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Celebrating the Paschal Feast-Athanasius

 

Celebrating Easter

The Paschal Feast

 

by St. Athanasius

Early Church Father & Doctor of the Church

 

St. Athanasius Easter Letter on the paschal feast of EasterThis excerpt from a Easter letter by Saint Athanasius (Ep. 5:1-2: PG 26, 1379-1380) was written around 340 AD to prepare the people of Alexandria for the celebration of the Paschal Feast of Easter.  It clearly demonstrates the sacramental and liturgical nature of worship in the early church.  This selection, wonderful reading for Lent or Holy Week, is used in the Roman Catholic Office of readings on Friday of the 4th week of Lent.

 

Brethren, how fine a thing it is to move from festival to festival, from prayer to prayer, from holy day to holy day. The time is now at hand when we enter on a new beginning: the proclamation of the blessed Passover, in which the Lord was sacrificed. We feed as on the food of life, we constantly refresh our souls with his precious blood, as from a fountain. Yet we are always thirsting, burning to be satisfied. But he himself is present for those who thirst and in his goodness invites them to the feast day. Our Savior repeats his words: If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.


He quenched the thirst not only of those who came to him then. Whenever anyone seeks him he is freely admitted to the presence of the Saviour. The grace of the feast is not restricted to one occasion. Its rays of glory never set. It is always at hand to enlighten the mind of those who desire it. Its power is always there for those whose minds have been enlightened and who meditate day and night on the holy Scriptures, like the one who is called blessed in the holy psalm: Blessed is the man who has not followed the counsel of the wicked, or stood where sinners stand, or sat in the seat of the scornful, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.


Moreover, my friends, the God who first established this feast for us allows us to celebrate it each year. He who gave up his Son to death for our salvation, from the same motive gives us this feast, which is commemorated every year. This feast guides us through the trials that meet us in this world. God now gives us the joy of salvation that shines out from this feast, as he brings us together to form one assembly, uniting us all in spirit in every place, allowing us to pray together and to offer common thanksgiving, as is our duty on the feast. Such is the wonder of his love: he gathers to this feast those who are far apart, and brings together in unity of faith those who may be physically separated from each other.

 

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The Passion - The Meaning of the MovieTo learn more about Christ as the Living Word, purchase Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio's CD, The Passion - The Meaning of the Movie. Why did Jesus have to pass through such horrible torture to redeem us? Could not forgiveness and salvation have been obtained in some other way?  Why does the Devil figure so prominently in the movie?  And why does Mary play such an important role?  This talk, a perfect complement to the film and The Guide to the Passion, will help you get the most out of the movie and the most out of the season.  45 minutes, followed by questions and answers.

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I Believe - The Heart of Catholic Faith

First given as a Lenten retreat, this is an awesome 4 session program to revitalize your faith and prepare you for the joy of Easter. Great for individuals or families or small groups. The workbook is a treasure of discussion questions, devotions and spiritual exercises that can serve as an easy-to-follow roadmap through the Lenten season that will break you out of stale patterns and enrich both your prayer and your understanding of the central truths of the Catholic faith, empowering you to share that faith with others.

 

 Exploring the Catholic Church Introduction to Catholic Doctrine and Practice, a Roman Catholic Book Exploring the Catholic Church: An Introduction to Catholic Teaching & Practice
Exploring the Catholic Church: An Introduction to Catholic Teaching and Practice by Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio is an accessible, affordable Roman Catholic Book--perfect gift for anyone!! -- the inactive Catholic, the Sunday Catholic wanting to know more, Protestants who want to know why Catholics do what they do.


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