Setting Sail

Come Wind of the Spirit.
O Holiness, fill my sails
That we may traverse the oceans,
And laugh at the power of the seas.

Set my course
According to the plan of the Father,
Brought to fruition in the Son,
Who purifies the many waters.

©2013 Joann Nelander  All rights reserved

The Sword that Divides

Distilling the homily of Monsignor Raun:

The Sword that Divides

The Passion of the Christ,
The sword that divides.

There are Christians,
And then there is Everybody else.

Everybody else sees
An ignominious,
Shameful,
And a meaningless death.

The Christian sees the eternal Christ,
Saving those He calls,
Kings, prophets and priests.

The sword, the Spirit and the Cross,
At the crossroad
Of Heaven and the World.
The people of God,
The Kingdom of God,
Called while yet sinners.

© Joann Nelander 2013
All rights reserved

By one death and resurrection the world was saved

From the book On the Holy Spirit by Saint Basil, bishop

By one death and resurrection the world was saved

When mankind was estranged from him by disobedience, God our Savior made a plan for raising us from our fall and restoring us to friendship with himself. According to this plan Christ came in the flesh, he showed us the gospel way of life, he suffered, died on the cross, was buried and rose from the dead. He did this so that we could be saved by imitation of him, and recover our original status as sons of God by adoption.

To attain holiness, then, we must not only pattern our lives on Christ’s by being gentle, humble and patient, we must also imitate him in his death. Taking Christ for his model, Paul said that he wanted to become like him in his death in the hope that he too would be raised from death to life.

We imitate Christ’s death by being buried with him in baptism. If we ask what this kind of burial means and what benefit we may hope to derive from it, it means first of all making a complete break with our former way of life, and our Lord himself said that this cannot be done unless a man is born again. In other words, we have to begin a new life, and we cannot do so until our previous life has been brought to an end. When runners reach the turning point on a racecourse, they have to pause briefly before they can go back in the opposite direction. So also when we wish to reverse the direction of our lives there must be a pause, or a death, to mark the end of one life and the beginning of another.

Our descent into hell takes place when we imitate the burial of Christ by our baptism. The bodies of the baptized are in a sense buried in the water as a symbol of their renunciation of the sins of their unregenerate nature. As the Apostle says: The circumcision you have undergone is not an operation performed by human hands, but the complete stripping away of your unregenerate nature. This is the circumcision that Christ gave us, and it is accomplished by our burial with him in baptism. Baptism cleanses the soul from the pollution of worldly thoughts and inclinations: You will wash me, says the psalmist, and I shall be whiter than snow. We receive this saving baptism only once because there was only one death and one resurrection for the salvation of the world, and baptism is its symbol.

Tuesday of Holy Week

About Today (from divineoffice. org
Tuesday of Holy Week
“And now the Lord says, who formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob back to him and that Israel might be gathered to him, for I am honored in the eyes of the Lord, and my God has become my strength—he says: ‘It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved of Israel; I will give you as a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth’” (Isaiah 49:5-6). [1]

Today is Tuesday of Holy Week. This Servant song in Isaiah heralds the divine appointment of the Savior. The Lord says his servant’s mission reaches beyond Israel to all the nations, to the very ends of the earth. The church sees in this a foreshadowing of Jesus’ mission to bring salvation to the whole world. As Pope Francis said in a recent homily, we share in that mission: “My wish is that all of us, after these days of grace, will have the courage, yes, the courage, to walk in the presence of the Lord, with the Lord’s Cross; to build the Church on the Lord’s blood which was poured out on the Cross; and to profess the one glory: Christ crucified. And in this way, the Church will go forward.” [2][3][4]