"The Life of Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ"
"The Apostle's creed speaks of Jesus' descent “into hell.” This descent not only took place in and after His death, but accompanies him along his entire journey. He must recapitulate the whole of history from it's beginnings -- from Adam on; He must go through, suffer through, the whole of it, in order to transform it. The letter to the Hebrews is particularly eloquent in stressing that Jesus' mission, the solidarity with all of us he manifested beforehand in His baptism, includes exposure to the risks and perils of human existence: “Therefore he had to be made like his brethren in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make expiation for the sins of the people. For because he himself has suffered and been tempted, he is able to help those who are tempted” (Heb 2:17-18). “For we have not a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” (Heb 4:15). The story of the temptations is thus intimately connected with the story of the baptism, for it is there that Jesus enters into solidarity with sinners. . .In his short account of the temptations, Mark brings into relief the parallels between Adam and Jesus, stressing how Jesus “suffers through” the quintessential human drama. Jesus, we read, “was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to him.” The desert -- the opposite image of the garden -- becomes the place of reconciliation and healing."
Are you looking for spiritual reading ideas for the Easter Season?
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Pope Benedict XVI's "Apostolic Journey to the United States" begins next month! The theme of his visit is "Christ Our Hope."
In honor of the visit, we have created a Pope Benedict XVI specialty store. To browse the items in our Pope Benedict XVI specialty store, please click here
Why Did the Word Become Flesh?
"With the Nicene Creed, we answer by confessing: "For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven; by the power of the Holy Spirit, he became incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and was made man." The Word became flesh for us in order to save us by reconciling us with God, who "loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins": "the Father has sent his Son as the Savior of the world", and "he was revealed to take away sins":
Sick, our nature demanded to be healed; fallen, to be raised up; dead, to rise again. We had lost the possession of the good; it was necessary for it to be given back to us. Closed in the darkness, it was necessary to bring us the light; captives, we awaited a Savior; prisoners, help; slaves, a liberator. Are these things minor or insignificant? Did they not move God to descend to human nature and visit it, since humanity was in so miserable and unhappy a state?
The Word became flesh so that thus we might know God's love: "In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him." "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."
Selected Religious and Devotional Items for the Easter Season . . .
The Resurrection of Christ: a faith approach
"The resurrection of Christ is like a mountain peak that acts as a watershed; in one direction it faces toward history and leads to history; in the other, it faces toward faith and leads to faith. Let us now come down in the opposite direction from the one in whcih we came; let us follow the crest of faith. By passing from history to faith, our way of talking about the resurrection changes too; our tone, our language. We do not adduce proofs and confirmations; there is no need for them, for the voice of the Holy Spirit creates conviction directly within the heart. It is an assertive, apodictic language. 'But now Christ has been raised from the dead' (1 Corinthians 15:20), says St. Paul. Now we are on the plane of faith, no longer on that of demonstration. It is the kerygma: 'Scimus Christum surrexisse a mortuis vere' runs the liturgy for Easter Day: 'We know that Christ has really risen.' This too is the language of faith. Not only do we believe but, having believed, we know that it is so, we are sure of it. We are talking about a certainty different in nature from the historical kind, yet stronger since founded on God. Only the unbeliever or the agnostic can regard this as an arrogant claim of people who believe themselves to be in possession of truth and refuse all further discussion. In fact, it is the language of those who are totally submitted, as a result of practicing what St. Paul calls 'the obedience of faith. (Romans 1:5)"
First Holy Communion season is almost here!
To read our recently posted article about First Holy Communion traditions and practices, please click here
A rosary is always a beautiful and thoughtful gift of faith. To browse our complete selection of rosaries and chaplets, please click here
To browse our Catholic art selection, including Florentine plaques, icons, pictures and prints, please click here
A Prayer for Easter:
O Jesus! Who art the beginning and end of all things, life and virtue, remember that for our sakes Thou wast plunged into an abyss of suffering, from the soles of They feet to the crown of Thy head. In consideration of the enormity of Thy wounds, teach me to keep, through pure love, Thy commandments, which are a wide and easy path for those who love Thee. Amen.
We hope your Easter season is an especially blessed and faith-filled one.
- the staff at Aquinas and More Catholic Goods