Arose, and Am Still With You, Alleluia!
Thomas A. Droleskey
et adhunc tecum sum, alleluia: posuisti super me manum tuam, alleluia:
mirabilis facta est scientia tua, alleluia, alleluia. Domine, probasti
me, et cognovisti me: tu cognovisti sessionem mean, et resurrectionem
meam. I arose, and am still with Thee, alleluia:
Thou has laid Thin hand upon me, alleluia: They knowledge is become
wonderful, alleluia, alleluia. Thou hast searched me, and known Me:
Thou knowest my sitting down and my rising up. (Introit, Easter Sunday)
calls us on Easter Sunday to give witness to that which we have not
seen with our own eyes. Holy Mother Church places in the Mass of Low
Sunday the words of Our Lord to Saint Thomas, words which are quite
apt for us who have never seen the Resurrected Lord. "You believe
in me, Thomas, because you have seen Me; happy are those who have not
seen Me, but still believe!"
Indeed, the Gospels contain no eyewitness report of the actual event
of Our Lord walking out of the tomb after the stone that had sealed
the tomb in which His lifeless Body had spent forty hours had been rolled
back. The soldiers were asleep when the earthquake occurred and the
stone was rolled back. Most of the Apostles were hiding in fright in
the Upper Room. Our Lady, to whom tradition teaches us Our Lord appeared
first following His Resurrection, was keeping a prayer vigil. Saint
Mary Magdalene and the other women were on their way womb to the tomb.
No one saw the actual event of the Resurrection.
Of course, Our Lord did rise from the dead. The Resurrection of the
God-Man from the dead following his Crucifixion on Good Friday is the
central fact of our Catholic Faith. Everything in the entirety of the
Church's liturgical life leads up and proceeds from Easter Sunday. There
is, as many a priest has preached on this very day, an empty tomb in
Jerusalem. The Jews and other unbelievers say that the tomb is empty
because His disciples stole the body. We who are His followers today
say that He got up and walked out of the tomb forty hours after He died
on the wood of the Holy Cross. It is either one or the other. If the
Jews and other unbelievers are right, then, as Saint Paul noted, we
are the most pitiable of men and our Faith is in vain. If Our Lord did
indeed rise from the dead on the Third Day, then every aspect of our
daily lives must revolve around cooperating with the graces He won for
us on Calvary so that our bodies will get up and arise from their tombs
in a glorified state at the Last Day when He comes to judge the living
and the dead.
Lord arranged things so that we would have to put faith in the word
of those who saw Him after the Resurrection. He wanted us to see the
transformation that would take place in the lives of those eyewitnesses
following the descent of the Holy Ghost upon them and Our Lady in tongues
of flame on Pentecost Sunday, fifty days after Easter, in the same Upper
Room in Jerusalem where He had instituted the Priesthood and the Eucharist
at the Last Supper. He wanted to teach us that the graces He won for
us on the wood of the Holy Cross--and which are administered to us by
Holy Mother Church in the sacraments--are as powerful now as they were
immediately after His Resurrection and Ascension to the Father's right
hand in glory. The Apostles were willing to run the risk even of physical
death to bear witness of the fact of the Resurrection. So must we.
Our Lord's Resurrection from the dead on Easter Sunday came after He
had spent forty hours in the tomb in His Sacred Humanity. In His Sacred
Divinity, though, Our Lord rescued all of the souls of the just from
their place of detention, even stretching out his arms to the first
Adam, who had made necessary His own death on the Tree of Life on Golgotha
that is the Holy Cross. Although the Apostles were frightened and many
in Jerusalem thought that they had rid themselves of a delusional, self-proclaimed
prophet, Our Lord was teaching us even in those forty hours of darkness
The forty hours Our Lord's Sacred Humanity spent lifeless in the tomb
are supposed to teach us that we need to patient as we wait for the
moment of our own Particular Judgments. We need to be patient as we
bear the crosses we are asked to bear in our daily lives, as well as
in the midst of the Church and in the world. We need to be people of
faith, never losing hope in the fact that Our Lord is with us at every
moment of our lives, that there is never any cross that is beyond our
capacity to bear with perfect equanimity and no semblance of anxiety
or doubt. This mortal life of ours is relatively short in comparison
with eternity. We need to be patient, to do the work of the Apostles,
to be assiduous in prayer and faithful to our total consecration to
Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Our bodies, too, will rise
up out of their tombs incorrupt and glorious on the Last Day if we remain
faithful to the point of our dying breaths in a state of sanctifying
Our Lord's Resurrection on Easter Sunday was not the resuscitation back
to the mere mortal life experienced by Lazarus. No, Our Lord went forth
into a new and glorified state that had been experienced by no human
being before Him. Our Lord's glorified Body had properties It did not
have prior to the Resurrection. The glorified Body of the Divine Redeemer
reminds us, therefore, that the bodies of all of the just will have
those same properties for all eternity when they are reunited to our
souls on the Last Day. The Resurrection of Our Lord and Savior Jesus
Christ is not only the symbol of His total triumph over the power of
sin an death. It is also a vivid reminder to us of the joy that awaits
those who persevere until the end as His faithful disciples, members
of the Church He created upon the rock of Peter, the pope.
