  This style is known for its thick walls, round arches, large towers, naves and high bell towers.  The churches were built in the shape of a cross which became known as the latin cross.  During this period, the construction work was sponsored by great monastic orders, such as the Cluniac order.  Some well-known churches of the Cluniac order are St. Martin in Tours, St. Sernin in Toulouse, and Santiago de Compostela in Spain, all of which have great similarity in plan and design.  Hence, the architecture of the medieval times stands as a testimony to the grandeur of the so-called dark ages and the influence the Catholic Church had over this aspect of civilization.

[7] Cram, Ralph Adams.  “Gothic Architecture.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 6. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1909. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06665b.htm (accessed December 2, 2014).

As proven, the Catholic Church had a major influence over all those crusaders who gave their lives in defense of the Church and all that was beauty in the art and architecture of those times.  Every knight of old who spilt their blood and turned the fields of the Holy Land red will testify to this truth –  the true darkness of their age was their enemy as they fought to civilize the barbarians who had invaded Jerusalem.  It was the Divine Potency that enabled the Templar to carry the cross into battle in defense God and the honor of his homeland.  The art expressed the cause, the architecture the conquest, as the whole drama unfolded throughout the land once trodden underfoot by One shod with the Gospel of the preparation of peace.  And thus it was ever meant to be: just war.  The blows of Christ expressed in a human dimension that transcends time and place; the birth pains of an ever approaching cataclysmic Armageddon like conclusion of the passion of the human race, uniting the sufferings of the image He made, to the sufferings of His Christ for the redemption of the world as it groans towards a new day with the former passing away, creating the scars from the wounds formed by the whip in the athletic scourge’s hand; the sword in knight’s clenched fist, the whole Body of Christ must be redeemed, it seems.  What is left of Christendom today is the art and architecture from those so-called dark ages which stands as proof that the influence of the Catholic Church surpassed all times and places and shaped every facet of society, as only it should since the Catholic Church is the ruler of all peoples and nations.

~Damsel of the Faith

Bibliography

Bréhier, Louis.  “Crusades.” In The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1908, http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04543c.htm  (accessed September 23, 2014).

Carroll, Anne W.  Christ the King, Lord of History.  Charlotte: Tan Books, 2012.

Cram, Ralph Adams.  “Gothic Architecture.”  In The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1909, http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06665b.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Lucas, Herbert.   “Ecclesiastical Architecture.”  In The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1909, http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05257a.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Michuad, Fr. Joseph.  “The History of the Crusades.”  New York: A.C. Armstrong and Son, 1900.

Norris, Michael. Medieval Art: A Resource for Educators. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2005.

Sorabella, Jean.  “The Crucifixion and Passion of Christ in Italian Painting.” In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000 http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/pass/hd_pass.htm  (accessed December 4, 2014).

Knox, Professor Ellis Lee.  “Results of the Third Crusade.” History by Knox, http://europeanhistory.boisestate.edu/crusades/3rd/17.shtml  (accessed November 26, 2014).

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World’s smallest Catholic church

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A nice story of a little known church – the smallest parish in the world.

https://aleteia.org/2018/04/16/the-worlds-smallest-catholic-church-is-in-texas/

The sign outside St. Martin’s Catholic Church in Warrenton, Texas, is meant to catch the eye of visitors taking leisurely drives down rural Route 237, halfway between Austin and Houston: “HISTORICAL, WORLD’S SMALLEST CATHOLIC CHURCH, ST. MARTIN’S, VISITORS WELCOME.”
Without the sign, a passerby might mistake the tiny church for a shed or child’s playhouse, as Gerald McLeod notes in his article about the church in the Austin Chronicle.

“We get lots of people asking about the history of the church,” Mary Leitko with the Round Top Chamber of Commerce told the Austin Chronicle. “It’s quite a local tourist attraction.”

