All is gift.
“When I’m praying it sometimes seems like I’m engaged in a stare-down with God. I sense God’s will but I stubbornly refuse to accept it. I will be the first to blink in this battle of the wills between Creator and creature, between the Lover and the beloved. I never win the stare-down. Winning is not the point of prayer anyway, encounter is.
“Whether we know or not; whether we acknowledge it or not we are made for divine embrace. At the deepest level of our being we long for encounter, not victory. Thankfully, God knows this and waits paitently for us to blink.” ~Anonymous
[God is] “Mercy within Mercy within Mercy.” ~Thomas Merton
“But now the power of Easter has burst upon us with the resurrection of Christ. Now we find in ourselves a strength which is not our own, and which is freely given to us whenever we need it, raising us above the Law, giving us a new law which is hidden in Christ: the law of his merciful love for us. Now we no longer strive to be good because we have to, because it is a duty, but because our joy is to please him who has given all his love to us! Now our life is full of meaning!” ~Thomas Merton, except from Seasons of Celebration
“If it is true that death no longer has power over man and over the world, there still remain very many, in fact too many signs of its former dominion. Even if through Easter, Christ has destroyed the root of evil, he still wants the assistance of men and women in every time and place who help him to affirm his victory using his own weapons: the weapons of justice and truth, mercy, forgiveness and love.” Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI, 4/13/2009
God of all life, light, and love, through the visible things of this world you raise our thoughts to things unseen, and you show us your power and your love. From your dwelling place refresh our hearts and renew the face of the earth with the life-giving water of your word, until the new heaven and new earth resound with the song of resurrection. Amen
“Jesus is a specialist at turning our deaths into life, our mourning into dancing (cf. Ps 30:11). With him, we too can experience a Pasch, that is, a Passover– from self-centeredness to communion, from desolation to consolation, from fear to confidence. Let us not keep our faces bowed to the ground in fear, but raise our eyes to the risen Jesus. His gaze fills us with hope, for it tells us that we are loved unfailingly, and that however much we make a mess of things, his love remains unchanged. This is the one, non-negotiable certitude we have in life: his love does not change. Let us ask ourselves: In my life, where am I looking? Am I gazing at graveyards, or looking for the Living One?” ~Pope Francis, 20 April 2019
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lamp stand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.” (Matthew 5:14-16)
“We are Easter people and ‘Alleluia’ is our song. Let us sing ‘Alleluia’ here and now in this life, even though we are oppressed by various worries, so that we may sing it one day in the world to come, we are set free from all anxiety.” ~Saint Augustine of Hippo
On this day, Lord God, you opened for us the way to eternal life through your only Son’s victory over death. Grant that as we celebrate the feast of his resurrection we may be renewed by your Holy Spirit and rise again in the light of life. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen