POETRY: Easter Hymn by A. E. Housman

May 9, 2018

If in that Syrian garden, ages slain, You sleep, and know not you are dead in vain, Nor even in dreams behold how dark and bright Ascends in smoke and fire by day and night The hate you died to quench and could but fan, Sleep well and see no morning, son of man. But if, the grave rent and the stone rolled by, At the right hand of majesty on high You sit, and sitting so remember yet Your tears, your agony and bloody sweat, Your cross and passion and the life you gave, Bow hither out of Heaven and see and [...]

PRAYER: If You Were Not Risen by Brother Roger of Taize

April 30, 2018

If you were not risen, Lord Christ, to whom would we go to discover a radiance of the face of God? If you were not risen, we would not be together seeking your communion. We would not find in your presence forgiveness, wellspring of a new beginning. If you were not risen, where would we draw the energy for following you right to the end of our existence, for choosing you again and [...]

PRAYER: The Miracle Of Easter from The Gelasian Sacramentary

April 23, 2018

The moment we have longed for has come; the night of our desires is here.  What greater occupation could there be than for us to proclaim the power of your resurrection!  This was the night when you shattered the gates of hell, and you took up the victory banner of Heaven.  This was the night when you set us among the stars. When your mother Mary gave birth to you, she was overwhelmed with joy at your beauty.  Now we are overwhelmed with joy at your power.  The blood which flowed from your side has washed away our sins.  Your body rising from the tomb has promised us eternal life.  Eternal are the blessings which in your love you have poured upon us. [...]

PRAYER: Easter by Adam of St. Victor

April 16, 2018

I see flames of orange, yellow, and red shooting upwards to the sky, piercing the whole clouds. I see the clouds themselves chasing the flames upwards, and I feel the air itself reaching for the heavens. Down below I see great, grey rocks beating against the earth, as if they were pushing their way down to hell. At your resurrection that which is light and good rises up with you, and that which is heavy and evil is pushed downwards. At your resurrection goodness breaks from evil, life breaks free from death. [...]

EASTER SERMON: The Wounds Of Jesus, by C. C. Lovelace

April 30, 2017

From The Sanctified Church, by Zora Neale Hurston Our theme this morning is the wounds of Jesus. When the Father shall ask, What are these wounds in thine hand? He shall answer, Those are they with which I was wounded in the house of my friends. (Zachariah 8:6) We read in the fifty-third chapter of Isaiah where He was wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities; and the apostle Peter affirms that His blood was spilt from before the foundation of the world. I have seen gamblers wounded. I have seen desperadoes wounded; thieves and robbers and every other kind of characters, law breakers, and each one had a reason for this wounds. Some of them were unthoughtful, and some for being overbearing, some by the doctor’s knife. [...]

SERMON: Created For Glory, by L. R. Tarsitano

April 23, 2017

The First Sunday after Easter “I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the Earth; Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.” (Isaiah 43:6-7) God addressed these words through his Prophet Isaiah to Jacob, to the head and personification of his Chosen People Israel. Jacob, you will recall, was given the name “Israel” by God, and he was the father of the twelve sons who became the patriarchs of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. These words of God are specifically a promise, first and foremost, in the historical time of Isaiah, when the Chosen People were about to [...]

POETRY: We Take The Sky, by Susanna Childress

April 19, 2017

We take the sky, as if red is something we could own, something we might find in the stillest moments, as if the earth is humane and wouldn’t break our bones. (None of His were broken. Not one.) Red is in the land too, is in the way we look at each other, the hardness of our sleep, the need to fall down, to tell of the pox that swept Aunt Jess, the drink that ushers Father, the path that never leads to wealth or rest or health—but the one we always take. Shalom, we say. Buena suerte. We always take the sky, fold it over ourselves, the soil, run it across our skin and cling to it, savoring the tart of a lemon, palming a bar of soap even when our hands are clean, naming the insects that fly across the white bulb of moon late at [...]

BLESSING: Blessing Of The Resurrection, by Peter John Cameron

April 17, 2017

From: Blessing Prayers Word of God Blessed by the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in his great mercy gave us a new birth to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in Heaven for you who by the power of God are safeguarded through faith, to a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the final time. (1 Peter 1:3-5)  Litany of Resurrection Graces Lord Jesus, by your Resurrection you have reconciled all people to God.  Risen Savior, stay with me. Lord Jesus, when you rose from the dead you blessed us with the Easter gift of peace.  Risen Savior, stay with me. Lord Jesus, by your rising you restored us to friendship with the [...]

