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Fulton Sheen on the True Meaning of Easter

In his inimitable style, Archbishop Fulton Sheen shed light on an essential part of Easter’s meaning during his early radio shows and then his television series.

During his The Catholic Hour radio show on April 5, 1942, he focused on “The Resurrection.”

“Friends,” he began, “celebrating Easter in a world that is more like a Good Friday and hearing the chance of peace amidst the explosions of war makes us wonder what lesson this blessed feast could have for these tragic days?”

“The answer is to be found in two distinct scenes in the life of Our Lord,” he went on. “The first scene took place in the Garden of Gethsemane. And there emerges this lesson: Evil has its hour, but God has his day. And that evil hour is inseparable from God’s day.”

He continued, “Without the war with evil in its hour, there will never be the day of peace. Unless there is a Good Friday in our lives, there will never be an Easter Sunday. Unless there is the crown of thorns, there will never be the halo of light. Unless there is the scourged body, there will never be the glorified body. And there is the answer to the question of Easter.”

“How can we celebrate Easter in a world that is like a Good Friday?” he then asked rhetorically.

Sharing examples, he pointed out, “Our Blessed Lord never said, ‘Blessed are the peaceful.’ But he did say, ‘Blessed are the peacemakers.’ Peace must be made. It must be won in a battle. Good Friday was not the day of appeasement. Therefore, Easter was not a day of false peace.”

Continuing, he stressed that “Easter teaches us that there can be no day of victory unless we pass through the hour of struggle against evil and in union with the Savior.” There can be no compromise with evil if our victory in Christ’s resurrection is the goal. Venerable Sheen proclaimed, “In the triumph of his resurrection our Divine Lord keeps the scars that he received in the hour of his defeat, and he keeps those scars for all eternity.” Explaining why, the priest emphasized, “And on the last day when he shall come in the clouds of heaven to judge the living and the dead, he will show them as pledges of his victory. He is a prince of peace, but only because he was once a captain of war and the Lord of Hosts.”

Read more at National Catholic Register 

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