The Octave of Easter is the eight-day period (octave) in Eastertide that starts on Easter and concludes with the following Sunday. The Octave Day of Easter refers only to that day. Another name is White Sunday. It is also called Low Sunday, particularly in the Anglican Communion. It may be called Thomas Sunday, especially among Eastern Christians. On 30 April 2000, it was also designated as Divine Mercy Sunday (or the Feast of Mercy) by Pope John Paul II, who fulfilled the wish which Jesus revealed to saint Faustina Kowalska, saying that any Catholic who goes to Confession – the Sacrament of Penance – then receives the Holy Eucharist on this day will be liberated from any punishment after death.
Monday in the Octave of Easter
Isaiah, Chapter 44, verse 8
Do not fear or be troubled. Did I not announce it to you long ago? I declared it, and you are my witnesses. Is there any God but me? There is no other Rock, I know of none!
Our God knows we are fearful and troubled and that we seek refuge in other god’s such as sex, drugs and rock and roll. Yet, still he is patient and tells us plainly there is no other. He is that is. There is no other rock (refuge) from the terrors that bind us.
The Devil and Temptations
The Kingdom of Darkness
· This kingdom offers a false peace and happiness in sin. Man is capable, especially in heaven, but even here on earth, of experiencing a deep joy and a deep peace given by God. Many of us have experienced this. The false joy offered, for example, in the sin of drunkenness or drug abuse. This false joy is also offered in the sins of sex before marriage, adultery after marriage, or homosexuality.
· When people are deeply involved in these sins, or in murder, violent anger or in deep hatred, jealousy and unforgiveness, they are really living in the kingdom of darkness and can open themselves up to the possibility of direct attacks from the evil spirits.
· The danger today is that sin has become very "respectable" in our society. Sex before marriage, adultery, heavy social drinking, abortion, and homosexuality have all attained a certain "respectability." They do not seem so bad. That is because they are not bad in the kingdom of darkness.
· Our homes should be sacred, peaceful places in which to live. Our homes need to be clean. We should not let them become dirty or allow disorder by having junk and filth accumulate in our drawers and closets. The power of evil abhors cleanliness.
· Remove anything in your home that has had something to do with witchcraft, a spiritualist, a curandero, a medium, an oriental religion or cult or that has been used in a superstitious way. Destroy it or see to it that it is destroyed. Do not keep jewelry that is symbolic of witchcraft or is a sign of the Zodiac. Remove and burn all pornographic pictures and magazines--even those that have been put away in a drawer, closet or trunk. Get rid of all religious literature that does not agree with the basic truth of our faith that Jesus Christ is divine. He is the Son of God, our only Savior who brings us to the Father. Remove and destroy literature from the Jehovah Witnesses, Mormons, Christian Science, Unity, Science of Mind, Scientology, Hare Krishna, Yoga, Transcendental Meditation, Divine Light Mission, Unification Church of Sun Myung Moon, the Children of God and the Way International. None of this or similar literature should be around our homes. Do not allow the influence of evil to come into your home through television. Carefully monitor the programs that are seen. The values taught by television advertising are not the values preached by Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Gospel of St. Matthew, chapters 5, 6 and 7.
Lent and Easter
571 The Paschal mystery of Christ's cross and Resurrection stands at the center of the Good News that the apostles, and the Church following them, are to proclaim to the world. God's saving plan was accomplished "once for all" by the redemptive death of his Son Jesus Christ.
1171 In the liturgical year the various aspects of the one Paschal mystery unfold. This is also the case with the cycle of feasts surrounding the mystery of the incarnation (Annunciation, Christmas, Epiphany). They commemorate the beginning of our salvation and communicate to us the first fruits of the Paschal mystery of Christ.
