Easter Sunday

"We should reflect that the resurrection of Christ is an assured pledge of our own, and that our body, if We have laboured to sanctify it here below, will one day participate in the qualities of the glorified body of Jesus Christ." -- Grou

This is the Christian Pasch, or Passover. The, Jewish Passover commemorated their passage out of Egypt, and their deliverance from its slavery, and so was a type. Jesus Christ at His Resurrection passed from death to life, and by this passage triumphed over the powers of hell, rescued us from their tyranny and from eternal death, and opened a passage for us to eternal life. At that time

"Mary Magdalen and Mary the mother of James and Salome brought sweet spices, that coming, they might anoint Jesus. And very early in the morning, the first day of the week, they came to the sepulchre, the sun being now risen. And they said one to another: Who Shall roll us back the stone from the door of the sepulchre? And looking, they saw the stone rolled back. For it was very great. And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side clothed with a white robe; and they were astonished. Who saith to them: Be not affrighted; you seek Jesus of Nazareth, Who was crucified: He is risen, He is not here, behold the place where they laid Him. But go, tell His disciples and Peter, that He goeth before you into Galilee: there you shall see Him, as He told, you." *

To celebrate this festival with due dispositions, we ought with joy, and gratitude to adore Jesus Christ in His immortal state, and to rise with Him, by entering as He did upon a new life, so as never more to die by relapsing into sin, and to persevere in the practice of virtue and good works. We may know if we have entered on this new life if we are at peace with God; if we love whatever leads to Him, such as prayer, reading good books, hearing the word of God, and assisting devoutly at Mass and other devotions. As we hope, too, that at the Last Day our bodies will rise and partake of the privileges of our Lord's glorious body, so we should respect out bodies, resist evil passions, and not use the members of our body for sinful purposes, but for the practice of good works.

"We, Lord, with faithful heart and cheerful voice,
On this Thy glorious rising day rejoice;
O Thou! Whose conquering power overcame the grave,
By Thy victorious grace us, sinners, save."

* Mark 16:1-7

Example -- Lamoriciere

Lamoriciere's name stands prominently in the military history of France in the nineteenth century. His early intercourse with certain students of the Polytechnic School, and his almost constant engagement in warfare, dimmed for a time the lustre of the lofty Catholic principles instilled into him by a pious father. It is true he never lost the faith, but the smoke of the battle-field sometimes concealed it from his view. A period of forced rest, in which he could count no longer on outward victories, turned his thoughts to interior conquest, and thus he left an example of spiritual bravery which, while it excites our admiration, stimulates us to imitation. One day, an old colleague and friend visited him and found him bent over maps, in which he was noting with anxiety the movements of the armies in the Crimea. To keep down the curled corners of the map he had employed the books which were the usual companions of his leisure hours -- a Catechism, his Prayer Book, the "Imitation," and some other pious book. The visitor could not conceal his surprise at the sight of the four silent witnesses of the General's occupation. "Well, yes," said. Lamoriciere, "that is my occupation. I do not wish to remain like you, between day and night. I like to know where I go and by what I hold; and I make, no secret of it."

At an age when few seek to modify their long formed character and habits, he laboured diligently to soften and tone the asperities of his impetuous nature. Every day he became more patient, more indulgent to adversaries, and calmer, under the many little annoyances with which this life is strewn. For instance, he was told that one of his best horses had broken its knees: some years before, the same matter had been made the signal for a storm, and the coachman trembled to think of what was coming, but to his astonishment the General was not even impatient. In his camplife he had learned a somewhat free and dictatorial mode of speaking, and was much addicted to swearing; but these faults entirely disappeared.

When his son died he felt it very much, and what added to his grief was the fact that he could not be present. "My God!" he, exclaimed, "You send us bitter trials in this world; I beseech You to be merciful to us in the next."

Although not unexpected, Lamoriciere's death was rather sudden. He died on his knees with the crucifix pressed to his breast, and received absolution while still conscious.

It would be well for the world to have many more such lives to record.

Taken from Catholic Life (pages 55-58), available from The Neumann Press.