Monday, April 17, 2006

EASTER MONDAY

PRESENCE OF GOD
Do not leave me, O Jesus, gentle Pilgrim; I have need of You

MEDITATION
1. God has made us for Himself, and we cannot live without Him; we need Him, we hunger and thirst for Him; He is the only One who can satisfy our hearts. The Easter liturgy is impregnated with this longing for God, for Him who is from on high; it even makes it the distinctive sign of our participation in the Paschal mystery. "If you be risen with Christ, seek the things, that are above, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God; mind the things that are above, not the things that are upon the earth" (Col 3:1,2). The more the soul revives itself in the Resurrection of Christ, the more it feels the need of God and of heavenly truth; it detaches itself more and more from earthly things to turn toward those of heaven.
Just as physical hunger is an indication of a living, healthy organism, so spiritual hunger is a sign of a robust spirit, one that is active and continually developing. The soul which feels no hunger for God, no need to seek Him and to find Him, and which does not vibrate or suffer with anxiety in its search, does not bear within itself the signs of the Resurrection. It is a dead soul, or at least one which has been weakened and rendered insensible by lukewarmness. The Paschal alleluia is a cry of triumph at Christ's Resurrection, but at the same time it is an urgent invitation for us to rise also. Like the sound of reveille, it calls us to battles of spirit, and invites us to rouse and renew ourselves, to participate ever more profoundly in Christ's Resurrection....

2. We read in today's Gospel the very beautiful story of the disciples at Emmaus (Lk 24: 13-35). Here we find the earnest supplication: "Stay with us, because it is towards evening, and the day is now far spent." Stay with us, Lord! It is the cry of the soul who has found God and never again wishes to be separated from Him. Let us too, as the disciples at Emmaus, go in search of the Lord. Our whole life is a continuous journey toward Him, and we are often sad, even as they were, because we do not succeed in finding Him, because not understanding His mysterious ways, it seems that He has abandoned us. "We hoped that it was He that should have redeemed Israel....but....," said the two disciples, frustrated by the death of Jesus, at the very moment when they were about to relinquish all hope, was there close to them, disguised as their fellow traveler. We have often shared this experience of Him. Hidden in the obscurity of faith, God draws near our soul, makes Himself our traveling companion, and still more, lives in us by grace. It is true that here below He does not reveal Himself in the clarity of the "face to face" vision which is reserved for eternity; we see Him only as through a glass in a dark manner (1 Cor 13:12); nevertheless, God knows how to make Himself known. To us as to the disciples at Emmaus, His presence is revealed in an obscure manner; yes, but unmistakably, because of the unique ardour which He alone can kindle in our hearts. The soul who has found the Lord.....cannot fail to direct Him the cry: "Stay with me!".....Let us, therefore, beg Him ardently: teach us, O Lord, to stay with You, to live with You.

QOLLOQUY
.....Remember my great misery, O Lord, and look upon my weakness, since You know all things (TJ Exc, 7 - Life).

credit: text from "Divine Intimacy" by Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen OCD