Christ has Risen! He has truly Risen!
By the gift of faith we believe what the Apostles handed down to us: that Christ died according to the Scriptures and rose on the third day according to Scriptures. St. Paul bears witness to this truth which underscores the divinity of Christ. Upon this great truth we base our lives and our work.
In the Arians of the Fourth Century, St. John Henry Newman explores the very early heresy of Arianism. In this book, Newman explains that the early Church believed and confessed that Jesus is both the Eternal Word and the Only Son of the Father. He is the promised Messiah, the Savior of the World. Sadly many people, even some Christians misguided by a few theologians, do not believe that Jesus is the one Messiah. They think that he is a good and wise teacher, but one among others. These misguided Christians somehow feel that it is close minded to claim that Christ is the only way, the only truth, the only life.
In Newman’s “Meditations and Devotions,” the saint draws from the Gospel account of Jesus’s appearance to St. Thomas and prays:
“I ADORE Thee, O my God, with Thomas; and if I have, like him, sinned through unbelief, I adore Thee the more. I adore Thee as the One Adorable, I adore Thee as more glorious in Thy humiliation, when men despised Thee, than when Angels worshipped Thee. Deus meus et omnia—”My God and my all.” To have Thee is to have everything I can have. O my Eternal Father, give me Thyself.”
Newman repeats the Apostle Thomas’s words various times and concludes the first part of his prayer:
“I am full and abound and overflow, when I have Thee; but without Thee I am nothing—I wither away, I dissolve and perish. My Lord and my God, my God and my all, give me Thyself and nothing else.”
Newman imagines the day that he will see and touch the sacred wounds of Jesus.
“O will the day ever come when I shall be allowed actually and visibly to kiss them? What a day will that be when I am thoroughly cleansed from all impurity and sin, and am fit to draw near to my Incarnate God in His palace of light above! what a morning, when having done with all penal suffering, I see Thee for the first time with these very eyes of mine, I see Thy countenance, gaze upon Thy eyes and gracious lips without quailing, and then kneel down with joy to kiss Thy feet, and am welcomed into Thy arms.”
St. John Henry calls Jesus: “O my only true Lover, the only Lover of my soul, Thee will I love now, that I may love Thee then.” He longs for that day purified of all sins, venial as well as mortal, when he shall stand in the sight of God surrounded by Angels and Archangels. It will be a glorious day without end.
As we celebrate Jesus’s glorious resurrection, we make Newman’s prayer our own – we too long to be fully united with God one day:
“O my God, though I am not fit to see or touch Thee yet, still I will ever come within Thy reach, and desire that which is not yet given me in its fulness. O my Saviour, Thou shalt be my sole God!—I will have no Lord but Thee. I will break to pieces all idols in my heart which rival Thee. I will have nothing but Jesus and Him crucified. It shall be my life to pray to Thee, to offer myself to Thee, to keep Thee before me, to worship Thee in Thy holy Sacrifice, and to surrender myself to Thee in Holy Communion.”
As we greet one another: Christus Surrexit, Sicut Dixit! Alleluia in celebration of the Lord’s resurrection, let us pledge ourselves to these resolutions.