Archive for the ‘Paschal Time’ category

QUASIMODO SUNDAY – BEGINNINGS

April 9, 2018

Actual Christians are Quasimodo today:

So many times in the Spruce Tunnel I’ve written about the meaning of this Sunday,  this Octave Day of Easter. *    It’s not named for the happy singing hunchback of Hollywood musical fame:

quasim

That cartoon character doesn’t even faithfully portray the hunchback in the classic Victor Hugo  novel,   which is, by the way, worth reading for the insights into human behavior and motivations that a reader gets.

The true origin of that ugly abandoned baby’s name is the fact that he was dropped off at the door of Notre Dame cathedral  on  Quasimodo Sunday.     Might as well name him for the holy day upon which he was found.

But there is something in common with that day and that baby:   Certain qualities of newborn babies are also experienced by those who come into the Church, throwing in their lot, their safety, their future with Christ.   Both the baby and the Christian receive a new beginning in life,  and both have a hunger and a thirst to find out more about this new life.

Jesus,  the Crucified and Risen One,  has the power to give  new, clean, “innocent,” wonderful full Life that lasts for ever.  Everything  is changed in a person’s life;  everything has meaning and importance; the person understands his actually worth and dignity;  the person knows beyond a doubt that he is loved, forever.

teacher

The Church opens every Mass with a prayer called the Introit.   From ancient times, today’s Introit  begins with the words   ” Quasi modo géniti infántes allelúia . . . “      (Or:  ** Just as newborn babies,  desire sincere  (rational,  health-giving)  milk . . .  ( teaching from God which  is the Word of God).

Okay,  lots in there,  but it’s in this prayer we’re reminded that once we believe in God, we need to act like it;  we need to nurture our faith,  hungrily taking in everything we can possibly learn about God, “just as a newborn babies” greedily suck down that life-giving milk.

The Word, the milk,  give strength as well as growth.

It’s not something you can safely  disregard.    Things are going to get bad,  really bad, in the world according to some.    We’re going to need all the strength we can get —  because our Faith has to endure until the end of our lives.    At each moment,  if you’re not on your way to Heaven,  chances are  you’re not going to be “on the way”  at the last moment of your life either.   

 

 

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.*     You can use the Search engine here and type in Quasimodo for fuller explanations.  Here are a couple Spruce Tunnels on this day:

https://thesprucetunnel.wordpress.com/2017/04/25/the-hunchback-has-his-day/

https://thesprucetunnel.wordpress.com/2010/04/11/quasimodo-sunday/

 

.**     The Introit is from I Peter 2:2 in the Bible

 

 

 

 

 

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TIME FOR “TYPE”

March 29, 2016

Looks like Easter Tuesday gives us:  fun with types!

 

Banner Easter Tuesday

The Octave of Easter gives us Time to work out and enjoy some of the meanings of Easter.  In lessons for today we are given  many thoughts about the Types that were fulfilled by the death and resurrection of Jesus.

A Type?  There are several definitions of the word,  but the most  wonderful,  the most useful to us is this: a type is a person, thing, or event that really exists (or existed)  that prefigures a future person, thing, or event of greater significance. . . .

Well, let’s just say a Type is like a beautiful door:

door

At first, when you’re new at this,  you realize that words can have two meanings:  one is the plain meaning the word signifies  (and all the things it calls to mind, in context and experience and definition).

There are Easter Words like  Passover   and Passage and Egypt and  slavery  and Israel and lamb and sacrifice and blood  and freedom. . . .words that tell the historical story.

Words that are openings (like a door)  to rich and  beautiful meanings.   And then —  you’re invited — you can ENTER through the door,  and you look all around —

foyer

You are welcomed in to a beautiful beginning, and you can look all around,  get a feel for the place, and get a clue that there is splendor and glory that is waiting for you.

You will find that those original words of that historical story have a deeper significance that can be matched to the real things they signify:   Pascal  Time  (Passover and Passage out of Egypt);   and the World we live in (signified by “Egypt”);   and  Mankind (signified by “Israel”);  Pharaoh, who points to the reality of Satan;  and  the lambs which are fulfilled in The Lamb of God;  and sacrifice, the willing Self-Sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross;  and  the blood from the lambs, the Blood of Christ whose death really does save us . . . .

So much to think about!!!   We can’t just stay in the foyer!!!   Deeper understandings await!

interior

The interior of this beautiful home made for you is huge!   There are rooms and rooms and corridors to explore off the main hallway.

Choose a word from the story of the Israelite in Egypt, or their eventual and inevitable slavery and their cries of discontent and hopelessness; or the story of God sending Moses and preparing him in his childhood and manhood and his finally saying yes, he is willing; the Pharaoh with the ever-hardening heart;   the mastery of the God over His creation manifested by the Plagues;  release;  the night of the Passover  —

And this points to all the elements of the Gospel story:  the Son of God was sent to “seek and to save them that were lost”  and to die for them,  to Redeem the people of earth — and the motivation was the Love of God for us – and that never goes away . . . .

On and on –  you will never exhaust the details or tire of the story.  Again, the words used in telling the story are Types of the Gospel Story of Christ’s First Coming.   You won’t run out of rooms to visit!

room

Many place during this Easter Week to sit and rest and contemplate –satisfying,  welcoming,  comforting,  the whole Gospel story belonging to you . . .

Just  give yourself some time,   just choose a door, a word to begin with:

door door

Easter Week is only one Octave of days!

 

 

 

THE GOOD SHEPHERD: Philosophy 101

April 19, 2015

Today in Christendom is Good Shepherd Sunday.    We join with our ancestors for hundreds and hundreds  of years in learning more deeply why Our Lord is likened to a Shepherd and why we are likened to sheep.

Good  shepherd

Looking forward,  we join today with future generations who will also learn and contemplate Christ the Good Shepherd.   We will teach our children — and observe how they instinctively understand this analogy.

The Shepherd cares for the sheep and does everything in their best interest.  The sheep,  little ones and  older ones,  follow His lead because they trust Him to know best.    They keep their eye on their shepherd,  they go to him for their needs, and we can even  imagine the sheep bear affection towards their shepherd.

This alone is worthy of a lifetime of meditation.

As we become adults and grow older,   it’s a good thing to focus on that very word which children, in their childlike innocence, seem to understand so well:   “Good.”     The tiniest toddler understands:  “Good boy!”    “Good girl.”

And what does it mean when we call the Son of God, our Good Shepherd   “good”?      Wise men with greater intellects than I have said that  God is good, and that the very definition of “good”  is named God,  and that God is Goodness itself.   Fundamentally,  what is good?   God is that which is Goodness.

Do you have a problem with God?    Imagine a “better God” – one that is so good that He is infinitely good —  That is God.    You’ve heard a lot of enemies of God speak about Him.   So can you imagine an even better God than what they say there is?    Then that is the real God.

You can go on and on like this;  keep imagining a God who is even more good,  and even more good than that.    You may go on into Infinity, and then begin to approach the Goodness of the One God Most High — Who is Goodness itself.

“God  is  Good.”   And God is the source and origin of all goodness that comes into man’s thinking.

But is He “real”?        Long before Christianity came about,  The Greeks understood that something that is actually really in existence is greater than the thought of it.   

Christian philosophy adds a kind of definition of God:    “God is that than which no greater can be conceived.”    

So when you say God is Good, and have an idea what that means,  still greater is the real God,  for He actually exists. 

And in His Goodness,   He is actually Good to us as individuals.   

Good shepherd and you

He is our Shepherd,   one sheep at a time.

A child can understand this.