Mass is celebrated once a month (“for the intentions left at the altar”) in the 12-foot by 16-foot church, which has barely enough room for six rows of pews to seat 20 people. Members of the parish can attend two other, much larger churches in nearby Fayetteville.
According to a history of the church, McLeod notes that there was once a larger church by the same name where the tiny one stands. In 1915, when the population shifted to the cities, the church became less necessary, and the original St. Martin’s was dismantled in order to use the wood to build a school in Fayetteville.
According to the article in the Austin Chronicle, the parishioners used leftover wood salvaged from the school project to build the little church overlooking the original St. Martin’s church cemetery.

When the school was finally demolished in 1968, many of the original church fixtures were transferred to the chapel, including the altar, the church bell, statues, and an oil painting of St. Martin.

Liberalism pt. 1

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The Society is starting a new series on liberalism, that looks to be a good one. I will post here as installments come out.

http://sspx.org/en/news-events/news/archbishop-and-anti-liberalism-introduction

Making Peace with Liberalism

In the wake of the Second Vatican Council, the “received wisdom” in the West, particularly the United States and Europe, was that the Catholic Church had not only made its peace with liberalism, but had internalized its core tenets. Dignitatis Humanae, Vatican II’s declaration on religious liberty, opened the doors to religious indifferentism, both within society and the Church. Other declarations of the Council, along with the so-called “Spirit of Vatican II” which prevailed during the decades after, ushered in reforms to the Church’s liturgy, theology, canon law, and governance structure. Although Church officials maintained a strong stance on critical social issues such as abortion and euthanasia, an ever-growing number turned a blind eye to moral matters such as contraception, promiscuity, and unnatural unions.

In the political realm, the mainline Catholic Church has all but endorsed liberal democracy as the best political system. This positive attitude endures despite many liberal-democratic principles, including the false notion that political authority derives from “the people,” were expressly condemned beginning in the 18th century. With regard to political economy, both free-market capitalism and socialism—two economic forms that often compete for dominance within liberal polities—find acceptance in contemporary Catholic circles. And yet even a cursory read of Pope Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum or Pius XI’s Quadragesimo Anno reveals stern dismissals of both as incompatible with divine and natural law.

The SSPX’s Anti-Liberal Witness
While a great deal more will be said about the SSPX and Archbishop Lefebvre’s anti-liberalism in subsequent articles, a few introductory words are in order. Following Vatican II and the introduction of the Novus Ordo Missae, Archbishop Lefebvre established the SSPX for the primary purpose of keeping alive the traditional Catholic priesthood. Bound up with this apostolic work was the duty to speak out—sometimes forcefully—against the liberal errors that invaded the Church in the 1960s and wreaked havoc over the course of the following decades. Shunned by his fellow prelates for refusing to accept such Vatican II novelties as religious liberty, collegiality, and ecumenism, Archbishop Lefebvre and his nascent fraternity of priests struggled on, providing traditional catechesis and sacraments to the faithful while disseminating timely information on the crisis in the Church.

Resurrection of the body

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On the last day, our bodies will rise in the likeness of Christ & be united to our souls, nevermore to be separated. We shall either rejoice in glory in body & soul or suffer eternally in body & soul.  Since we have become like unto God, who is in heaven in both body & soul, what more fitting way for us to spend eternity with him than by imitating the Resurrection of His body?

Now Christ rose again of youthful age, which begins about the age of thirty years, as Augustine says (De Civitate Dei xxii). Therefore others also will rise again of a youthful age. Further, man will rise again at the most perfect stage of nature. Now human nature is at the most perfect stage in the age of youth. Therefore all will rise again of that age… Man will rise again without any defect of human nature, because as God founded human nature without a defect, even so will He restore it without defect. Now human nature has a twofold defect. First, because it has not yet attained to its ultimate perfection. Secondly, because it has already gone back from its ultimate perfection. The first defect is found in children, the second in the aged: and consequently in each of these human nature will be brought by the resurrection to the state of its ultimate perfection which is in the youthful age, at which the movement of growth terminates, and from which the movement of decrease begins.”  -St. Thomas Aquinas

