The Roman Catholic writer and nun Ruth Obbard tells a story of Pope John XXIII. “On Easter Sunday, his first after being elected Patriarch of Venice, Cardinal Roncalli (later Pope John XXIII) celebrated Benediction in his Cathedral, the interior glowing with candles to light its mysterious darkness. He thought the service was over when the choir burst into a hymn… The Cardinal turned to his attendant canon to ask ‘What now?’ He was directed to the icon of Mary. The canon said ‘Let us go, your Eminence, to congratulate Our Lady on her Son’s resurrection.'”
A charming little story. A reminder that Easter joy transcends human boundaries of time, place and dimension. We ‘exult’ with one another, with the whole church, past, present and future, with Our Lady and all the saints and with angels, with all creation.
After Benediction on Easter Day at St Chrysostom’s we went to Our Lady’s statue to rejoice in imagination and prayer, with her. He whom she had borne as a baby now is risen. Alleluia!
As we sang the Maria Consalata devotion together flowers were blessed and distributed as a sign of joy. Some chose to leave their flower at Mary’s statue. One little boy who was present was asked what he was going to do with his. ‘Put it in our vase on the window so lots of people can see it.’ A lovely, simple, way of sharing Easter joy.