Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Wisdom from… [9 Apr]

HESYCHIUS OF JERUSALEM (ca. 451): The festival of victory

The festival we celebrate is one of victory — the victory of the Son of God, king of the whole universe. On this day the devil is defeated by the crucified one; our race is filled with joy by the risen one. In honor of my resurrection in Christ this day cries out: "In my journey I beheld a new wonder—an open tomb, a man risen from the dead, bones exulting, souls rejoicing, men and women refashioned, the heavens opened, and powers crying out: Lift up your gates, you princes; be lifted up, you everlasting doors, that the king of glory may come in. On this day I saw the king of heaven, robed in light, ascend above the lightning and the rays of the sun, above the sun and the sources of water, above the dwelling place of the angelic powers and the city of eternal life."

Hidden first in a womb of flesh, he sanctified human birth by his own birth; hidden afterward in the womb of the earth, he gave life to the dead by his resurrection. Suffering, pain, and sighs have now fled away. For who has known the mind of God, or who has been his counselor if not the Word made flesh, who was nailed to the cross, who rose from the dead, and who was taken up into heaven?
(Paschal Homily: SC 187, 66-69.)

Hesychius was a monk who was highly esteemed as a priest and preacher of Jerusalem. He was a defender of orthodoxy and a gifted interpreter of scripture.


See me in these "Confessions," that you may not praise me beyond what I am. Believe what is said of me in these, not by others but by myself. Contemplate me in these, and see what I have been, in myself and by myself. For God has made us and not we ourselves. Indeed, we had destroyed ourselves, but he who created us has made us anew.
-- Letter 231, 6

Prayer. Father, make me seek you, and save me from error. As I seek you, let nothing else come in my way in place of you.
-- Soliloquies 1, 6


Make frequent spiritual aspirations to God by means of short but ardent movements of the heart. Marvel at His beauty, implore His help, cast yourself in spirit at the foot of the cross, adore His goodness, and beg Him that you may be saved eternally. Give Him your heart and offer your soul to Him thousands and thousands of times. Fix the eyes of your soul upon His gentle face and hold Him by the hand, just as a small child does with his father.
(INT. Part II, Ch. 13; O. III, p. 94)


'I SINCERELY maintain that Nature-worship is more morally dangerous than the most vulgar Man-worship of the cities; since it can easily be perverted into the worship of an impersonal mystery, carelessness, or cruelty. Thoreau would have been a jollier fellow if he had devoted himself to a green-grocer instead of to greens.'
('Alarms and Discursions.')

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