STATIONS OF THE CROSS: Station 15 — The Resurrection by Joan Chittister

April 16, 2017

From: The Way of the Cross The Experience Perhaps the most difficult – even spiritually dangerous – dimension of the Stations of the Cross is that lacking a sense or slightest awareness of resurrection, they leave the Christian standing at the edge of the tomb.  Numb, lost.  Bereft.  Without a single thought of what comes next.  And all of that despite the fact that Christians are not meant to be the people of the cross; Christians are the people of the empty tomb.  We are alleluia people, Augustine writes, and alleluia is our cry.  Perhaps that’s true, theologically so.  But it is not the final emotional impression of those whose immersion in the life of Jesus centers around the crucifixion in the Stations of the Cross [...]

POETRY: Newness Of Life by Tania Runyan

April 3, 2017

South African man wakes after 21 hours in morgue fridge. What cold salvation, dragging fingernails through the frost of a half-dream then waking to a plastic cocoon. The louder you scream from your aluminum drawer the more they believe you’re a ghost come to haul them inside. I feel your shivering in my own bones, stumble with you into the vicious light. Some burst alive on the pyres of the Spirit. Some blink open slowly, alone, packing in ice: How did I get here? I never knew I was [...]

JESUS: In That Moment Right Before

February 5, 2017

I would say that, most of the time, when I hear scripture read, or read it for myself, it feels like the wind to me.  Something blowing by me.  I recognize the elements that are in the wind, but it is something that is beyond me in terms of capturing it.  Or even being part of it. From time-to-time, some of it makes me wrench my neck around in an attempt to seize it.  Some combination of words that are just that tantalizing as to make me want to scrutinize them. Then there are those astounding times when I hear or read words that I have received in a vision.  Sometimes the words are exactly the same.  And a cathedral-sized bell rings inside me.  It is a confirmation of accuracy.  I know that my vision was from God.  Those are, as [...]

MIRACLES: One Little Yes, by Mark Batterson

November 22, 2016

From The Grave Robber Do you believe this? (John 11:26) After asserting his identity as the resurrection and the life, Jesus pops a point-blank question that punctuates Martha’s life: Do you believe this?  Remember: Jesus hadn’t called Lazarus out of the tomb quite yet, so Martha was still in the depths of despair.  Hope was four days dead.  Yet Martha responds with her simple profession of faith: Yes, Lord. One little yes can change your life. One little yes can change your eternity. The litmus test is the same now as it was then.  The only question on God’s final exam is: Do you believe this?  It’s not a multiple-choice question.  It’s true or false.  And it’s the most important question [...]

SERMON: Why Stand There Looking Up Toward Heaven? by C. S. Song

July 10, 2016

From And Their Eyes Are Opened So when they [the disciples] had come together, they asked him [Jesus], “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?”  He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority.  But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the Earth.”  When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.  While he was going and they were gazing up toward Heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them.  They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking [...]

HEALING: Jesus And His Wounds, by Robert Schreiter

May 12, 2016

From The Ministry of Reconciliation The risen Jesus is a survivor.  He has been through abuse and torture.  He has been beaten, mocked, and had thorns pressed into his head.  He has experienced public humiliation and been executed on the cross.  He has experienced the pit of death.  And now he has been raised from the dead. We cannot get inside Jesus’s own experience of this.  Piero della Francesca’s painting of Jesus risen tries to capture what might have been part of that experience.  Jesus looks a little dazed or bewildered, as though this will take some getting used to.  The experience of resurrection life has nothing with which it can be compared.  It is not the same as resuscitation from death, as Lazarus [...]

POETRY: Descending Theology — The Resurrection, by Mary Karr

May 12, 2016

From the far star points of his pinned extremities, cold inched in—black ice and blood ink— till the hung flesh was empty. Lonely in that void even for pain, he missed his splintered feet, the human stare buried in his face. He ached for two hands made of meat he could reach to the end of. In the corpse’s core, the stone fist of his heart began to bang on the stiff chest’s door, and breath spilled back into that battered shape. Now it’s your limbs he longs to flow into— from the sunflower center in your chest outward—as warm water shatters at birth, rivering every [...]

POETRY: The Dawning by George Herbert

May 4, 2016

Awake sad heart, whom sorrow ever drowns; Take up thine eyes, which feed on earth; Unfold thy forehead gather’d into frowns: Thy Savior comes, and with him mirth: Awake, awake; And with a thankful heart his comforts take. But thou dost still lament, and pine, and cry; And feel his death, but not his victory. Arise sad heart; if thou dost not withstand, Christ’s resurrection thine may be: Do not by hanging down break from the hand Which as it riseth, raiseth thee: Arise, arise; And with his burial-linen dry thine eyes. Christ left his grave-clothes, that we might, when grief Draws tears, or blood, not want an [...]

