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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Holy Week Reflections......

quotes, homilies, and poems to put us all in the solemn yet hopeful spirit of the coming days.

Christ Hes my Hairt, Aye

For us that blissed bairn was born,
For us He was baith rent and torn,
For us He was crownit wi' the thorn,
Christ hes my hairt, aye

For us He shed His precious bluid,
For us He was nailit tae the rood,
For us in mony a battle stood,
Christ hes my hairt, aye

Nixt Him, tae lufe, His mother fair,
With steadfast hairt forevermair,
Scho Byre and birth freed us frae care,
Christ hes my hairt, aye

-- anonymous Scots-English poem

The Convert

After one moment when I bowed my head
And the whole world turned over and came upright,
And I came out where the old road shone white.
I walked the ways and heard what all men said,
Forests of tongues, like autumn leaves unshed,
Being not unlovable but strange and light;
Old riddles and new creeds, not in despite
But softly, as men smile about the dead.

The sages have a hundred maps to give
That trace their crawling cosmos like a tree,
They rattle reason out through many a sieve
That stores the sand and lets the gold go free:
And all these things are less than dust to me
Because my name is Lazarus and I live.

-- G.K. Chesterton

Victimae Paschali

To the paschal Victim let Christians offer
sacrifice and praise.

The Lamb has redeemed the sheep: Christ,
the undefiled, has to the Father sinners

Life and death contended in an astonishing
battle: Life's captain is slain,
yet lives to reign.

Tell us, Mary, what did you see on the way?
"I saw the tomb of the living Christ and
the glory of the risen one.

"I saw the angels who bore witness, the
winding cloths and linen: Christ my hope
has risen: His brethren he will precede
to Galilee."

We know that Christ has truly risen from the
dead: O victorious King, have mercy
on us.

Amen. Alleluia.

-- attributed to Wipo of Burgandy, 11th century Sequence for Easter Sunday

"Out of the darkness of my life, so much frustrated, I put before you the one great thing to love on earth: the Blessed Sacrament... There you will find romance, glory, honour, fidelity, and the true way of all your loves on earth, and more than that: Death. By the divine paradox, that which ends life, and demands the surrender of all, and yet by the taste - or foretaste - of which alone can what you seek in your earthly relationships (love, faithfulness, joy) be maintained, or take on that complexion of reality, of eternal endurance, which every man's heart desires." 
-J.R.R. Tolkien

"Listen, my dear Cors, why don't you forgive God for allowing pain? If He didn't allow it, human courage, bravery, nobility, and self-sacrifice would all be meaningless things.”

-Abbot Zerchi, "A Canticle for Leibowitz" by Walter Miller Jr.   

From an Ancient Homily for Holy Saturday

What is happening? Today there is a great silence over the earth, a great silence, and stillness, a great silence because the king sleeps; the earth was in terror and was still, because God slept in the flesh and raised up those who were sleeping from the ages. God has died in the flesh, and the underworld has trembled. 

Truly He goes to seek out our first parent; He wishes to visit those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death. He goes to free the prisoner Adam and his fellow prisoner Eve from their pains, He who is God, and Adam's Son.

The Lord goes into them, holding His victorious weapon, His cross. When Adam, the first created man, sees Him, he strikes his breast in terror and calls out to all: "My Lord be with you all." And Christ in reply says to Adam: "And with your spirit." And grasping his hand He raises him up, saying: "Awake, O Sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light. 

"I AM your God who for your sake became your son, who for you and your descendants now speak and command with authority those in prison: Come forth, and those in darkness: Have light, and those who sleep: Rise.

"I command you: Awake, sleeper, I have not made you to be  held a prisoner in the underworld. Arise from the dead; I AM the life of the dead. Arise, O Man, work of my hands, arise, you who were fashioned in my image. Rise, let us go hence; for you in me and I in you, together we are one undivided person.

"For you, I your God became your son; for you, I the Master took on your form; that of slave; for you, I who AM above the heavens came on earth and under the earth; for you, Man, I became as man without help, free among the dead; for you, who left a garden, I was handed over to the Jews from a garden and crucified in a garden.

"Look at the spittle on my face, which I received because of you, and in order to restore you to that first divine inbreathing at creation. See the blows on my cheeks which I accepted in order to refashion your distorted form to my image. 

"See the scourging on my back which I accepted in order to disperse the load of your sins which was laid upon your back. See my hands nailed to the tree for a good purpose, for you who stretched out your hand to the tree for an evil one. 

"I sleep on the cross and a sword pierced my side, for you, who slept in paradise and brought forth Eve from you side. My side healed the pain of your side; my sleep will release you from your sleep in Hades; my sword has checked the sword which was turned against you. 

"But arise, let us go hence. The enemy brought you out of the land of paradise; I will reinstate you, no longer in paradise, but on the throne of heaven. I denied you the tree of life, which was a figure, but now I myself am united to you, I who AM life. I posted the cherubim to guard you as they would slaves; now I make the cherubim worship you as they would God.

"The cherubim throne has been prepared, the bearers are ready and waiting, the bridal chamber is in order, the food is provided, the everlasting houses and rooms are in readiness; the treasures of good things have been opened; the kingdom of heaven has been prepared before ages." 

-- anonymous early Christian

"For us He was nailit tae the rood....."


  1. Whoa, a "Canticle for Leibowitz" quote? What inspired you to post that?

  2. Hey, Emerald,

    Honestly? Well, it was mainly because our mutual friend, Katherine Anne, emailed me the quote and it was one of the only things I had on hand to copy and paste before my computer was konked out! :P But it is a good quote, all the same!

  3. Lol... I was kind of surprised to see both my end-of-email quotes pasted in exactly the same formatting I used in my email account... but then, I did remember Pearl said on the phone last week that she really needed to post something, anything, soon... ; ) (Oh, I was pleasantly surprised to see that "The Convert" made it, too - perfect for Easter vigil!) I guess I now know for sure that Pearl really does read my emails! ; D

    A happy and blessed Easter to you both!

    - Katherine

  4. Ha, ha! Hey, your quotations in your email saved me, Katherine! My computer was really acting weird and I was in a desperate hustle and copy and paste SOMETHING for Easter before internet access evaporated! And Lo and Behold.....your wonderful selection of email quotes! ;-)

    A happy and blessed Easter you guys, as well!