I wish all my readers a happy Easter full of the joy and hope that comes from the risen Lord. Should any of us have the slightest doubt, let us remember that there is no otherwise explicable way an image could be printed on the Turin Shroud. I leave you with a little definition given by the great Benedictine monk Dom Odo Casel of the Abbey of Maria Laach.
The pasch is a sacrifice with the consecration of the person that flows from it; it is the sacrifice of the God-man in death on the cross, and his resurrection to glory: it is the Church’s sacrifice in communion with and by the power of the crucified God-man, and the wonderful joining to God, the divinization which is its effect.
Both of these sacrifices flow together; they are fundamentally one; the Church, as the woman of the new paradise and the bride of Christ, acts and offers in his strength. Christ living in time made his sacrifice alone on the cross; Christ raised up by the Spirit makes the sacrifice together with his Church which he has purified with the blood from his own side, and thus won her for himself.
Because of the inmost oneness of being, and the realm of action following upon it, which grows up between bride and bridegroom, between head and body, it follows that the Church must take a share in Christ’s sacrifice, in a feminine, receptive way, yet one which is no less active for that. She stands beneath the cross, sacrifices her bridegroom, and with him, herself. But she does so not merely in faith or in some mental act, but rather in a real and concrete fashion, in mystery; she fulfils the ‘likening’ of that sacrifice through which the Lord offered himself in the presence of earth and heaven, in utter openness, in the total giving of his body, to the Father. Here again we meet the essential meaning of the mystery of worship.