Monday, March 31, 2008

Wisdom from… [31 Mar]

ST LEO THE GREAT: The marvelous power of the cross

When Christ is lifted up on the cross do not let your inward gaze dwell only upon the appearance he had in the eyes of the wicked, to whom the word was addressed through Moses: Your life will hang before your eyes; night and day you shall be in dread, and have no assurance of your life.

Oh the marvelous power of the cross, the glory in 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 there 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.
(Sermo 8 de passione Domini 6-7: PL 54, 340-341.)

ST AUGUSTINE: The Sacrifice of Christ

Even though the man Christ Jesus, in the form of God together with the Father with whom he is one God, accepts our sacrifice, nonetheless he has chosen in the form of a servant to be the sacrifice rather than to accept it. Therefore, he is the priest himself who presents the offering, and he himself is what is offered.
-- City of God, 10, 20

Prayer. Lord, you gladdened my mind with spiritual joy. How glorious is your cup, surpassing all previous delights.
-- Commentary on Psalm 22, 5


If we have a taste for divine things, worldly things will no longer excite our appetite. [The converse holds as well! -- EBB] How can it be possible, after having considered the goodness, the stability and the eternity of God, to have a heart in love with the vanities of this world? We must put up with the vanity of the world, but we must love only the truth of God.
(Letters 439; O. XIII, p. 382)


ABOVE all, we have the same great upperclass assumption that things are done best by large institutions handling large sums of money and ordering everybody about; and that trivial and impulsive charity is in some way contemptible. As Mr. Blatchford says, "The world does not want piety, but soap--and Socialism." Piety is one of the popular virtues, whereas soap and Socialism are two hobbies of the upper middle class.
('What's Wrong with the World.')

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