“This body shall be raised, not remaining weak as it is now; it this same body shall be raised. By putting on incorruption it shall be altered, as iron bending with fire becomes fire – or rather, as the Lord who raises us knows. However it be, this body shall be raised, but it shall not remain such as it is; rather, it shall abide as an eternal body. It shall no longer require for its life such nourishment as now, nor shall it require a ladder for its ascent; for it shall be made a spiritual body, a marvelous thing, such as we have not the ability to describe. ‘Then shall the just,’ it is said, ‘shine forth like the sun and the moon, and like the spender of the firmament.’ And knowing beforehand the disbelief of man, God has caused little worms in the summer to emit beams of light from their bodies, so that from the things seen that which is awaited might be believed. He that gives the part is able also to give the whole; and He that made the worm radiant with light will much more be able to make radiant a righteous man. We shall be raised, then, all having eternal bodies, but not all with bodies alike. If a man is righteous, he shall receive a heavenly body, so that he may be able to converse worthily with the angels. But if a man is sinful, he shall receive an eternal body fitted to endure the penalties of sins, so that he may burn in the eternal fire without ever being consumed. And justly will God assign to those of either group their portion; for we do nothing without the body. We blaspheme with the mouth; with the mouth we pray. We fornicate with the body; with the body we are chaste. We rob with the hand; with the hand be bestow alms; and the rest in like manner. Since in all things the body has been our agent, it too shall in the future share in the fruits of what has been done.”  -St. Cyril of Jerusalem

“They will sacreligiously defile the churches…”

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St. Bridget was a great mystic, Prophetess & Saint. She is the foundress of the Order of the Most Holy Saviour & was instrumental in Church reforms of convents, abbeys & religious orders of her day. God graces her with many visions & prophecies, which can be read here:

http://www.catholic-saints.net/saints/st-bridget/

This particular one is poignant to our time, especially for the mention of the date. Read on:

The time of Antichrist will be near when the measure of injustice will overflow and when wickedness has grown to immense proportions, when Christians love heresies and the unjust trample underfoot the servants of God.

At the end of this age, the Antichrist will be born. As Christ was born from the highest type of womanhood (Virgin), so Antichrist will be born from the lowest (prostitute). He will be a child-wonder at birth. His mother will be an accursed woman, who will pretend to be well informed about spiritual things, and his father an accursed man, from the seed of whom the Devil shall form his work. The time of this Antichrist, well known to Me, will come when iniquity and impiety shall above measure abound, when injustice shall have filled the measure to overflowing, and wickedness shall have grown to immeasurable proportions.
It is not in the time described by the brother whose books, thou has seen. Before, however, Antichrist arrives, the gate of Faith will be opened to some nations, and Scripture shall be verified. People without intelligence will glorify Me, and deserts shall be inhabited. Hence, when many Christians will be lovers of heresies, and wicked men will persecute the clergy and trample spirituality and justice under foot, this should be the sign that Antichrist shall come without delay.”

Lastly, he shall arrive, the most wicked of men, and, helped by the Jews, he will fight against the whole world; he will reign during three years, and shall have dominion over the whole earth; he will make every effort to abolish from the earth the Christian name, and very many Christians shall be killed.”

In the year 1980 the wicked shall prevail; they will profane and sacreligiously defile the churches, by erecting in them altars to idols and to Antichrist, whom they will worship, and will attempt to force others to do the same.

Rome will be visited by sword and fire and plowed under.

The Easter Duty

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The Church requires that her children, at the very bare minimum, receives Holy Communion once a year, during Eastertide.

Dom Prosper Gueranger explains:

​It was in the year 1215, in the 4th General Council of Lateran, that the Church, seeing the ever growing indifference of her children, decreed with regret that Christians should be strictly bound to Communion only once in the year, and that that Communion of obligation should be made at Easter. In order to show the faithful that this is the uttermost limit of her condescension to lukewarmness, she declares, in the same Council, that he that shall presume to break this law, may be forbidden to enter a church during life, and he deprived of Christian burial after death, as he would be if he had, of his own accord, separated himself from the exterior link of Catholic unity.

