Monday, May 15, 2006

The Birth of Easter

From a woodcut illustration by Julius Schnoor von Carolsfeld originally printed in Das Buch der B├╝cher in Bilden"A new birth has taken place,
a new life has come,
a new order of existence has appeared,
our very nature has been transformed!

"This birth
is not brought about by human generation,
by the will of man,
or by the desire of the flesh,
but by God.

"If you wonder how, I will explain in clear language.

"Faith is the womb that conceives this new life,
baptism the rebirth
by which it is brought forth into the light of day.
'Madonna with the Christ Child' by Sassoferrato - d. 1685, Roma"The Church is its nurse;
her teachings are its milk,
the bread from heaven is its food.

It is brought to maturity by the practice of virtue;
it is wedded to wisdom;
it gives birth to hope.

"Its home is the kingdom;
its rich inheritance, the joys of paradise;

its end, not death,
but the blessed and everlasting life
prepared for those who are worthy."

(from a homily by St. Gregory of Nyssa
- today's Office of Readings)