As another week comes to an end, this is your chance to top off your glass with a final helping of news, current events, and just plain interesting stuff that may not have made into the mainstream media. A chance to linger for a few more moments before we close the door on the week. Below are some links to articles, blogs, and miscellaneous happenings that caught my eye over the past few days. Sample what you like - I'll serve up more next Friday...
Easter Vigil Homily of Pope Benedict XVI - "We celebrate the definitive victory of the Creator and of his creation. We celebrate this day as the origin and the goal of our existence. We celebrate it because now, thanks to the risen Lord, it is definitively established that reason is stronger than unreason, truth stronger than lies, love stronger than death."
Who Saw Christ Rising from the Dead? - "Neither the guards who were on watch through the entire night, nor the women who came in the morning saw the Resurrection itself."
Making Sense of the Resurrection Accounts - Are There Discrepancies? - "Frankly, one would be surprised if every detail in the account of an astonishing event were exactly the same...But as they are, these accounts have every hallmark of the accounts of people who experienced the events truly, but, due to their ecstatic and disorienting quality, recall the details differently or emphasize different facets." See also this follow-up piece.
Jesus Didn't Just 'Die for Our Salvation': Why He Rose from the Dead - "Most people know that Jesus died for their sins. But, as we shall see, according to the New Testament Jesus also rose for our salvation."
The Last Supper, Good Friday, And Transubstantiation - "How does one explain transubstantiation at the Last Supper? If Jesus had not yet sacrificed His human nature, how could he offer his body and blood to the Apostles in the form of bread and wine?"
Transcript of Papal Q&A on Italian TV - "In a papal first, Benedict XVI today went on Italian state TV to respond to seven questions from the general public, chosen from among 3,000 submissions from all around the world."
Pope John Paul II's Legacy of Love - "Only a strong man can recognize the way that moral weakness can corrupt the soul and undermine the confidence of others. John Paul II understood the lethal nature of a compassion that refuses to acknowledge an objective order of what is good and what is not."
Revelation: Cardinals Petitioned For John Paul II Sainthood In Conclave - "Influential Italian Cardinal Camillio Ruini says inside the secret Conclave to elect John Paul's successor, he was given a signed petition from his brother Cardinals to push for fast-track sainthood for the recently deceased pontiff."
George Weigel: Remembering Pope John Paul II - "When the Church puts the title “Blessed” or “Saint” on someone, the person so honored often drifts away into a realm of the unapproachably good. We lose the sense that the saints are people just-like-us, who, by the grace of God, lived lives of heroic virtue..."
Sunday’s beatification will be of a holy pope who began the fightback against the smoke of Satan - "[John Paul's] greatest achievement...was that he did more than any pope of the last century to defend and reassert beyond any doubt the stable and objective character of Catholic teaching."
Civilization Killers – On the Decline of Three Basic Cultural Indicators and What it Means for America - "...there are significant differences between economic classes in this Country that sheds important light on the cultural crisis we are facing. In effect, economic class is a big indicator in moral behavior today."
How to Respond when a Loved One Leaves the Church - "There are thousands of hurting Catholic moms and dads out there, begging God to bring their children back to the Church and dealing with immense feelings of guilt over the possibility that they are responsible for their child’s lack of faith."
Tending the New Catholic Subculture - "Signs of a new Catholic subculture can be seen in things like a handful of proudly orthodox colleges and universities, media ventures like EWTN and Catholic radio, a growing number of websites and periodicals and a few publishing houses, and organizations and movements that work to promote a dynamic Catholic spirituality..."
Ecumenism and the Pope of Christian Unity - "The 'ultimate purpose' of ecumenism, the pope told Vatican doctrinal officials last year, 'consists in the achievement of the full and visible communion of the Lord’s disciples.' By that standard, Pope Benedict XVI is the pope of Christian unity."
Virtues Gone Wild - "...when I first began studying Catholicism...I saw the big picture of human morality, the full articulation of the rules of love written on every human heart."
A Case for Hell - "Doing away with hell, then, is a natural way for pastors and theologians to make their God seem more humane. The problem is that this move also threatens to make human life less fully human."
What? No Easter Greeting? - "By comparison, the White House has released statements recognizing the observance of major Muslim holidays and released statements in 2010 on Ramadan, Eid-ul-Fitr, Hajj, and Eid-ul-Adha."
Newt Gingrich: Why I Became Catholic - "Over the course of a decade, the depth of faith and history contained in the life of the Catholic Church were increasingly apparent to me, and the centrality of the Eucharist in the Catholic Mass became more and more clear."
Is the Antichrist Approaching? - "...we are not experiencing the time of Antichrist, or even his imminent arrival. What we do seem to be experiencing is a minor chastisement that precedes the major chastisement of Antichrist. Between the two chastisements is widely prophesied an age of great peace."
Royalty and Ritual - [I did not follow the wedding of Prince William at all...but this article points out nicely the importance of ceremony/ritual/formality (and liturgy) in our lives.]
This is just too silly, yet it's true: Drive-Thru Jesus