Resurrection: "God´s Greatest Act of Love"

Friar´s Lenten Preaching to Pope and Curia

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VATICAN CITY, APR. 6, 2001 ( Jesus´ resurrection was God´s greatest act of love for man, and must lead the believer to intensely seek intimacy with the Trinity. This was the essence of a Franciscan friar´s meditation, to help John Paul II prepare for Holy Week.

The Holy Father joined members of the Roman Curia this morning to hear the final Lenten preaching of Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa, the papal household´s preacher.

«With Christ´s resurrection, the Father breaks the silence and expresses his judgment on Christ´s action and, of course, on those who crucified him,» Father Cantalamessa said over Vatican Radio, summarizing his preaching.

«It is a source of hope and joy for us,» he said, «because the Scriptures assure us that what God did for Jesus, he will do for us. One day he will come close to our tomb — we do not know where or how this moment will be — and he will say the same thing to us as Jesus said to the dead young man: ´Son, it is I who speak: get up.´ This is how we, too, will resurrect.»

The Capuchin friar then told the story of two monks who spent their lives dreaming about how eternal life would be, after death.

They made a pact: The first one to die would appear to his friend the following year and, if life in heaven is as they imagined, he would simply say «taliter» (which in Latin means, «it is like this»). However, if eternity were different from what they thought, he would say «aliter» («it is another way»).

One of them died. On the anniversary of his death, he appeared in light in his friend´s cell. The living monk anxiously asked him: «Is it as we thought?»

The other moved his head and through half-closed lips said «totaliter aliter» («totally other»).

Yet, «we do not have to wait to meet the Trinity after our death,» Father Cantalamessa told the Pope and his collaborators. «We have to find it in this world, and not outside ourselves, but in our interior.»

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