O God of unchanging power and eternal light,
look with favor
on the wondrous mystery of the whole Church
and serenely accomplish the work of human salvation,
which you planned from all eternity;
may the whole world know and see
that what was cast down is raised up,
what had become old is made new,
and all things are restored to integrity through Christ,
just as by him they came into being.
Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.
Prayer from the liturgy of the Easter Vigil
Easter Message from our General Superior, Sister M. Margarete Ulager: Wars, natural disasters, plagues and famines bring endless suffering to humanity. Still, we Sisters of our international congregation celebrate Easter in union with the worldwide Church. We firmly believe that suffering and death are never God's last word, that light shines in the darkness, and that all things are restored to integrity through Christ, just as by him they came into being.
This impressive icon of the Resurrection of Jesus is located behind the altar of a small side chapel of the monastery in Mesnil Saint-Denis in France, where the icon painter, Father Gregory Kroug, lived. The image shows Jesus, descended to the dead. With a firm, loving grip, he holds the man's powerless wrist to pull him from death into life, to take him with Him into the mystery of His resurrection.
The Church celebrates this mystery of death and resurrection in a special way during the three days of Easter (Triduum Paschale), from the celebration of the Lord's Supper on Holy Thursday, the liturgy of the Passion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ on Good Friday, to the celebration of the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday.
When the celebration of the Easter Vigil, the oldest liturgical celebration of our Church, begins in the dark of night, we can somehow sense something of what goes beyond our limited minds.
We join in the ancient hym of the Church, "Lumen Christi." This hym is even older than the Easter Vigil herself.
The early Christians gathered for prayer in the evening of a day after sunset, when they were tired from work. In gratitude, they lit a light at the beginning of the worship as a symbol of Jesus Christ, the light of the world. During excavations from around 400 AD, lamps were found with incised signs of Christ and the words "Deo Gratias".
The threefold exclamation Lumen Christi - Christ the Light - resounds through the Easter nights of the centuries and is stronger than all darknesses. It is my hope for all of us, that we may sense something of this mystery in the Easter Vigil and that God may make our hearts bright with His light.
From April 6 - 10, 2022, Sister M. Beata, Prof. Dr. Möllmann and I were in our Polish Province to visit our Sisters and the women and children from Ukraine. Our arrival was very touching. Some of the children and their mothers from Ukraine were waiting for us, together with our Sisters. When we got off the bus, we simply cried. The children were very open and warmhearted. This brought joy into our hearts and at the same time surprised us. The people in Ukraine are experiencing endless suffering. Nevertheless, they are very grateful that they have found a first home with our Sisters, who are working day and night for them. The people from Ukraine receive help and support from all our Provinces, from Germany, Poland, America, Japan and India. For this, dear Sisters, we are very grateful to all of you. Let us continue to pray together that this indescribable war will end.
A blessed and grace filled Easter!