I honestly don’t know a better way to end one month and start a new month. Tonight is the final liturgy of the Easter Triduum – The Easter Vigil – the single most beautiful liturgy of the liturgical year. From the lighting of the Easter Candle, the singing of the the Exultet , the 7 readings that explain our Salvation History, the proclamation in Gospel that Christ has RISEN FROM THE DEAD Bishop Robert Barron homily for the Easter Vigil– the receiving of the Catechumens into full communion with the Church – it is just a beautiful, emotional liturgy that I pray all the faithful attend tonight. Sometimes words can’t fully explain the beauty or emotions of an event – they have to be experienced in person – this is one of those liturgies tonight that needs to be experienced. If you’ve attended the first two liturgies of the Triduum – Holy Thursday and Good Friday – you have to finish up with the Easter Vigil tonight.
No better way to start the month of April than with the celebration of Christ conquering death on Easter Sunday. This particular Easter is especially important to our family as it would have been my father-in-law’s 90th birthday. Our 11:30 AM Mass will be offered up in his memory. Not a day goes by without my praying for the repose of his soul – I ask that you keep the Schumacher family in your prayers tomorrow.
A bit of Easter Sunday trivia for you…Easter Sunday 10 years ago – March 23, 2008 – my wife Sarah’s birthday – brought us snow in St. Louis. Tomorrow, her best friend will celebrate her birthday and the forecast is to have snow. Coincidence or irony that two best friends both get to celebrate their birthday on an Easter Sunday – 10 years apart – and both have the possibility of having had snow on Easter Sunday.
We will continue with days 2 & 3 of our Divine Mercy Novena…
Day 2 – Divine Mercy Novena:
Intention: Today bring to Me THE SOULS OF PRIESTS AND RELIGIOUS, and immerse them in My unfathomable mercy. It was they who gave Me strength to endure My bitter Passion. Through them as through channels My mercy flows out upon mankind.
Novena Prayers: Most Merciful Jesus, from whom comes all that is good, increase Your grace in men and women consecrated to Your service,* that they may perform worthy works of mercy; and that all who see them may glorify the Father of Mercy who is in heaven.
Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the company of chosen ones in Your vineyard–upon the souls of priests and religious; and endow them with the strength of Your blessing. For the love of the Heart of Your Son in which they are enfolded, impart to them Your power and light, that they may be able to guide others in the way of salvation and with one voice sing praise to Your boundless mercy for ages without end.
Day 3 – Divine Mercy Novena:
Intention: Today bring to Me ALL DEVOUT AND FAITHFUL SOULS, and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. The souls brought Me consolation on the Way of the Cross. They were that drop of consolation in the midst of an ocean of bitterness.
Novena Prayers: Most Merciful Jesus, from the treasury of Your mercy, You impart Your graces in great abundance to each and all. Receive us into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart and never let us escape from It. We beg this grace of You by that most wonderous love for the heavenly Father with which Your Heart burns so fiercely.
Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon faithful souls, as upon the inheritance of Your Son. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, grant them Your blessing and surround them with Your constant protection. Thus may they never fail in love or lose the treasure of the holy faith, but rather, with all the hosts of Angels and Saints, may they glorify Your boundless mercy for endless ages.