Sunday, April 16, 2017

Alleluia!

Happy Easter!  Having followed the world's Saviour out into the desert of Lent and along the way of the Cross, now we too may rise as he did.  Yes, we the Church are audacious enough to stake all we stand for on the truth that Jesus Christ, who was man and God, rose wholly and bodily from the dead and, in doing so, defeated death itself.  This is the central belief which we hold and profess with a straight face, and the reason we have firm hope in everlasting life.  Otherwise, to paraphrase St. Paul, we might as well all give up and go home. 

To assent to this truth turns our view of the world upside down and inside out.  But that is what the Church is for.  As G.K. Chesterton says, it is not the tenets of the Church but the world's dull, secular logic that is the wrong way up.

Now for some music: the Arnold Singers from Rugby School sing Simon Lindley's arrangement of one of our best Easter hymns at the church of St Mary the Virgin, Hanbury (from the BBC's Songs of Praise):


Today is also a double cause for celebration, being Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI's ninetieth birthday...  As I shall never tire of saying again and again and again, I am proud to number among the Benedict generation who came of age in faith under his gently staunch, warmly courageous teaching.  It is largely to Josef Ratzinger that we owe the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the lucid, intellectual, meticulous compendium of the faith which is the place for anyone, inside or outside the Church, to take their questions.  From his writings the dawn of faith will break in many minds. And, as Pope, his visit to the United Kingdom in 2010, in which he saw hope in this country where we ourselves had forgotten it, and during which he accordingly encouraged us with a challenging, invigorating message, was a milestone in my life and in the history of the Church in Great Britain.   Herzliche Glückwünsche und Gebete, lieber Benedikt, zu diesem herrlichen runden Geburtstag!

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