The Cross of St Benedict (Pachacamac Monastery)
by Fr Lev Gillet (Orth)source: megfunk (click)
It is in the nature of the Father to draw towards Himself. He draws His Son towards Him. He draws us towards Jesus in order to draw us towards Himself, through Jesus, in Jesus. “No man can come to me except the Father draw him,” says the Saviour.
St. Augustine makes a daring parallel between this word about Jesus and the Latin maxim: trabit sua quemque voluptas – it is His own delight which draws each one of us. The drawing towards Jesus is the delight which belongs to certain privileged souls. In this way they unite the drawing which moves Christ towards His Father who is the joy of the Saviour.
“My meat,” says Jesus, “is to do the will of Him that sent Me.” The fulfillment of the Father’s will is the Saviour’s food, for if it were not so, whose image and word would the Son be? The fulfillment of the Father’s will through the Saviour’s will is our meat because each day this fulfillment renews our strength since it forms and develops the spiritual personality which God assigns to each one of us and because it leads us to full maturity.
In all things Jesus seeks the “glory” of the Father, that is to say, He seeks to manifest the Father. Even when he learns about Lazarus’ illness Jesus declares that this sickness is “for the glory of God.” The idea of the “glory of God” as the dominant notion of action – an idea so dear to the saints – seems less familiar to Christians of today. Would not the reintegration of this theme in our present-day thinking be exalting and vivifying?
If we want our conception of God’s glory to be identified with the one which Jesus had, we will have to look for it in what is considered the inverse of our natural instincts and our psychological habits. We shall also have to reverse some of our values. Judas left the supper room in order to betray his Master. The Saviour’s agony and arrest are near at hand. At this moment Jesus declares: “Now is the Son of Man glorified.” Because from that time the Passion has been offered and virtually accomplished. The decisive act by which Jesus embraces the Passion manifests God’s glory; the victorious Resurrection is included in this act. But the Saviour’s glorification (and His Father’s) is revealed first of all in the acceptance of the redemptive suffering.
Redemptive Suffering by Monk of the Eastern Church September 14, 2010 10:58pm Filed under: Meditations
Redemptive Suffering Jesus A Dialogue with the Saviour Chapter XXXVI:Reverse some of our actions
Ravenna: Sant' Apollinare in Classe
source: Enlarging The Heart
Cyprian of Carthage: Christ’s Saving Patience Monday, Apr 2 2012
Cyprian of Carthage and PATRISTIC Blood of Christ, Christ's passion, church, Cross, paschal mystery, patience, redemption
He received the spittings of insulters, who with His spittle had a little before made eyes for a blind man.
And He in whose name the devil and his angels is now scourged by His servants, Himself suffered scourgings!
He was crowned with thorns, who crowns martyrs with eternal flowers.
He was smitten on the face with palms, who gives the true palms to those who overcome.
He was despoiled of His earthly garment, who clothes others in the vesture of immortality.
He was fed with gall, who gave heavenly food.
He was given to drink of vinegar, who appointed the cup of salvation.
That guiltless, that just One—nay, He who is innocency itself and justice itself—is counted among transgressors, and truth is oppressed with false witnesses.
He who shall judge is judged; and the Word of God is led silently to the slaughter.
And when at the cross, of the Lord the stars are confounded, the elements are disturbed, the earth quakes, night shuts out the day, the sun…He speaks not, nor is moved, nor declares His majesty even in His very passion itself.
Even to the end, all things are borne perseveringly and constantly, in order that in Christ a full and perfect patience may be consummated.
And after all these things, He still receives His murderers, if they will be converted and come to Him.
And with a saving patience, He who is benignant to preserve, closes His Church to none.
Those adversaries…, if they repent of their sin, if they acknowledge the crime committed, He receives, not only to the pardon of their sin, but to the reward of the heavenly kingdom.
What can be said more patient, what more merciful? Even he is made alive by Christ’s blood who has shed Christ’s blood.
Such and so great is the patience of Christ; and had it not been such and so great, the Church would never have possessed Paul as an apostle.
But if we also, beloved brethren, are in Christ; if we put Him on, if He is the way of our salvation, who follow Christ in the footsteps of salvation, let us walk by the example of Christ, as the Apostle John instructs us, saying He who saith he abideth in Christ, ought himself also to walk even as He walked.
Peter also, upon whom by the Lord’s condescension the Church was founded, lays it down in his epistle, and says:
Christ suffered for us, leaving you an example, that ye should follow His steps, who did no sin, neither was deceit found in His mouth; who, when He was reviled, reviled not again; when He suffered, threatened not, but gave Himself up to him that judged Him unjustly.