It is the same Paschal Mystery that we celebrate every Sunday at every Mass. This mystery should evoke the ancient Passover of the Jews when the firstborn children of Israel were spared, and they were liberated from slavery. Their delivery began in each household with the sacrifice of the lamb and the smearing of the lamb’s blood on the doorposts which delivered the Jews out of vice into virtue and the worship of God in sincerity and truth. In the Last Supper Christ became the lamb that transformed his execution into a once for all sacrifice. During Lent we mirror the Jews 40 years of purification when God purged them of the residual effects of generations of interaction with Egyptian Idolatry. Christ in His own life fasted for 40 days in the wilderness as a model, like His baptism for His disciples to imitate. So, every year, we prepare like Him for our Easter where we will offer our sacrifice, small as it may be to Him. Lent is the season of fasting that begins today and ends on Holy Saturday (except for Sundays; ancient Fathers forbade fasting on Sundays). This is our tithe or a tenth part of our year for the Lord. We fast from “good” things; for in our fast we give them to God, so that we learn not to put anything before Him. We pray that by this movement of purification we may be illuminated and finally come to union with Him. In a sense during Lent we “pass over” from sin through penance to communion.
Monday in the Octave of Easter
IN the Introit of the Mass of this day the Church brings before our eyes the entrance of the Israelites into the promised land, which is a type of the kingdom of heaven, under Josue, who is a type of Christ. The Lord hath brought you into a land flowing with milk and honey, alleluia: and that the law of the Lord may be ever in your mouth, alleluia, alleluia. Give glory to the Lord and call upon His name, declare His deeds among the gentiles.
Prayer. O God, Who hast bestowed remedies on the world in the paschal solemnities, grant to Thy people heavenly gifts, we beseech Thee, that they may both deserve to obtain perfect liberty, and arrive at life everlasting.
EPISTLE. Acts x. 37-43.
In those days: Peter standing in the midst of the people, said: Men, brethren, you know the word which hath been published through all Judea: for it began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached, Jesus of Nazareth: how God anointed Him with the Holy Ghost, and with power, Who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. And we are witnesses of all things that He did in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem, Whom they killed, hanging Him upon a tree. Him God raised up the third day, and gave Him to be made manifest, not to all the people, but to witnesses preordained by God, even to us, who did eat and drink with Him after He arose again from the dead: and He commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that it is He Who was appointed by God to be judge of the living and of the dead. To Him all the prophets give testimony, that by His name all receive remission of sins, who believe in Him.
Explanation. Through Jesus sent from God, and through Him alone, forgiveness of sins and salvation are promised to all who truly and firmly believe in Him and show their belief by deeds. Have such a lively faith, and thou shalt receive forgiveness of sins and life everlasting.
GOSPEL. Luke xxiv. 13-35.
At that time: two of the disciples of Jesus went the same day to a town, which was sixty furlongs from Jerusalem, named Emmaus. And they talked together of all these things which had happened. And it came to pass, that while they talked and reasoned with themselves, Jesus Himself also drawing near went with them. But their eyes were held that they should not know Him. And He said to them: What are these discourses that you hold one with another as you walk, and are sad?
And the one of them, whose name was Cleophas, answering, said to Him: Art Thou only a stranger in Jerusalem and hast not known the things that have been done there in these days? To whom He said: What things?
And they said: Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, Who was a prophet, mighty in work and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and princes delivered Him to be condemned to death and crucified Him. But we hoped that it was He that should have redeemed Israel: and now besides all this, today is the third day since these things were done. Yea, and certain women also of our company, affrighted us, who before it was light were at the sepulcher. And not finding His body, came, saying that they had also seen a vision of angels, who say that He is alive. And some of our people went to the sepulcher: and found it so as the women had said, but Him they found not. Then He said to them: O foolish, and slow of heart to believe in all things which the prophets have spoken. Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and so to enter into His glory?