The purpose of human existence is to know, love and serve God in this
life through His true Church so we will live with Him forever in Heaven.
It is for this supreme moment of radiating joy that Our Lord came into
the world, paying back the blood debt of our own sins so that we could
have life and have it to the fullest. Thus, our old lives of unbelief
and self-centeredness must be forever buried in the waters of our baptism.
We must put on the new man Who is Jesus Christ, which is why our Godparents
were given a white baptismal gown to place on us. We must understand
that we are meant to shine forth always the light of Christ in the world,
which is why our Godparents held a lit candle at the moment of our baptism.
Easter Sunday teaches us that Our Lord wants us to be transfigured glory
for all eternity. And we must understand that every aspect of our daily
lives--and of the lives of nations themselves, as Pope Pius XI reminded
Catholics in Quas Primas in 1925-- must reflect the reality
of the Incarnation, Nativity, Hidden Years, Public Ministry, Passion,
Death, and Resurrection of the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity
made Man, Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Although many people who
attend Mass on Easter Sunday will not return until Christmas, we must
try to get to Holy Mass as frequently as we can during the week throughout
the course of a year so that the old yeast can be purged and replaced
with the graces we receive in the Holy Eucharist.
Our Lord first appeared to Our Lady following His Resurrection. He had
become incarnate in her virginal and immaculate womb by the power of
the Holy Ghost. Her Immaculate Heart suffered a communion of perfect
love with His Most Sacred Heart. It was to Our Lady, therefore,
that Our Lord first appeared so as to present Himself to her in His
glorified Body just as she had received Him as a helpless embryo at
the moment of the Annunciation. We must rely upon her maternal intercession
as the Co-Redemptrix and Mediatrix of all graces to help us be participants
in her Divine Son's Easter victory over sin and death.
May Our Lady,
who made Easter possible by her fulfillment of the Father's will, pray
for us that we will truly believe in the miracle of her Divine Son's
Resurrection and thus become proclaim the Alleluia joy of this holy
season, making sure that we rely upon her as her consecrated to saves
to lead us and all of our family and friends to partake of the great
unending Easter Sunday of glory in Paradise.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Our Lord has died for us. He has risen from the dead.
A season of celebration is now upon us. We know that there is an empty
tomb in Jerusalem because the God-Man got up and walked out on His own
power, and that He wants to lead us through His Holy Church to our own
empty tombs at the end of time. Alleluia.
As the Easter
Sequence reminds us:
paschalis laudes immolent Christiani.
The paschal victim, let Christians praise.
The Lamb, hath ransomed the sheep,
innocens Patri reconciliavet peccatores.
To the Father hath the sinless Christ sinners reconciled.
vita duello conflixere mirando,
Death clashed with life in wondrous strife,
mortuus, regnat vivus.
The prince of life who died, now living reigneth.
Maria, quid vidisti in via?
The prince of life who died, now living reigneth.
Christi viventis, et gloriam vidi resurgentis
"The tomb of the living Christ I saw, and the glory of his rising
testes, sudarium et vestes.
"The Angel witnesses, the napkin, the garments.
Christus spes mea, praecedet suos in Galilaeam.
"Christ, my hope, has risen : to Galilee He will go before you."
surrexisse a mortuis vere,
Christ, we know, from the dead hath risen truly,
victor Rex, miserere.
Thou, O Victor King, on us have mercy.
Easter to you all.
our prayers for Mrs. Terri Schindler-Schiavo as she undergoes her own
passion during the Easter Triduum. Large numbers of people are surrounding
her with love outside of Woodside Hospice in Pinellas Park, Florida.
This victim-soul is not dying alone. She has the support of countless
numbers of people around the world, both those who are physically present
in Florida and the rest of us who are remembering her in our prayers,
especially before the Most Blessed Sacrament (when Our Lord returns
to tabernacles during the Easter Vigil Mass) and in Our Lady's Most
There is no
need to repeat the many points that have been stated in my past articles.
