A Meditation for Easter
with Saint Thomas Aquinas
The advantages of Our Lord’s Resurrection
From the mystery of Our Lord’s Resurrection, we can learn four things :
1. First of all, we learn that we should strive to rise spiritually from the death of the soul which we have caused by sin, and rise to a life of justice [holiness] which is acquired through penance.
« Rise thou that sleepest and arise from the dead, and Christ shall enlighten thee » (Eph 5 14). « Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection [the one of the soul]. In these, the second death [eternal death in Hell] has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him » (Apoc 20, 16).
2. Secondly, [from Our Lord’s Resurrection we should learn] not to defer rising spiritually until death is upon us, but rise NOW AND PROMPTLY ; for Christ rose for our example on the third day.
« Delay not to be converted to the Lord, and defer it not from day to day » (Eccl 5, 8), because :
— you will not be able even to think of those things pertaining to your salvation, when serious illness comes upon you ;
— and also because by delaying your conversion, you lose part of all the good things which the Church accomplishes ;
— and, what is worse, you incur many evils because of your perseverance in sin.
Likewise, inasmuch as the devil possesses you for a longer time, so much the more difficult it be for you to rid yourself of Satan.
3. Thirdly, we should learn to rise to an incorruptible life, so that we may not die again ; that is : having firmly resolved to do penance, we may not sin again.
« Christ rising from the dead, dieth now no more, death shall no more have dominion over Him » (Rom 6, 9). « So you also reckon that you are dead to sin but alive to God in Jesus-Christ, Our Lord. Let not sin, therefore, reign in your mortal body, so as to obey the lusts of flesh. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of iniquity unto sin, but present yourselves to God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of justice [sanctification] unto God » (Rom 6, 11).
4. Fourthly, [from Our Lord’s Resurrection we should learn] to rise a new and glorious life, so that we may avoid everything which was before the occasion and cause of our spiritual death and of sin.
« That as Christ is risen from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we also may walk in newness of life » (Rom 6, 4). And this new life is a life of justice [holiness], which renews our souls and leads us unto a life of everlasting glory.