Friday, April 15, 2011

On Contemplating the Passion of the Lord

True reverence for the Lord's passion means fixing the eyes of our heart on Jesus crucified and recognizing in him our true humanity,

The earth - our earthly nature - should tremble at the suffering of the Redeemer. The rocks - the hearts of unbelievers - should burst asunder. The dead, imprisoned in the tombs of their mortality, should come forth, the massive stones now ripped apart. Foreshadowings of the future resurrection should appear in the holy city, the Church of God: what is to happen to our bodies should now take place in our hearts.

No one, however weak, is denied a share in the victory of the cross. No one is beyond the help of the prayer of Christ. His prayer brought benefit to the multitude that raged against him. How much more does it bring to those who turn to him in repentance.

Ignorance has been destroyed, obstinacy has been overcome. The sacred blood of Christ has quenched the flaming sword that barred access to the tree of life. The age-old night of sin has given place to the true light.

St. Leo the Great, pope

Sermo 15, De passione Domini, 3-4: PL 54, 366-367

Office of Readings, Thursday Lent IV

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