Lesson #28 – The Resurrection of Our Lord

Mary’s School of Sanctity                   


St. Ignatius devotes his fourth week of the Spiritual Exercises to the joy of the Resurrection and apparitions of Our Lord.

In this lesson we will concentrate on the first apparition of Our Lord after His Resurrection.  Tradition tells us that Our Lord appeared first to His Mother.

St. Ignatius gives us the following for this first contemplation of the fourth week.

The preparatory prayer is the same as usual, I ask God Our Lord the grace that all my intentions, actions, and works may be directed purely to the service and praise of the Divine Majesty.

The FIRST PRELUDE is the history.  Here, it is how after Christ expired on the cross, and His Body remained separated from the soul, yet always united with the Divinity.  His soul, likewise united with the Divinity, descended into hell.  There He released the souls of the just, then returning to the sepulcher, and rising again, He appeared in Body and Soul to His Blessed Mother.

The SECOND PRELUDE is the mental representation of the place.  Here, it will be to see the arrangement of the Holy Sepulcher and the place or house of Our Lady, noting its different rooms: her room, her oratory, etc.

The THIRD PRELUDE is to ask for what I desire.  Here, it will be to request the grace that I may feel intense joy and gladness for the great glory and joy of Christ Our Lord.

The first, second, and third points are the same that we have had in the contemplation on the Last Supper of Christ Our Lord.

The FIRST POINT is to visualize the persons at the supper, (here, Our Lord with His Mother) and reflecting within myself, to strive to gain some profit from them.

The SECOND POINT is to listen to what they say, and likewise to draw some profit from it.

The THIRD POINT is to observe what they are doing and to draw some fruit from it.

The FOURTH POINT is to consider that the Divinity which seemed to hide Itself during the Passion, now appears and manifests Itself so miraculously in the most holy Resurrection by its true and most holy effects.

The FIFTH POINT is to consider the office of consoler that Christ Our Lord exercises, comparing it with the way that friends are wont to console one another.

The COLLOQUY:  Conclude with one or more colloquies according to the subject matter and then end with an “Our Father.”

Painting the Scene and Giving Considerations for the Points Above.

Our Lord was buried before the first three stars appeared in the sky on Good Friday.  Our Lady came away from the Holy Sepulchre with St. John.  She knew by Faith that Our Lord would rise again.  Yet, her Sorrowful Heart was torn asunder with grief and she pondered deeply all that had occurred.  She knew what fallen human nature was and she understood better than all other humans what the price of redemption was.  She spent the next thirty-six hours in prayer and reflection. 

Yes, the thirty-six hours that Our Lord’s Body lay in the tomb mark a crucial pivot point in the course of all human history because of His Resurrection which followed.  He proved what He prophesied about Himself – that He would rise after three days.  Our Lord died and was buried on Friday; was in the tomb all of Saturday; and for also part of Sunday, the first day of the week.

From the moment of His conception, Our Lord had all of the powers of a glorified body.  Previously, He hid these powers.  But now, having risen from the dead, He uses those powers.  For example, this means that His Body could pass through material substances.  Thus, it was that He passed through the Holy Winding Sheet and passed through the large stone that was blocking the entrance of the Sepulchre.  Also, He had agility which means that He could move quickly to wherever He wanted to go.  He certainly could go past the guards without them noticing Him.

What happened on Easter morning?  Holy Scripture tells us that there was an earthquake and that an angel came and rolled back the stone and sat upon it.  The angel’s countenance was as lightning, and his raiment was as snow.  “And for fear of him, the guards were struck with terror, and became as dead men.”  (Matt. 28:4)

Now let us go to the chamber of Our Lady.  She suffered greatly at the foot of the Cross.  Her sweet soul had been pierced by the sword of sorrows as Simeon predicted.  The Church refers to this as her transfixion.  No one could guess what anguish was hers as she watched her Divine Son die on the Cross.

We can imagine that she has spent her time in prayer and reflection.  She meditated upon the entire life of Our Lord.  She considered the Old Testament and saw how all things written about her Son were fulfilled most perfectly.  She thanked God the Father for the Incarnation and the Redemption.  Her heart was full of gratitude and love for the Holy Trinity.  She relived the Passion and Death of her Son while she offered her sufferings in reparation for the sins of mankind.  She was the only one who did not lose the Faith.  Even though she longed to see the triumph of the Resurrection, she knew there was no purpose to go to the sepulcher.  She could anticipate that her Dear Son would come to see her.

How fitting it was that Our Lord should go and console His Mother on Easter morning!

He showed her His triumph.  He greeted His Mother and embraced her—she who by her Fiat became the cause of our joy.  The visit was a long one.  St. Teresa of Avila related in her autobiography that Our Lord revealed to her that Our Lady was so overwhelmed with grief that she would soon have died; and so He remained a long time with her in order to console her.  Because of her great grief, it was not until several moments after He came that she was able to realize, to her immense joy, that He had come.[1]

Can we imagine what beautiful things they said to each other?  Or do we simply imagine that because Mary is the masterpiece of God and her heart already had a mystical union with her Son that they simply spent their time together without any spoken words?  We are free to ponder the scene in different ways and we want to be receptive to the inspirations of the Holy Ghost.  

Certainly, Mary’s heart was full of joy and gladness!  Her soul was enriched more than ever before. 

Maybe Our Lord told her about her future mission among the apostles and the faithful.  Her role as the Mother of the flock is an extremely crucial one.  She would be the one to dispense the graces that He had won through His Passion and Death.  Of course, she would be delighted to serve Him in such a beautiful motherly task.  She would be so happy to nourish her spiritual children and help them as much as possible.   


To Our Lady: Oh, my Mother Mary, you were the first to see Our Lord at His Nativity so it is fitting that you should be the first to see Him in His glorified Body.  I rejoice with you O Mary! 

You were the one who suffered with Him more than anyone, and died a veritable death along with your Son, and you were the only one who kept the Faith, so it is fitting that the greatest joy should be yours.  You suffered so much at the horrifying death of thy Son and now your heart is filled with tremendous joy.  Please help me be ever grateful to thy Son for His Passion, Death, and Resurrection.  Keep me always united to thy Divine Son.

To Our Lord: Oh Dearest Lord, how can I thank Thee enough for Thine Incarnation, Passion, Death, and Resurrection!  Thou hast made our Faith so rich with all of these truths.  Thou art so good to us poor creatures!  I thank Thee for giving Thy holy Mother Mary to be our dear Mother who always watches over us.  Please help me be a faithful child of Mary. 

To God the Father: I thank Thee, Dearest Heavenly Father, for the Incarnation, Passion, Death and Resurrection of Thy Divine Son.  I beg Thee to help me always be grateful for my Faith and Thy mercies.  I thank Thee for giving me Mary as my Mother.  Thou knowest how much we need her.

Other apparitions of Our Lord that the exercitant can meditate on are:

·         The apparition to Mary Magdalene

·         The apparition to the two disciples on the way to Emmaus

·         The apparition to Simon Peter

·         The apparition to the apostles in the cenacle without Thomas (Didymus)

·         The apparition to the apostles including Thomas (Didymus)

·         The apparition to the apostles who were fishing


In our next Lesson we will meditate on Our Lord’s apparition to the two disciples on their way to Emmaus.

[1]               This is paraphrased from the Liturgical Year by Dom Gueranger vol. VII Paschal Time Book I citing the Life of St. Teresa; in the Additions see p. 402 in the translation by David Lewis, 1870.


[2]           Of course, this is only a suggestion of a possible colloquy.  The exercitant can compose his own colloquy.