Easter is the feast of the new creation. Jesus is risen and dies no more. He has opened the door to a new life, one that no longer knows illness and death. He has taken mankind up into God himself.                         –POPE BENEDICT XVI (from Fr. Z’s blog– go to WDTPRS for the rest)

Easter is the apex of the feasts and celebrations of the Catholic Church.  It is the highest of all our high Holy Days.  THIS day we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus.  We celebrate the empty tomb. We celebrate with candles and with song, and we celebrate with the Mass.

Easter Vigil begins the season of the liturgical year we call Easter which does not end until Pentecost.  It is a season of light, of prayers, and joyful celebration of the new creation.

16 years ago I entered full communion with the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil.  I entered knowing it would bring a considerable amount of pain into my life in the form of abandonment and hostility.  I found that I could stand the hostility (and the loss of people I had thought of as friends) in all the forms, no matter who brought it, because of the blessing of the fullness of the Faith. Being Catholic is well worth what it cost me.

What I have as a Catholic is a deeper friendship with God.  I didn’t go from a place where I did not know Christ, where there was no personal friendship with God, but from a place where the personal aspects of knowing God were everything and it was actually good.  God led me to the Catholic Church to bring me to a new place in our relationship and so deepened that relationship and matured it.  I am so very grateful to God for His loving guidance.

I’m not the only one who recalls entering the Catholic Church with joy: House Unseen, Life Unscripted: What I Remember.

Dear Jesus, thank You for all you have done for me, especially for bringing me into the Catholic Church.  Please bless the people who have entered the Church at this year’s vigil with an ever deepening understanding of and friendship with You and thank You for adding them to the Body of Christ. Amen.

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