It has come to my attention, however, that some Catholics are taking
issue with a condemnation of Mrs. Schiavo's being starved and dehydrated
to death under cover of law. There is a simple way to respond to these
people: You are wrong. Period. Basic Catholic moral theology states
that one can never take any action which has as its only end the death
of an innocent human being. Mrs. Schiavo was no more near death than
any one of us prior to the withdrawal of her feeding and hydration tubes
on the Feast of the Seven Dolors of Our Lady, Friday of Passion Week,
March 18, 2005. She is nearing the point of death now because a positive
act has been committed to deny her nutrition and hydration. Pope John
Paul II did not invent a new teaching when he stated on March 20, 2004,
that the administration of food and water is ordinary care no matter
how they are delivered. He was merely reiterating the binding precepts
of the Divine positive law and the natural law.
evidently maintained that it is better to let Mrs. Schiavo die so as
to know her reward in Heaven. If Mrs. Schiavo had been on a respirator,
fine. A respirator is a machine that keeps an involuntary function of
the body going. The removal of a respirator may or may not result in
the immediate death of a patient. If a patient dies following the removal
of a respirator it is because the body was unable to perform an involuntary
function on its own. Eating and drinking are voluntary activities that
are necessary to sustain life and for which human beings come into the
world totally dependent upon other human beings. It may be the case
that we wind up our lives for years, perhaps even decades, being dependent
upon others to nourish and hydrate us. We do not have license to take
any action to kill people solely because they are dependent upon others
for nourishment and hydration.
we then delaying Mrs. Schiavo's repose in the glory of the Beatific
Vision? No. God determines when an innocent human being is to die, not
man, not man's civil institutions of governance.
Well, what is the
purpose of "keeping" Mrs. Schiavo alive in her disabled state?
Mrs. Schiavo has been no more "kept alive" prior to the imposition
of the death sentence she is suffering under as this is being written
than you or I are being "kept alive" when we eat and drink.
Mrs. Schiavo's remaining on earth while incapacitated should have been
seen by her faithless husband as the means by which he could better
get to Heaven. God had fashioned from all eternity the perfect cross
for him to carry in cooperation with the graces won for us by the shedding
of His own Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross. There
is no time limit designated by which a person can say legitimately,
"I've given enough." Mrs. Schiavo's incapacitation--and the
incapacitation of all human beings in like circumstances--is an invitation
to give the love to others that we would give to Our Himself. "Whatsoever
you do to the least of My brethren, that you do unto Me." Those
who attend faithfully to the needs of the disabled and the infirmed
and the dependent are winning for themselves merit here on earth that
they can give away freely to Our Lady' Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart
as her consecrated slaves.
never any "decisions" to be made in the case of Mrs. Terri
Schindler-Schiavo, only the Fifth Commandment to be observed faithfully
and the precepts of the Corporal Works of Mercy to be fulfilled freely
and without ever counting the cost. Some protest that Terri Schindler-Schiavo
is being killed in the name of "getting her home to Heaven."
What perversity. Why don't we all simply starve and dehydrate ourselves
to death so as to avoid the crosses that are involved with our daily
lives? We are called to lift high the Cross always and count as our
gain that we are privileged to serve others as we would serve Our Lord
There is nothing to
debate. There is nothing to discuss. There is nothing to decide. Ever.
This is black and white. God's truth is always black and white. This
not a matter of keeping a person alive "at all costs." This
is not a matter of a ninety year old person deciding whether to undergo
chemotherapy or a eighty year old person deciding to have septuple bypass
surgery. This is a matter of providing the basic needs of food and water
to a dependent human being for as long as God wills to keep her alive,
seeing in that our own path home to Heaven with the victim-soul who
serves as a source of grace for us to see in him or her the very face
of Christ Himself.
our prayers for Terri Schindler-Schiavo and for the Schindler family.
March 27, 2005, Easter Sunday, is our dear, dear daughter's third birthday.
Lucy Mary Norma Droleskey will hear Holy Mass at the Easter Vigil offered
by Father Lawrence Smith at Our Lady Help of Christians in Garden Grove,
California. She will hear Easter Sunday Mass offered by Father Paul
Sretenovic within twelve hours after the conclusion of the Easter Vigil
Mass. Her wonderful mother, whose love and devotion I am totally unworthy
of, has done such a glorious job of helping Lucy to learn the Faith
in these first three years of her life. Although she suffers quite decidedly
from the vestigial after-effects of Original Sin, Lucy loves the Faith.
She wanted to say a Hail Mary for some people who were immodestly dressed
at a park in California today. She concluded her "Hail Mary"
by saying, "Dear Blessed Mother, help these immodest people get
to Heaven as Catholics." Please say a Hail Mary for our Lucy Mary
Norma Droleskey. Thank you.