Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

4/20/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Rise, let us leave this place. The enemy led you out of the earthly paradise. I will not restore you to that paradise, but I will enthrone you in heaven

Something strange is happening - there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. God has died in the flesh and hell trembles with fear. He has gone to search for our first parent, as for a lost sheep. Greatly desiring to visit those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, he has gone to free from sorrow the captives Adam and Eve, he who is both God and the son of Eve. The Lord approached them bearing the cross, the weapon that had won him the victory.

Holy Saturday Byzantine Icon. This is a day which presents to those who approach it in contemplation, an opportunity to probe the mystery of life and death. It is a day to enter into the deeper mysteries of the faith with the millions and millions of those who have gone before us.

Holy Saturday Byzantine Icon. This is a day which presents to those who approach it in contemplation, an opportunity to probe the mystery of life and death. It is a day to enter into the deeper mysteries of the faith with the millions and millions of those who have gone before us.

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

4/20/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Deacon Keith Fournier, Holy Saturday, Melito of Sardis, Tomb, Good Friday, Catholic, Christian, prayer, contemplation, Hell, Victory, Office of Readings


CHESAPEAKE, Va. (Catholic Online) - Last night, in a simple yet moving service, Christians throughout the world commemorated Good Friday by venerating the cross. In my parish, tears flowed as the sincerity of devotion met the manifestation of a Love beyond all words.

Today, we stand at the watch, waiting for the fulfillment of the great promise of Life triumphing over death. Today, we keep silent. 

Holy Saturday is a day which takes on more significance to me as I grow older. It is an invitation to deep reflection. It presents to those who approach it in contemplation, an opportunity to probe the mystery of life and death. It is a day to enter into the deeper mysteries of the faith with the millions and millions of those who have gone before us.

Today we pause at the grave,knowing that the One who was wrapped in that linen is our Champion, and He has prepared the way into the happiness of the communion of love for all who understand the power of faith.

Among the many great treasures of being a Catholic Christian is the treasury of inspired reflections we have given to us in our unbroken Christian tradition; our family history. For example, the writings of the early fathers of the church.

As a member of the clergy, a deacon, I was asked to pray the Liturgy of the Hours daily upon my ordination. In fact, since the Second Vatican Council, the Church has encouraged ALL of the faithful, clergy, consecrated religious and lay faithful to do so.

This beautiful format for prayer places us in a solidarity of worship with the Church universal.In a way whiich can only be experienced, it roots us in the heart of the Church, for the sake of the world. Over my years of ministry I have seen lives totally transformed when people choose to respond to the invitation of the Church to enter into this pattern of prayer. It opens up into a way of life.

In the Office of Readings we find selective quotations and citations from our history which open up the treasury of which I write - on a daily basis - for our prayerful reflection. They can -  and they do - change your life.However, like all gifts, they must be received and unwrapped. More and more of the faithful are finding the treasure and growing in their relationship with the Living God as they feast on these beautiful readings form our family history

On this Holy Saturday, we are offered in the Liturgy of the Hours an exquisite excerpt from a writing or homily offered on this day by an anonymous Christian. Some believe it was the Second Century Bishop of Sardis named Melito.

However, it is not who wrote these extraordinary words which matters. Rather, it is the mystery which they open up, for all those who have the eyes of living faith. I present these inspired words below. This is the day when we are invited into the deep, hope filled prayer of the whole Church as we prepare for the great Easter Vigil.

Please, take time out of the morning to simply sit in the silence of prayer and read this homily.I We also present one of the multiple icons which this mystery has inspired to enhance our prayerful reflection for the Great Easter Vigil in which we will soon participate.Now, with the Church joined in communion, in heaven and on earth, through the centuries, let us wait at the tomb in holy silence.

*****

The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep

Something strange is happening - there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. God has died in the flesh and hell trembles with fear.

He has gone to search for our first parent, as for a lost sheep. Greatly desiring to visit those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, he has gone to free from sorrow the captives Adam and Eve, he who is both God and the son of Eve. The Lord approached them bearing the cross, the weapon that had won him the victory.
 
At the sight of him Adam, the first man he had created, struck his breast in terror and cried out to everyone: "My Lord be with you all." Christ answered him: "And with your spirit." He took him by the hand and raised him up, saying: "Awake, O sleeper, and rise from the dead, and Christ will give you light."

"I am your God, who for your sake have become your son. Out of love for you and for your descendants I now by my own authority command all who are held in bondage to come forth, all who are in darkness to be enlightened, all who are sleeping to arise. I order you, O sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be held a prisoner in hell.

"Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead. Rise up, work of my hands, you who were created in my image. Rise, let us leave this place, for you are in me and I am in you; together we form only one person and we cannot be separated.

"For your sake I, your God, became your son; I, the Lord, took the form of a slave; I, whose home is above the heavens, descended to the earth and beneath the earth. For your sake, for the sake of man, I became like a man without help, free among the dead. For the sake of you, who left a garden, I was betrayed to in a garden, and I was crucified in a garden.

'See on my face the spittle I received in order to restore to you the life I once breathed into you. See there the marks of the blows I received in order to refashion your warped nature in my image. On my back see the marks of the scourging I endured to remove the burden of sin that weighs upon your back. See my hands, nailed firmly to a tree, for you who once wickedly stretched out your hand to a tree.