Cyprian of Carthage (d.258): On Patience, 7-9.
A Welsh Celtic Cross
On each arm of the cross is a symbol of the Blessed Trinity
On each arm of the cross is a symbol of the Blessed Trinity
ABBOT PAUL'S HOMILY
Good Friday 2012
“Let us be confident, then, in approaching the throne of grace, that we shall have mercy from him and find grace when we are in need of help.” With these words of encouragement and hope the Letter to the Hebrews invites us today to look upon Christ Crucified with confidence, asking him for every grace and blessing we need. In the Good Friday Liturgy we do just that. In the Intercessions, which follow the homily, we pray for all mankind and then we venerate the Cross and, on it, the image of the Saviour of the World. That word confidence is so important. How many of us are afraid of God or embarrassed by him and keep him at a distance? It’s so easy to become a lapsed Catholic, even when you keep coming to Mass and saying your prayers, keeping up appearances, as it were. I know this from my own experience.
One of the many interesting things about the Gospels is to see how close Jesus comes to people. They can’t help but enter into a personal relationship with him. Think of the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well or of Mary, Martha and Lazarus. We know that through his Incarnation he has broken down and destroyed the barriers that separate God from Man, for in Christ there are two natures in the One Person: he is true God and true Man. “To have seen me is to have seen the Father.” Let us take a closer look at those who encounter Jesus in his Passion.
Pontius Pilate plays a particularly important role in St John’s Gospel. In many ways he is a tragic figure, finding Jesus innocent and wishing to release him, but he’s frightened of the mob and scared of losing his job. Instead of listening to his conscience, he acquiesces to the demands of the crowd, “Crucify him. Crucify him.” He knows what is right and does what is wrong. Like many of us he is a coward and his only excuse is that limp and empty question, “Truth? What is that?” Yet, when all is said and done, he still has enough courage to say, “What I have written, I have written.” With that imperial inscription in three languages, “The King of the Jews” he inadvertently and ironically acknowledges the truth about Jesus. No matter how dark the night, there is always a speck of light somewhere. In every lie there is an element of truth. How many world leaders today profess to being Christian or members of another faith, and yet govern and legislate in a totally unchristian or irreligious way, not wishing to offend the vociferous majority, or even minority, by mixing religion and ethics with politics. To tell the truth, Pilate is alive and well.
In St John’ Passion the women who follow Jesus to Golgotha stay close to him and not at a distance as in the other Gospels. It is interesting to note that his aunt Mary and Mary of Magdala are mentioned by name, but not his mother or even the beloved disciple. “Woman, this is your son.” “This is your mother.” Here we have another aspect of the Church, the new Israel constituted in the new Exodus of Christ’s Passion, Death and Resurrection. At the Last Supper it was made up of the twelve disciples, but now at Golgotha we meet his mother and “the disciple Jesus loved.” Jesus brings them into a mother-son relationship and thus constitutes a Church that is more like a family, the community of those who hear the word of God and keep it. “If you love me, keep my commandments.” It will be the beloved disciple who discovers that the tomb is empty and Mary Madgalene, the Apostle of the apostles, who will be the first to see the risen Lord. The Church is not only priestly and hierarchic. It is also a community of believers who love one other, of brothers and sisters, Christ’s family, God’s children.
Finally, when Jesus has bowed his head and given up the spirit, we meet yet another group of followers, who make up the Church of Christ. Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathaea embrace the body of the dead Christ and prepare it meticulously for burial, laying it to rest in a new tomb in a garden. We are reminded of that garden where it all began, the Garden of Eden. “Unless a wheat grain falls to the ground and dies it remains a single grain…” Now we are all caught up in the new creation and are part of this new beginning, a new heaven and a new earth, in which all are invited to be members of Christ’s Body, the Church, for no one is excluded from the love of God made manifest in Christ Jesus our Lord.
So we can come to Christ with confidence. “In my Father’s house there are many mansions.” In fact, in heaven there is room for all of us, for Peter and the apostles, for his mother and the disciple Jesus loved, for the women who followed him from Galilee, for Simon of Cyrene and Veronica, for Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathaea, for Pilate and his soldiers, for the scribes and Pharisees, even for Judas, such is the loving mercy of God. God’s mercy and love are greater than our weakness and sin. Now all we need do is approach with confidence the throne of grace, the Cross of Jesus, and we shall receive mercy from him and find grace in our every need. To him all honour and glory and thanksgiving, now and for ever. Amen.