“Like Jonah He dived down into the whirlpool”

The Mighty One was struck and the sufferings made Him sleep on Golgotha
and for three days the sleep overcame Him on account of the wounds.
And having laid aside His burden of pains in Sheol,
He rose up and despoiling the luxuriating Sheol and went from it.
He deceived death and was there three days in its dwelling place;
and when He laid waste all its treasures, He left it and went out.
He had been wearied by the scourging which He received from the judge,
and He entered and had taken rest in the abode of the dead and pulled it down and came out.
While He was was redeeming the captives He was smitten by the persecutors,
and He reached death but did not become too weak for redeeming.
The sharpened sword met Him on Golgotha
and it made Him sleep heavily by its blow.
Death mixed for Him the cup to drink in the crucifixion.
He drank it to show that even in death He cannot be powerless.
For two days the Mighty One rested among the dead
but on the third day He conquered the region and went out of it.
Like Jonah, son of the Hebrews, He dived down into the whirlpool.
He explored it in two days and arose from it on the third day.
He descended and drew out Adam who had sunk down into the depth of Sheol.
The superb image came out from corruption with its Lord.
On Golgotha the great Saviour was smitten by the lance,
and He failed in strength on Cross, but at the resurrection He conquered corruption.
Ambushes surrounded Him to snatch away the captives from Him
and He was dragged away but He did not leave it without redemption.
In three days He subdued His wounds so that they might be healed,
and with victory the Redeemer returned from the place of sufferings.

Jacob of Serug

Quote | Posted on by | Leave a comment

“God has fallen asleep in the flesh”

Something strange is happening—there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. God has died in the flesh and hell trembles with fear.

He has gone to search for our first parent, as for a lost sheep. Greatly desiring to visit those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, he has gone to free from sorrow the captives Adam and Eve, he who is both God and the son of Eve. The Lord approached them bearing the cross, the weapon that had won him the victory. At the sight of him Adam, the first man he had created, struck his breast in terror and cried out to everyone: “My Lord be with you all.” Christ answered him: “And with your spirit.” He took him by the hand and raised him up, saying: “Awake, 0 sleeper, and rise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.”

I am your God, who for your sake have become your son. Out of love for you and for your descendants I now by my own authority command all who are held in bondage to come forth, all who are in darkness to be enlightened, all who are sleeping to arise. I order you, 0 sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be held a prisoner in hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead. Rise up, work of my hands, you who were created in my image. Rise, let us leave this place, for you are in me and I am in you; together we form only one person and we cannot be separated.

For your sake I, your God, became your son; I, the Lord, took the form of a slave; I, whose home is above the heavens, descended to the earth and beneath the earth. For your sake, for the sake of man, I became like a man without help, free among the dead. For the sake of you, who left a garden, I was betrayed to the Jews in a garden, and I was crucified in a garden.

See on my face the spittle I received in order to restore to you the life I once breathed into you. See there the marks of the blows I received in order to refashion your warped nature in my image. On my back see the marks of the scourging I endured to remove the burden of sin that weighs upon your back. See my hands, nailed firmly to a tree, for you who once wickedly stretched out your hand to a tree.

I slept on the cross and a sword pierced my side for you who slept in paradise and brought forth Eve from your side. My side has healed the pain in yours. My sleep will rouse you from your sleep in hell. The sword that pierced me has sheathed the sword that was turned against you.

Rise, let us leave this place. The enemy led you out of the earthly paradise. I will not restore you to that paradise, but I will enthrone you in heaven. I forbade you the tree that was only a symbol of life, but see, I who am life itself am now one with you. I appointed cherubim to guard you as slaves are guarded, but now I make them worship you as God. The throne formed by cherubim awaits you, its bearers swift and eager. The bridal chamber is adorned, the banquet is ready, the eternal dwelling places are prepared, the treasure houses of all good things lie open. The kingdom of heaven has been prepared for you from all eternity.

Anonymous Fourth Century Preacher

Quote | Posted on by

… crucified, dead, and buried

Image | Posted on by

“My Song is Love Unknown”

Video | Posted on by

“Were you there?”

Video | Posted on by

“O the marvelous power of the cross, the glory of the passion!”

When our Lord was handed over to the will of his cruel foes, they ordered him, in mockery of his royal dignity, to carry the instrument of his own torture. This was done to fulfil the prophecy of Isaiah: “A child is born for as, a son is given to us; sovereignty is laid upon his shoulders.” To the wicked, the sight of the Lord carrying his own cross was indeed an object of derision; but to the faithful a great mystery was revealed, for the cross was destined to become the scepter of his power. Here was the majestic spectacle of a glorious conqueror mightily overthrowing the hostile forces of the devil and nobly bearing the trophy of his victory. On the shoulders of his invincible patience he carried the sign of salvation for all the kingdoms of the earth to worship, as if on that day he would strengthen all his future disciples by the symbol of his work, and say to them: “Anyone who does not take up his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.”

It was not in the temple, whose cult was now at an end, that Christ, as the new and authentic sacrifice of reconciliation, offered himself to the Father; nor was it within the walls of the city doomed to destruction for its crimes. It was beyond the city gates, outside the camp, that he was crucified, in order that when the ancient sacrificial dispensation came to an end a new victim might be laid on a new altar, and the cross of Christ become the altar not of the temple, but of the world.

O the marvelous power of the cross, the glory of the passion! No tongue can fully describe it. Here we see the judgment seat of the Lord, here sentence is passed upon the world, and here the sovereignty of the Crucified is revealed.

You drew all things to yourself, Lord, when you stretched out your hands all the day long to a people that denied and opposed you, until at last the whole world was brought to proclaim your majesty. You drew all things to yourself, Lord, when all the elements combined to pronounce judgment in execration of that crime; when the lights of heaven were darkened and the day was turned into night; when the land was shaken by unwonted earthquakes, and all creation refused to serve those wicked people. Yes, Lord, you drew all things to yourself. The veil of the temple was torn in two and the Holy of Holies taken away from those unworthy high priests. Figures gave way to reality, prophecy to manifestation, law to gospel. You drew all things to yourself in order that the worship of the whole human race could be celebrated everywhere in a sacramental form which would openly fulfil what had been enacted by means of veiled symbols in that single Jewish temple.

Now that the multiplicity of animal sacrifices has ceased, the single offering of your body and blood takes the place of that diversity of victims, since you are the true Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, and in yourself you fulfil all the rites of the old law, so that as there is now a single sacrifice in place of all those victims, so there is a single kingdom formed of all the peoples of the earth.

St Leo the Great

Quote | Posted on by

Pange Lingua Gloriosi Corporis Mysterium

Video | Posted on by | 1 Comment