And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things that were concerning Him. And they drew nigh to the town whither they were going, and He made as though He would go farther. But they constrained Him, saying: Stay with us, because it is towards evening, and the day is now far spent. And He went in with them. And it came to pass, whilst He was at table with them, He took bread, and blessed, and broke, and gave to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew Him: and He vanished out of their sight. And they said one to the other: Was not our heart burning within us, whilst He spoke in the way, and opened to us the Scriptures?
And rising up the same hour they went back to Jerusalem: and they found the eleven gathered together, and those that were with them, saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon. And they told what things were done in the way: and how they knew Him in the breaking of bread.
Why did Jesus appear as a stranger to the two disciples? He appeared to them as a stranger, says St. Gregory, because He meant to deal with them according to their dispositions, and according to the firmness of their faith. They seemed not to have believed in Him as the Son of God, but to have expected a hero or prince who should deliver them from their subjection to the Romans. Thus, Christ was, indeed, yet a stranger in their hearts, and chose to appear to them as such, to free those who loved Him from their false notions, to convince them of the necessity of His passion, and to reveal Himself to them, as soon as their understandings should be enlightened, and their hearts filled with desire. Thus, God orders the disposal of His graces according to our dispositions; according to our faith and trust; according to our love and fidelity.
Easter Monday was reserved as a special day for rest and relaxation. Its most distinctive feature is the Emmaus walk, a leisurely constitution inspired by the Gospel of the day (Luke 24.13-35). This can take the form of a stroll through field or forest or, as in French Canada, a visit to one's grandparents.
· Games of mischief dating to pre-Christian times also take place on Easter Monday and Tuesday. Chief among them are drenching customs, where boys surprise girls with buckets of water, and vice versa, or switching customs, where switches are gently used on each other.
Thomas Jefferson born this day 1743
Thomas Jefferson (d. 1826) was – besides being a founding father of the United States and president – one of the most learned figures of his age. His education, through Episcopalian and Huguenot schoolmasters and then at William and Mary included a comprehensive classical approach in the Enlightenment tradition and fostered in him an appreciation for mathematics, philosophy, architecture, botany, science, music, and law. Philosophically, he was a dedicated Deist, meaning that he rejected the need for revelation and repudiated all forms of established or institutional religion beyond the obvious limits of reason. As such, he declared himself a Christian – chafing against charges that he was an atheist or infidel – but he had little patience with dogmas, finding especially unacceptable the teachings of the Catholic Church. Nevertheless, he did not oppose organized religion, insisting that all religions be treated with toleration within the pluralistic society established by the Constitution. The best source for appreciating Jefferson’s self-identification with Christianity (again from the standpoint of the Deists) was his work The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth, Extracted Textually from the Gospels in Greek, Latin, French, and English, compiled a few years before his death. Called also the Jefferson Bible, it contains no personal writings by Jefferson, save for the Table of Contents. Rather, it is a collection of nearly 1,000 verses from the Gospels (Matthew and Luke chiefly), offering Jesus’ comprehensive moral philosophy, as Jefferson saw it. He thus omitted all references to the divinity of Jesus, the primacy of Peter, the Eucharist, comments by the evangelists, and miracles; in effect, Jefferson drained the Gospels of any form of mystery. The selection reveals Jefferson’s belief in God, the Commandments, practicing the virtues, and an afterlife in which the just are rewarded and the evil punished.
The term used to certain doctrines apparent in a tendency of thought and criticism that manifested itself principally in England towards the latter end of the seventeenth century. The doctrines and tendency of deism were, however, by no means entirely confined to England, nor to the seventy years or so during which most of the deistical productions were given to the world; for a similar spirit of criticism aimed at the nature and content of traditional religious beliefs, and the substitution for them of a rationalistic naturalism has frequently appeared in the course of religious thought. Thus, there have been French and German deists as well as English; while Pagan, Jewish, or Moslem deists might be found as well as Christian.