[Two centuries after this, Pope Eugenius the Fourth, in the Constitution Digna Fide, given in the year 1440, allowed this annual Communion to be made on any day between Palm Sunday and Low Sunday inclusively.  In England, by permission of the Holy See, the time for making the Easter Communion extends from Ash Wednesday to Low Sunday].

These regulations of a General Council show how important is the duty of the Easter Communion; but, at the same time, they make us shudder at the thought of the millions, throughout the Catholic world, who brave each year the threats of the Church, by refusing to comply with a duty, which would both bring life to their souls, and serve as a profession of their faith. And when we again reflect upon how many even of those who make their Easter Communion, have paid no more attention to the Lenten Penance than if there were no such obligation in existence, we cannot help feeling sad, and we wonder within ourselves, how long God will bear with such infringements of the Christian Law?

The fifty days between Easter and Pentecost have ever been considered by the Church as most holy. The first week, which is more expressly devoted to celebrating our Lord’s Resurrection, is kept up as one continued Feast; but the remainder of the fifty days is also marked with special honors. To say nothing of the joy, which is the characteristic of this period of the year, and of which the Alleluia is the expression,- Christian tradition has assigned to Eastertide two practices, which distinguish it from every other Season.

The first is, that fasting is not permitted during the entire interval: it is an extension of the ancient precept of never fasting on a Sunday, and the whole of Eastertide is considered as one long Sunday. This practice, which would seem to have come down from the time of the Apostles, was accepted by the Religious Rules of both East and West, even by the severest.

The second consists in not kneeling at the Divine Office, from Easter to Pentecost. The Eastern Churches have faithfully kept up the practice, even to this day. It was observed for many ages by the Western Churches also; but now, it is little more than a remnant. The Latin Church has long since admitted genuflections in the Mass during Easter time. The few vestiges of the ancient discipline in this regard, which still exist, are not noticed by the faithful, inasmuch as they seldom assist at the Canonical Hours.

Eastertide, then, is like one continued Feast. It is the remark made by Tertullian, in the 3rd century. He is reproaching those Christians who regretted having renounced, by their Baptism, the festivities of the pagan year; and he thus addresses them: “If you love Feasts, you will find plenty among us Christians; not merely Feasts that last only for a day, but such as continue for several days together.

The Pagans keep each of their Feasts once in the year; but you have to keep each of yours many times over, for you have the eight days of its celebration. Put all the Feasts of the Gentiles together, and they do not amount to our fifty days of Pentecost.” [De Idolatria, cap. xiv.] St. Ambrose speaking on the same subject, says: “If the Jews are not satisfied with the Sabbath of each week, but keep also one which lasts a whole month, and another which lasts a whole year;- how much more ought not we to honor our Lord’s Resurrection? Hence our ancestors have taught us to celebrate the fifty days of Pentecost as a continuation of Easter. They are seven weeks, and the Feast of Pentecost commences the eighth. … During these fifty days, the Church observes no fast, as neither does she on any Sunday, for it is the day on which our Lord rose: and all these fifty days are like so many Sundays.” [In Lucam, lib. viii. cap. xxv.]

The Sabbath – Easter

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Easter has just began, this most blessed period in the mystery of our salvation, which lasts until Pentecost. The Sabbath is on Sunday because the Resurrection, the foundation of our Faith, took place on that day, that blessed of days that will forever be hallowed throughout history.

A meditation from Dom Prosper Gueranger:

We give the name of Paschal Time to the period between Easter Sunday and the Saturday following Whit Sunday. It is the most sacred portion of the Liturgical Year, and the one towards which the whole Cycle converges. We shall easily understand how this is, if we reflect upon the greatness of the Easter Feast, which is called the Feast of Feasts, and the Solemnity of Solemnities, in the same manner, says St. Gregory, [Homilia, xxii.] as the most sacred part of the Temple was called the Holy of Holies; and the Book of Sacred Scripture, wherein are described the espousals between Christ and the Church, is called the Canticle of Canticles. It is on this day, that the mission of the Word Incarnate attains the object towards which it has hitherto been unceasingly tending: mankind is raised up from his fall, and regains what he had lost by Adam’s sin.

