Editorial | Easter is a season to rejuvenate our souls
Easter is a season and not merely a one-day celebration. In the Catholic Church, we observe this season from Easter Sunday until Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles and the Church was born. We fully celebrate Christ's resurrection, which plucks us from the death of sin and moves us toward a life of grace.
For the next seven Sundays, we will learn more about Jesus' interactions with the apostles, from Thomas' struggle to believe without seeing the risen Christ, to Jesus making Himself known through the breaking of bread and His commandment to "love one another." The apostles were the first witnesses of these things, so that they would be empowered to go forth to all nations and preach of Christ's power to forgive sins.
Just as those disciples struggled to understand Christ's death and resurrection and go forth in preaching His word, it is easy for Catholics today to become lost in a world that is becoming increasingly hostile to our faith. Just as the Apostles feared powerful forces in the first days after Christ's crucifixion, Catholics all over the world face their own fear of persecution, from media and cultures that make faith a mere mockery, to a government mandate that violates religious liberty -- or even worse, a government that imposes harsh punishments just for being Catholic.
Thankfully, we also have the gift of God's great mercy, celebrated this Sunday, which as St. Thomas Aquinas once said, "consists in bringing a thing out of nonbeing into being." When Christ revealed the message of His mercy through His visions to St. Maria Faustina Kowalska in the 1930s, He helped us to understand that evil can be conquered through His Divine Mercy.
His messages to St. Faustina also revealed that our souls can receive great healing through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. "Every time you go to confession, immerse yourself in My mercy, with great trust, so that I may pour the bounty of My grace upon your soul. When you approach the confessional, know this, that I Myself am waiting there for you. I am only hidden by the priest, but I myself act in your soul. Here the misery of the soul meets the God of mercy" (Diary of St. Faustina, 1602).
Let us embrace this season of Easter as a time in which we can rejuvenate our faith. We are given food for the journey through the sacraments. A seed is planted, through our own baptismal promises, and a faith community flourishes. Easter is a time to take those promises to heart, no matter how difficult the journey may be.
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