Because of the individualistic standpoint of independent criticism which they adopt, it is difficult, if not impossible, to class together the representative writers who contributed to the literature of English deism as forming any one definite school, or to group together the positive teachings contained in their writings as any one systematic expression of a concordant philosophy. The deists were what nowadays would be called freethinkers, a name, indeed, by which they were not infrequently known; and they can only be classed together wholly in the main attitude that they adopted, viz. in agreeing to cast off the trammels of authoritative religious teaching in favor of a free and purely rationalistic speculation. Many of them were frankly materialistic in their doctrines; while the French thinkers who subsequently built upon the foundations laid by the English deists were almost exclusively so. Others rested content with a criticism of ecclesiastical authority in teaching the inspiration of the Sacred Scriptures , or the fact of an external revelation of supernatural truth given by God to man. In this last point, while there is a considerable divergence of method and procedure observable in the writings of the various deists, all, at least to a very large extent, seem to concur. Deism, in its every manifestation was opposed to the current and traditional teaching of revealed religion.
Is there any truth to deism?
· Deism is the belief that a supernatural entity created the universe, but that this being does not intervene in its creation. The Church describes it like this: “Some admit that the world was made by God but as by a watchmaker who, once he has made a watch, abandons it to itself (CCC 285).”
· It’s fair to say that many people today identify with this viewpoint, in that they believe there was some supernatural cause to the universe, but we have now been left to our own devices. This idea extends back to the beginning of human thought, but it developed significantly during the Enlightenment as critiques of religion, and Christianity in particular, became more prevalent. Many English deists placed considerable doubt on the supernatural character of miracles and prophecy, arguing that they were inconsistent with reason.
· What emerged from this epoch was the notion that all religions were products of human invention, and that many Christian beliefs were farcical. God was no longer seen as a divine entity that interfered in the world but was instead, merely the first cause underlying the universe, being both unknowable and untouchable. The universe was defined as self-operating, self-regulating and self-explanatory and comprised of unvarying and inviolable physical laws.
· While some deists believe that the creator of the universe is an abstract force, others hold that the entity is personal – that it has a mind, but simply has no interest in the endeavors of human beings. This is radically different from the Christian conception of God, which holds that God is not only personal, but created us so that we could know and love him.
· What distinguishes deism and theistic religions like Christianity the most is the idea of God’s intervention in history. While deists hold that the creator is far away, Catholics believe that God is with us at all times, can hear us, and even answer our prayers. The Church refers to the creator as a “living God” who gives life and reveals himself to the world. This is perhaps best conveyed in the Incarnation, where Jesus became human, walked among us, and died for our sins.
· “Creation is the foundation of ‘all God’s saving plans’, the ‘beginning of the history of salvation’ that culminates in Christ. Conversely, the mystery of Christ casts conclusive light on the mystery of creation and reveals the end for which ‘in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth’: from the beginning, God envisaged the glory of the new creation in Christ.” (CCC 280) While deists hold that God is apathetic towards his creation, Catholics rejoice in the fact that God interacts and truly cares about us.
· Of course, there is common ground between deists and theists in that both believe in a creator of the universe. This mutual belief can act as the starting point for a conversation about who God is, and whether it’s plausible to believe that he intervenes in the world.
Divine Mercy Novena
Fourth Day - Today Bring Me the Pagans and Those Who Do Not Know Me.
Most Compassionate Jesus, You are the Light of the whole world. Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of pagans who as yet do not know You. Let the rays of Your grace enlighten them that they, too, together with us, may extol Your wonderful mercy; and do not let them escape from the abode which is Your Most Compassionate Heart.
Eternal Father turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls of pagans and of those who as yet do not know You, but who are enclosed in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. Draw them to the light of the Gospel. These souls do not know what great happiness it is to love You. Grant that they, too, may extol the generosity of Your mercy for endless ages. Amen.
Ask for the Prayers and assistance of the Angels
 Hahn, Scott, Signs of Life; 40 Catholic Customs and their biblical roots. Chap. 7. Lent and Easter.
 Goffines Devout Instructions, 1896