Sunday, March 31, 2013

It is Easter!

Easter 1936, St. Luigi Orione sent a circular letter to his confreres, friends, benefactors and beneficiaries. He invited them to hope by remembering that Christ is risen.

Buenos Aires, April 1936

Dearly beloved in the Lord,

Peace be with you!

I am writing to give you my Easter wishes.  May they bring to each and everyone of you the joy and the happiness of the Resurrection.

Christ, "our Paschal Victim," has been sacrificed.  The Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, is dead, and by His death has destroyed death itself.  But He is the resurrection and the life and today He is gloriously risen, and by His resurrection He has renewed life.

 This is Easter!  Easter signifies the passover.  The word comes from the Hebrew, the Passover - of fallen man, from the state of slavery of sin and death, to the freedom of the sons of God and to the possession of a complete new life of grace.  The Christian Easter is our rehabilitation in the sight of Heaven, it is the moral and spiritual resurrection of humanity.

It is Easter: let us sing Hosanna to the One who rose again: Alleluia!  Alleluia!  This is the day that the Lord has made: let us rejoice and be glad in it, with actions of purity and of truth.

Alleluia!  Let us praise and glorify our God.  This is the Resurrection and the victory of Christ over the darkness.  He is the Victorious King who comes out of the tomb after defeating death, and ascends to open the doors of Heaven for us once more.  Already the deacon, in his white dalmatic, has announced this indescribable joy to the believers.

Easter is "the Feast of feasts," the "Solemnity of solemnities," as the Resurrection of the Lord is the greatest of miracles, it is the seal of our faith in the divinity of Christ.

This is Easter, dearly beloved: Alleluia!  Alleluia!

Peace be with you, peace with you all!  It is the time of gentle and holy joys, the time of the utmost spiritual consolation.  Christ is risen: Alleluia!

It is Easter!  Let us open our eyes to the new light, let us free ourselves from all weakness and moral evil, let us rise up, my dear people, from the anxious cares of this miserable life to the joys of the blessed life.  Lift up your hearts, brothers, raise them high! 

Christ is risen!  Oh, may Christ rise also in us if we have ever failed along the way.  May He live in us with His grace, and let us live in Him and of Him, as outside of Him there is no life or any consolation of any value.  Live Christ and make the whole world live of Christ!

May the victory of the Lord be our victory too, and may death, for us also, be a passage into a new life, one day making this body radiant, this body which the tomb will enclose only for a while.

Christ is risen!  But He is still among us, He is always with us in order to dry every tear and to transform all suffering into love.

Let us look up with the look of faith, my brothers.  Here comes Christ, alive with the living, giving us life with His life, in the abundant outpouring of redemption.  He goes forward in radiance, clothed in the great cloak of mercy, lovable and powerful, "crowned with the sign of victory."

He approaches at the anguished cry of the nations.  Christ comes, bearing the Church in His heart and, in His hand, the tears and the blood of the poor: the cause of the afflicted, of the oppressed, of the widows, of the orphans, of the humble, of the unwanted.

And behind Christ new heavens open: it is like the dawn of the triumph of God!  They are new peoples, new conquests, it is all a triumph, never before seen, of great universal charity, since the one who finally wins is He, Christ, and Christ conquers in charity and in mercy.

The future belongs to Him, to Christ, the unconquerable King; the Divine Word that brings new life; the Way of all moral greatness; the life and living spring of love, of progress, of liberty and of peace.


May the light of Christ light up our path, and render our whole life joyful and holy!  May this Holy Easter work a marvellous spiritual renewal in us, transfiguring us in Christ.  May the blessing of the Lord come generously down on you and on your loved ones and may it be a great, great, great blessing, as great as the heart of God!

Alleluia!  Alleluia!  Alleluia!  A happy and holy Easter to everyone!

Yours most affectionately in Jesus Christ and in Our Blessed Lady.

                            Fr. Orione

                            of Divine Providence

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