Alleluia, He is Risen! Happy Easter to all of you. I hope you had a wonderful Spring Break and are back on campus safe and sound, and ready to push through to the end of the semester. It will be here before you know it!
Some notes on this week's schedule:
This week our Wednesday dinner will be cooked by Sarah, with a little help from Hunter and friends. We are taking advantage of the spring weather and grilling out. Burgers, home fries, and fresh fruit salad. Yum! After dinner, we have a special guest for our program. Dr. David Dorondo is a professor of history here at WCU. He's also a Byzantine Rite Catholic. He will be speaking with us about the various Eastern Rites of the Catholic Church. (If you find yourself scratching your head and thinking, "What? Eastern Rite Catholics? Huh?" then you definitely need to be at this talk). Dr. Dorondo is a dynamic speaker whom you do not want to miss.
Eucharistic Adoration from 6-7pm.
Eucharistic Adoration from 6-7pm.
This Sunday is the Second Sunday of Easter. It is also Divine Mercy Sunday. We are back on our regular schedule, which means we will have Mass at 7:30pm. However, in recognition of Divine Mercy Sunday, instead of praying our usual Rosary at 7:00, we will be praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet. Please join us -- and if you have never prayed the chaplet before, we will have guides to follow, so don't worry.
St. Mary's is holding a special Divine Mercy hour from 3-4pm, to include Eucharistic Adoration as well as the Divine Mercy chaplet. All are most welcome to attend that, as well.
The Cat Fair which was cancelled previously due to the weather has been rescheduled for Monday, April 8, from 11-3pm. We need students to help man our campus ministry table during those hours, and also students willing to help with set up and take down. If you can help, please contact me.
Our Spring Retreat on forgiveness is coming up next weekend! So far ten of you have signed up -- those that have will shortly be receiving an informational email from me. A reminder that the $20 registration fee is now due. For anyone who would still like to go, there is room for more! Just see me about getting signed up.
'TIS THE SEASON
No, not the Christmas Season - I don't have my holidays mixed up. I meant the Easter Season! Yes, it is a whole season in the Church year. I once read an article by a very misinformed Catholic who did not understand this fact. She had gone to a Protestant church with a friend on the Sunday after Easter. At this church they were celebrating "Butterfly Sunday" which she said was a beautiful reminder of the power of Resurrection, using the image of a butterfly emerging from its cocoon. She really liked the service and suggested that the Catholic Church really ought to do something similar, to extend Easter beyond just Easter Sunday so we can give the Resurrection its fair due.
The writer identified herself as a Catholic, but her comments left me wondering how often she makes it to Mass. We certainly don't need "Butterfly Sunday" to help us extend the Easter holiday. For us it is a whole season, stretching from Easter Sunday itself for fifty days until Pentecost. More than that, the eight days from Easter until the next Sunday (the "Octave of Easter") are regarded really as one extended day in the liturgical calendar. To give an example, in the Liturgy of the Hours (the Divine Office) for Morning Prayer, the psalms and antiphons for each day this week are taken from the Easter Morning Prayer. It is the same day over and over again. But unlike "Groundhog Day" with Bill Murray, we don't repeat the emergence of a rodent from a den, but the Risen Christ from the Tomb. We consider this such a seminal event in our faith that one 24 hour day just is not enough!
The Second Sunday of Easter in particular has been designated as Divine Mercy Sunday (far better than "Butterfly Sunday" in my book). The Divine Mercy devotion is rooted in the diary of a young polish nun, St. Faustina Kowalska, written in the 1930s. In it, she recounts many revelations she received about God's mercy. The message of mercy is that God loves us, no matter how great our sins. His mercy is stronger than our sins. If we trust in His mercy, we not only receive His mercy, but we allow it to flow through ourselves and spread to others. In short, we must ask for God's mercy, we must ourselves be merciful, and we must completely trust in Jesus.
If you are unfamiliar with the Divine Mercy devotion, or the chaplet, here is a great link to an EWTN mini-site with all sorts of information.
Butterflies are beautiful creatures of God - but if I have to choose between them and God's mercy, all I have to say is, "Jesus, I trust in You!"
God bless and have a great week!