We too are there with the three women going to the tomb before dawn to anoint the lifeless body of Jesus. Their loving concern is our concern too. With them we discover that the large tombstone has been rolled away and that the body is no longer there. “He is not here”, the angel proclaims, pointing to the empty tomb and the winding cloth on the ground. Death no longer has power over him. We publish the homily of Saint pope John Paul II at the Easter Vigil, 22 April 2000, as a help to live the meaning of Easter.
On Holy Saturday, the Archbishop of Turin, Msgr. Cesare Nosiglia will lead a liturgy of prayer before the Shroud, in a live broadcast. In this period of suffering and loneliness, we all need to feel reached by the light of the Resurrection. That's why the news has filled enthusiasts of the revered relic with more than just joy.
Saint Thomas Aquinas observes that man lives by relating on three levels: with himself, with society, and with God. His sin provokes a triple punishment: “one from himself, which is the remorse of conscience; another from men; a third from God”. But the primary intention of God is neither a punitive nor a vengeful outburst, but simply that we may be converted so that we may turn to him.
Christianity has always addressed both individuals and nations. Abortion, euthanasia, the destruction of human embryos, divorce, homosexual adoptions: these are the "structures of sin" described by St. John Paul II. Together they form a deposit of individual sins that become social evils. This is why it is critical the Church goes back to preaching about conversion. And not just the conversion of man, but of society as well.
COVID-19 has been isolated and it has been discovered that it is so small that it is nearly invisible. And yet it has upended our existence. For five hundred years it has been claimed the only things that exist are those which our senses can perceive. Everything else is superstition. We now know we’ve been lied to and that empiricists, Enlightenment, materialists and romantics were wrong.
Temperance and prudence serve not only to self-regulate our passions, but also to self-regulate economies for production, just distribution and fair pricing. Together the two cardinal virtues help us grow spiritually and seek higher goods, but they do not totally reject bodily pleasures. In fact they help avoid economic blacklisting of pleasurable goods.
It was no mistake an article was published and subsequently removed from the Vatican News English web site. This article considered the beneficial effects that coronavirus has had on the planet. It was written by a young Nigerian Jesuit who merely summarized what he had been hearing all these years within the Society of Jesus and the Vatican.
Everything that is happening as a result of the coronavirus necessitates a reconsideration of globalisation, including what the Magisterium has said about this theme. John Paul II and Benedict XVI were prudent, but the present pontiff has thrown himself fully into globalism. The next pope will need to review the entire file. Here’s how.
Elderly and disabled people are increasingly at risk. In the USA, several states have announced that treatment for the coronavirus will not be accessible to everyone. Why is that? Lack of means. The same is said in Italy. And in Holland the health authorities are suggesting to those who are elderly to forgo treatment. A sign that the idea of a “social” euthanasia is spreading. This reeks of Nazism.
«There are also priests today who are capable of heroic gestures, but they are personal initiatives. There is no mobilisation of the clergy that defined the Church in past times of plague.” “We have instead the perception of a Church that is barricaded. The gates that close off St. Peter’s Square are a symbol of this.” The closing of Lourdes? “It really saddened me; it is the first time in history; I understand there is a real risk, but you cannot test God.” “Obeying civil authorities is a duty, if they are legitimate and do not go against the faith, but this does not mean that Mass could not be celebrated under certain conditions.” Vittorio Messori, the most well-known Catholic writer in the world, speaks about the Church in the time of the coronavirus.
Defending health cannot be bartered for our loss of freedom. Yet, by the same token, we mustn’t forget that, in recent years, a misunderstood sense of democracy has all but destroyed the family and devastated the moral principle of our right to life. The challenge is rejecting authoritarianism without returning to false sense of democracy and freedom.
The government decrees and bishops decisions which have closed churches or limited access do not have any basis in reality. There is no risk that a large group of people will gather nor that infection will spread, and we demonstrate why. In fact the opposite is true: visiting the Lord, in his House, is an experience that is full of grace, especially in this time of trial. If you have not already done so during these days, go without any fear and you will find out why it is a source of grace!