RESURRECTION: The Strangest Story Of All, by C. S. Lewis

April 11, 2016

From God in the Dock We come to the strangest story of all, the story of the Resurrection.  It is very necessary to get the story clear.  I heard a man say, “The importance of the Resurrection is that it gives evidence of survival, evidence that the human personality survives death.”  On that view what happened to Christ would be what had always happened to all men, the difference being that in Christ’s case we were privileged to see it happening. This is certainly not what the earliest Christian writers thought.  Something perfectly new in the history of the Universe had happened.  Christ had defeated death.  The door which had always been locked had for the very first time been forced open.  This is something [...]

RESURRECTION: Always And Forever, the Final Word, by Richard Rohr

April 7, 2016

From Sick, and You Cared For Me “Think of what is above, not of what is on Earth.” Don’t you often wonder why so much of human life seems so futile, so tragic, so short, so sad?  If Christ has risen, and we speak so much of being risen with Christ, then why do most people experience their life as tragic more than triumphant?  Why is there nonstop war?  Why are there so many people unjustly imprisoned?  Why are the poor oppressed?  Why, even in Christian nations, is there a long history of deceit and injustice?  Why do so few marriages last, even among those of us who say that we believe?  Why are there so many children born with disabilities?  Why do we destroy so many of our relationships?  Why? What are you up [...]

RESURRECTION: The Glad Surprise, by Howard Thurman

March 31, 2016

From Meditations of the Heart There is ever something compelling and exhilarating about the glad surprise.  The emphasis is upon glad. There are surprises that are shocking, startling, frightening, and bewildering.  But the glad surprise is something different from all of these.  It carries with it the element of elation, of life, of something over and beyond the surprise itself.  The experience itself comes at many levels: the simple joy that comes when one discovers that the balance in the bank is larger than the personal record indicated – and there is no error in accounting; the realization that one does not have his doorkey – the hour is late and everyone is asleep – but someone very thoughtfully left the latch off, [...]

POETRY: Tell Them, by Edwina Gateley

March 30, 2016

Breaking through the powers of darkness bursting from the stifling tomb he slipped into the graveyard garden to smell the blossomed air. Tell them, Mary, Jesus said, that I have journeyed far into the darkest deeps I’ve been in nights without a star. Tell them Mary, Jesus said, that fear will flee my light that though the ground will tremble and despair will stalk the earth I hold them firmly by the hand through terror to new birth. Tell them, Mary, Jesus said, the globe and all that’s made is clasped to God’s great bosom they must not be afraid for though they fall and die, he said, and the black earth wrap them tight they will know the warmth of God’s healing hands in the early morning light. Tell them, Mary, [...]

POETRY: That Nature Is A Heraclitean Fire And Of The Comfort Of The Resurrection by Gerard Manley Hopkins

March 30, 2016

Cloud-puffball, torn tufts, tossed pillows flaunt forth, then chevy on an air- Built thoroughfare: heaven-roysterers, in gay-gangs they throng; they glitter in marches. Down roughcast, down dazzling whitewash, wherever an elm arches, Shivelights and shadowtackle ín long lashes lace, lance, and pair. Delightfully the bright wind boisterous ropes, wrestles, beats earth bare Of yestertempest’s creases; in pool and rut peel parches Squandering ooze to squeezed dough, crust, dust; stanches, starches Squadroned masks and manmarks treadmire toil there Footfretted in it. Million-fuelèd, nature’s bonfire burns on. But quench her bonniest, dearest her, her clearest-selvèd spark Man, how fast his firedint, his mark on mind, is gone! [...]

RESURRECTION: Our God Of Love, by Richard G. Malloy

March 29, 2016

From Hungry, and You Fed Me Your life is hidden with Christ in God. Jesus and Satan were having an ongoing argument about who was better on the computer.  They had been going at it for days, and God the Father was tired of hearing all of the bickering.  Finally God said, “Cool it!  I am going to set up a test that will run two hours and I will judge who does the better job.” So Satan and Jesus sat down at the keyboards and typed away.  They worked Word.  They excelled at Excel.  They pounded out PowerPoint reports.  They sent out e-mails with complicated attachments.  They downloaded.  They researched on the Web.  They used Photoshop.  But ten minutes before their time was up, lightning suddenly flashed across the [...]

