We just finished celebrating the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord Jesus into Heaven. We celebrate this special day here at the Abbey with all the ‘bells and whistles’ as they say: copious incense, special hymns and rubrics, day off from ordinary work, etc. Why so?
Our Cistercian forefathers considered the Ascension to be one of the most important celebrations of the year and gave it particular honor and attention, both in liturgical celebration and in preaching. For them, the Ascension celebrated what Jesus came for and His ultimate Triumph: that is, God came down from Heaven and took up a human nature IN ORDER TO BRING HUMANITY BACK WITH HIM TO HEAVEN; it was a divine rescue mission, if you will. That is what He came for, worked for, suffered for, arose from the dead for. Please consider that in Jesus, a brother and member of our own human race, the common human nature in which we all share is now forever and inseparably enthroned with God in Heaven. This can never be undone.
Easter Season Blessings to all our dear friends,