Christmas gave us a Man-God; three days have scarcely passed, since we witnessed His infinitely precious Blood shed for our ransom; but now, on the day of Easter, our Jesus is no longer the Victim of death: He is a Conqueror, that destroys death, the child of sin, and proclaims life, that undying life which He has purchased for us. The humiliation of His swathing-bands, the sufferings of His Agony and Cross, these are passed; all is now glory,- glory for Himself, and glory also for us. On the day of Easter, God regains, by the Resurrection of the Man-God, His creation such as He made it at the beginning; the only vestige now left of death, is that likeness to sin which the Lamb of God deigned to take upon Himself. Neither is it Jesus alone that returns to eternal life; the whole human race also has risen to immortality together with our Jesus. “By a man came death,” says the Apostle; “and by a Man the Resurrection of the dead: and as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive.” [1 Cor. xv. 21,22].

The anniversary of this Resurrection is, therefore, the great Day, the day of joy, the day par excellence; the day to which the whole year looks forward in expectation, and on which its whole economy is formed. But as it is the holiest of days,- since it opens to us the gate of Heaven, into which we shall enter because we have risen together with Christ,- the Church would have us come to it well prepared by bodily mortification and by compunction of heart. It was for this that she instituted the Fast of Lent, and that she bade us, during Septuagesima, look forward to the joy of her Easter, and be filled with sentiments suitable to the approach of so grand a solemnity. We obeyed; we have gone through the period of our preparation; and now the Easter sun has risen upon us!

But it was not enough to solemnize the great Day when Jesus, our Light, rose from the darkness of the tomb: there was another anniversary which claimed our grateful celebration. The Incarnate Word rose on the first day of the week,- that same day, where on, four thousand years before, He, the Uncreated Word of the Father, had begun the work of the Creation, by calling forth light, and separating it from darkness.

The first day was thus ennobled by the creation of light. It received a second consecration by the Resurrection of Jesus; and from that time forward Sunday, and not Saturday, was to be the Lord’s Day. Yes, our Resurrection in Jesus which took place on the Sunday, gave this first day a pre-eminence above the others of the week: the divine precept of the Sabbath was abrogated together with the other ordinances of the Mosaic Law, and the Apostles instructed the faithful to keep holy the first day of the week, which God had dignified with that twofold glory, the creation and the regeneration of the world. Sunday, then, being the day of Jesus’ Resurrection, the Church chose that day, in preference to every other, for its yearly commemoration. The Pasch of the Jews, in consequence of its being fixed on the fourteenth of the moon of March, (the anniversary of the going out of Egypt,) fell by turns on each day of the week.

The Jewish Pasch was but a figure; ours is the reality, and puts an end to the figure. The Church, therefore, broke this her last tie with the Synagogue; and proclaimed her emancipation, by fixing the most solemn of her Feasts on a day, which should never agree with that on which the Jews keep their now unmeaning Pasch. The Apostles decreed, that the Christian Pasch should never be celebrated on the fourteenth of the moon of March, even were that day to be a Sunday; but that it should be everywhere kept on the Sunday following the day on which the obsolete calendar of the Synagogue still marks it.

Nevertheless, out of consideration for the many Jews who had received Baptism, and who formed the nucleus of the early Christian Church, it was resolved that the law regarding the day for keeping the new Pasch, should be applied prudently and gradually. Jerusalem was soon to be destroyed by the Romans, according to our Savior’s prediction; and the new City, which was to rise up from its ruins and receive the Christian colony, would also have its Church, but a Church totally free from the Jewish element, which God had so visibly rejected. In preaching the Gospel and founding Churches, even far beyond the limits of the Roman Empire, the majority of the Apostles had not to contend with Jewish customs; most of their converts were from among the Gentiles.