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Cardinal Sarah: “the voice of God resounded in the realm of death”

20 April 2019

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“Just as when we were children, we were afraid to be alone in the dark and could only be assured by the presence of someone who loved us. Well this is exactly what happened on Holy Saturday, the voice of God resounded in the realm of death. The unimaginable occurred; namely, love penetrated Hell.”
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Cameron McAllister: “Our earthly temples will crumble, but the temple of Christ’s body endures”

20 April 2019

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“I’m certain that I’m not the only one who thought of Jesus’s words concerning the temple in Jerusalem as I watched this particular temple burn in Paris. In a scene that incensed the surrounding crowds and religious authorities of his day, Jesus “cleansed the temple,” driving out all the merchants and moneychangers with a hand-made whip of cords, overturning their tables and scattering their coins across the stone floor (John 2:13-17).

When these religious leaders demanded a sign for this rash display of authority, Jesus famously said, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” (John 2:19). This cryptic response was met with incredulity: “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” (John 2:20). What these literal-minded men didn’t realize was that Jesus was speaking about the “temple of his body,” and that his future resurrection would reveal the true majesty of his words for those who believe in him. In fact, the text makes clear that the disciples understood Jesus’s words only in retrospect: “When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken (verse 22).”’

Cameron McAllister

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The Siege and Destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans under the Command of Titus, 70 AD (David Roberts, 1850)

Benedict XVI: “we are not yet standing in the full light but walking toward it”

20 April 2019

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“To be sure, it was not Easter Sunday but Holy Saturday, but, the more I reflect on it, the more this seems to be fitting for the nature of our human life: we are still awaiting Easter; we are not yet standing in the full light but walking toward it full of trust.”

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Athanasius: “When of old Satan deceived the first man Adam”

20 April 2019

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“When of old Satan deceived the first man Adam, thinking that through him he should have all men subject to him, he exulted with great boldness and said, ‘My hand has found as a nest the riches of the people; and as one gathers eggs that are left, I have gathered all the earth; and there is none that shall escape me or speak against me’ (Is. 10:14 LXX). But when the Lord came upon the earth and the enemy made trial of His human Economy, being unable to deceive the flesh which He had taken upon Him, from that time forth he, who promised himself the occupation of the whole world, is for His sake mocked even by children: that proud one is mocked as a sparrow (cf. Job 41:5). For now the infant child lays his hand upon the hole of the asp and laughs at him that deceived Eve (cf. Is 11:8; II Cor. 11:3); and all that rightly believe in the Lord tread under foot him that said, ‘I will ascend above the heights of the clouds: I will be like the Most High’ (Is. 14:14). Thus he suffers and is dishonored; and although he still ventures with shameless confidence to disguise himself, yet now, wretched spirit, he is detected the rather by them that bear the Sign on their foreheads (cf. Ezek. 9:4 LXX); yea, more, he is rejected of them, and is humbled, and put to shame. For even if, now that he is a creeping serpent, he shall transform himself into an angel of light, yet his deception will not profit him; for we have been taught that ‘though an angel from heaven preach to us any other gospel than that we have received, he is anathema’ (Gal. 1:8-9).”

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G.K. Chesterton: “In this story of Good Friday”

19 April 2019

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“All the great groups that stood about the Cross represent in one way or another the great historical truth of the time; that the world could not save itself. Man could do no more. Rome and Jerusalem and Athens and everything else were going down like a sea turned into a slow cataract. Externally indeed the ancient world was still at its strongest; it is always at that moment that the inmost weakness begins. But in order to understand that weakness we must repeat what has been said more than once; that it was not the weakness of a thing originally weak. It was emphatically the strength of the world that was turned to weakness and the wisdom of the world that was turned to folly.

In this story of Good Friday it is the best things in the world that are at their worst. That is what really shows us the world at its worst. It was, for instance, the priests of a true monotheism and the soldiers of an international civilisation. Rome, the legend, founded upon fallen Troy and triumphant over fallen Carthage, had stood for a heroism which was the nearest that any pagan ever came to chivalry. Rome had defended the household gods and the human decencies against the ogres of Africa and the hermaphrodite monstrosities of Greece. But in the lightning flash of this incident, we see great Rome, the imperial republic, going downward under her Lucretian doom. Scepticism has eaten away even the confident sanity of the conquerors of the world. He who is enthroned to say what is justice can only ask:

‘What is truth?’ So in that drama which decided the whole fate of antiquity, one of the central figures is fixed in what seems the reverse of his true role. Rome was almost another name for responsibility. Yet he stands for ever as a sort of rocking statue of the irresponsible. Man could do no more. Even the practical had become the impracticable. Standing between the pillars of his own judgement-seat, a Roman had washed his hands of the world.”

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Maximos the Confessor: “The Logos restores human nature to itself”

19 April 2019

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“The Logos restores human nature to itself. First, He became man and kept His will dispassionate and free from rebellion against nature, so that it did not waver in the slightest from its own natural movement even with regard to those who crucified Him; on the contrary, it chose death for their sake instead of life, thereby demonstrating the voluntary character of His passion, rooted as it is in His love for humankind. Second, having nailed to the Cross the record of our sins, He abolished the enmity which led nature to wage an implacable war against itself ? making peace and reconciling us through Himself to the Father and to one another: our will is no longer opposed to the principle of nature, but we adhere to it without deviating in either will or nature.”

Saint Maximos the Confessor

Francis of Assisi: “the devils did not crucify him, but you”

19 April 2019

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“… all creatures under heaven, according to their nature, know, serve, and obey their Creater better than you; the devils did not crucify him, but you, incited by them, have crucified him, and still crucify him when you delight in vice and sin.”

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