POETRY: Easter Monday, by Christina Rossetti

March 28, 2016

Out in the rain a world is growing green, On half the trees quick buds are seen Where glued-up buds have been. Out in the rain God’s Acre stretches green, Its harvest quick tho’ still unseen: For there the Life hath been. If Christ hath died His brethren well may die, Sing in the gate of death, lay by This life without a sigh: For Christ hath died and good it is to die; To sleep whenso He lays us by, Then wake without a sigh. Yea, Christ hath died, yea, Christ is risen again: Wherefore both life and death grow plain To us who wax and wane; For Christ who rose shall die no more again: Amen: till He makes all things plain Let us wax on and [...]

EASTER: Darfur In Light Of Easter by Seth Kaper-Dale

October 29, 2015

From A Voice for Justice April 30, 2006 But Peter said, “I have no silver or gold, but what I have I give you; in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, stand up and walk.” (Acts 3:6) I was sitting in the doctor’s office a couple of weeks ago and had one of those endlessly long waits.  I’d read Sports Illustrated going back to the Super Bowl.  I’d even flipped through the gardening and home magazines.  Finally, I picked up the local New Jersey Jewish newspaper, The Jewish State.  I wish I’d picked it up first. The entire cover page was about Jewish concern about the genocide in Darfur, Sudan.  Under the heading, “‘Never Again’ is Now,” I read about Jewish efforts to raise [...]

JESUS: The Resurrection Of The Flesh, by Thomas Aquinas

May 21, 2015

The Holy Spirit not only sanctifies the church with regard to its soul, but by its power our bodies will arise: “to those believing in him who raised up Jesus Christ Our Lord from the dead” and so forth, (Romans 4:24). And “Because just as through a human being death came about, so through a human being the resurrection from the dead,” (1 Corinthians15:21). Therefore we believe according to our faith in the future resurrection of the dead. About this resurrection there are four thoughts that should be considered: (1) the usefulness that comes from faith in the resurrection; (2) the quality of life of those who arise with regard to everyone in general; (3) with regard to good men and women in particular; and (4) with regard to evil [...]

MEDITATION: Heart Of Jesus, Our Life And Resurrection, by John Paul II

May 18, 2015

From Angelus Meditations on the Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus One This invocation from the Litany of the Sacred Heart, strong and persuasive as an act of faith, contains the entire mystery of Christ the Redeemer in a terse phrase.  It recalls the words of Jesus addressed to Martha, crushed by the death of her brother, Lazarus: “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, shall live,” (John 11:25). Jesus is the life which spring eternally from the divine wellspring of the Father: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  In him was life, and the life was the light of men,” (John 1:1-4). Jesus in himself is life: “For just as the [...]

POETRY: Wherefore The Scars Of Christ’s Passion Remained In The Body Of His Resurrection, by Theodulf of Orleans

April 15, 2015

Translated from the Latin by Helen Waddell When Christ came from the shadows by the stream Of Phlegethon, Scars were upon his feet, his hands, his side Not, as dulled souls might deem, That He, who had the power Of healing all the wounds whereof men died, Could not have healed his own, But that those scars had some divinity, Carriage of mystery, Life’s source to bear the stigmata of Death. By these same scars his men Behind the very body that they knew, No transient breath, No drift of bodiless air, And held him in their hearts in fortress there. They knew their Master risen, and unfurled The hope of resurrection through the world. By these same scars, in prayer for all mankind, No transient breath, No drift of bodiless air, And held [...]

EASTER: Easter Sermon, by John Chrysostom

April 9, 2015

Is there anyone who is a devout lover of God? Let them enjoy this beautiful bright festival! Is there anyone who is a grateful servant? Let them rejoice and enter into the joy of their Lord! Are there any weary with fasting? Let them now receive their wages! If any have toiled from the first hour, let them receive their due reward; If any have come after the third hour, let him with gratitude join in the Feast! And he that arrived after the sixth hour, let him not doubt; for he too shall sustain no loss. And if any delayed until the ninth hour, let him not hesitate; but let him come too. And he who arrived only at the eleventh hour, let him not be afraid by reason of his delay. For the Lord is gracious and receives the last even as the [...]

EASTER: A Faith That Loves The Earth by Karl Rahner

April 7, 2015

From The Mystical Way in Everyday Life It is difficult to express in worn human words the mystery contained in the joy of Easter.  If the mysteries of the gospel can enter the smallness of our human comprehension only with great difficulty, putting them into human words involves even greater difficulty.  The Easter message is the most human message of Christianity.  It is the reason we have such a hard time understanding it.  For what is the most true and obvious, in short, the easiest, is also the hardest to live out, to do, and to believe.  This is the case today because we have accepted the silent and hence undisputed assumption that religion is solely about a deep feeling of the heart and an advanced spiritual life, which we [...]