"I slept on the cross and a sword pierced my side for you who slept in paradise and brought forth Eve from your side. My side has healed the pain in yours. My sleep will rouse you from your sleep in hell. The sword that pierced me has sheathed the sword that was turned against you.

'Rise, let us leave this place. The enemy led you out of the earthly paradise. I will not restore you to that paradise, but I will enthrone you in heaven. I forbade you the tree that was only a symbol of life, but see, I who am life itself am now one with you. I appointed cherubim to guard you as slaves are guarded, but now I make them worship you as God.

"The throne formed by cherubim awaits you, its bearers swift and eager. The bridal chamber is adorned, the banquet is ready, the eternal dwelling places are prepared, the treasure houses of all good things lie open. The kingdom of heaven has been prepared for you from all eternity".

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2015
Universal:
That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity.
Evangelization: That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society.



Comments


More U.S.

More popular than any team or band, Pope Francis crashes websites and crushes infrastructure ahead of visit Watch

Image of There is hope in the knowledge that more people will turn out to see the Holy Father than will attend a sporting event or concert.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) has a problem. How to transport over a quarter-million pilgrims into, and back out of Philadelphia during Pope Francis' visit? The solution is to stage a lottery where the winners get to buy train tickets ... continue reading


Growing strength of Latin vote in United States could lead to 'backlash' against whites Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The swelling number of United States citizens of Latino descent - from Mexico, as well as South American countries, will bring with a new political influence. It is estimated that by 2050, 29 percent of the U.S. population will be of Latino descents. There are fears ... continue reading


Planned Parenthood exposed in FIFTH HORRIFIC VIDEO showing disection of 20-week-old aborted baby for organ selling (WARNING: GRAPHIC VIDEO) Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The fifth Planned Parenthood expose video featuring hidden camera footage discussing the selling of aborted baby body parts has been released by the Center for Medical Progress. This video highlights talks with the director of research for Planned Parenthood Gulf ... continue reading


People melting in NYC's heated subway stations Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

During the hottest day recorded of the year, New York City's subway stations were also hit by the sweltering weather that left people sweating and feeling stuck under the ground. On a survey completed on the trains of the city's subways, the hottest stations were ... continue reading


Is Pope Francis going to endorse...BERNIE SANDERS?! Watch

Image of Many have said the Bernie Sanders aligns best with Pope Francis' positions on important issues, but they'd be wrong. Pope Francis is neither Republican nor Democrat, he is Catholic and no candidate matches him on all of the issues. Candidates who care about the Catholic vote would do well to heed his words when he visits in September.

By Marshall Connolly (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The field of 2016 presidential contenders would do well to look over their shoulder and spend some time thinking about someone who could make a difference in their races -Pope Francis. In just a matter of weeks Pope Francis will come to Philadelphia and he will command ... continue reading


UNBELIEVABLE ACADEMIC RANT: Rutgers University professor declares U.S. is far more brutal than Islamic State Watch

Image of Academic Deepa Kumar is now drawing attention to a new rant that says that the U.S. is far more brutal than Islamic State. She says that U.S. military intervention in the Middle East has cost the lives of 1.3 million people.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Rutgers University professor Deepa Kumar, no fan of United States foreign policy, has spoken out against domestic policies before. Kumar is now drawing attention to a new rant that says the U.S. is far more brutal than Islamic State. She says that U.S. military ... continue reading


Jennifer Hartline: In Memory of Noah Wilson Watch

Image of While we had to accept that most terrible sight -- a beloved little child lying in a casket -- Noah's vision is the Beatific. Because of the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, Noah lives forevermore. Death has not had the final word. Cancer has certainly not had the victory.

By Jennifer Hartline

Noah loved baseball, especially the Kansas City Royals. He loved superheroes, Legos, Ninja Turtles, and making the silliest faces for everybody. When he began his chemo, and blood tests and needles became a frequent, regular part of his life, he decided those ... continue reading


J. Matt Barber: This is Your Nuremberg, Planned Parenthood Watch

Image of Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation is the main defender of the activities being engaged in by Planned Parenthood

By J. Matt Barber

Whereas the Nazis were responsible for the wholesale murder of more than 6 million Jews, those today who support the practice of abortion homicide are no less complicit in the systematic slaughter of 55-million-and-counting equally precious human beings post Roe ... continue reading


Staver and Fournier: Time for Civil Resistance and a New Alliance Watch

Image of We must stand up to unjust authority and openly declare that the Supreme Court is not the Supreme Being.

By Mat Staver and Deacon Keith Fournier

We stand together in affirming that marriage is between one man and one woman, intended for life, open to new life and formative of the family. The family is the first cell of civil society and must be protected from governmental abuse and interference. No Court, ... continue reading


Meet the nun who calmed Wild West bad man Billy the Kid: Sister Blandina Segale Watch

Image of

By Mary Rezac, CNA/EWTN News

Billy the Kid, a notorious bank and stagecoach robber of the Wild West, met his match in the most unlikely of people when he met Sister Blandina Segale. Santa Fe (CNA/EWTN News) - According to legend, and to Sr. Blandina's journal and letters, one of Billy the ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Numbers 12:1-13
1 Miriam, and Aaron too, criticised Moses over the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 51:3-4, 5-6, 6-7, 12-13
3 For I am well aware of my offences, my sin is ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 14:22-36
22 And at once he made the disciples get into the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 4th, 2015 Image

St. John Vianney
August 4: St. John Vianney, Priest (Patron of priests) Feast day - August ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter