Friday, April 6, 2012

Contrasting Cycles

EWTN maintains a website where mass readings for the day are shown for every day of the year (link). On that site, beneath links to the texts, EWTN also shows a daily quotation taken from famous Catholic saints, councils, or documents. Today’s quote comes from Pope St. Pius X:

Truly we are passing through disastrous times, when we may well make our own the lamentation of the Prophet: “There is no truth, and there is no mercy, and there is no knowledge of God in the land” (Hosea 4:1). Yet in the midst of this tide of evil, the Virgin Most Merciful rises before our eyes like a rainbow, as the arbiter of peace between God and man.

The sun is shining here, the vegetable kingdom’s already dressed for Easter Sunday. The secular mood is cheerful: the economy is turning around, good employment numbers will be unveiled at 8:30 Eastern time—and the WSJ laments the fact that the markets are closed today and hence the DOW and other indices will miss the full swell of investor reactions.

I am reminded of the differences between different kinds of time and their cyclings: the natural, the secular, and the transcendant. We live simultaneously in all of these, awarely or not. In the eternal dispensation the rules are very different. The darkest day, Good Friday, is immediately followed by Easter Sunday, celebrating Christ’s resurrection—an abrupt change we never see in the realms down below. Heavenly time is of another kind and order. It accommodates itself to our flowing time here by a cycle of recurrence.

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