17 March 2006

Patristic Quote for the Day

Rise, let us leave this place. The enemy led you out of the earthly paradise. I will not restore you to that paradise, but I will enthrone you in heaven. I forbade you the tree that was only a symbol of life, but see, I who am life itself am not one with you. I appointed cherubim to guard you as slaves are guarded, but now I make them worship you as God. The throne formed by cherubim waits for you, its bearers swift and eager. The bridal chamber is adorned, the banquet is ready, the eternal dwelling places are prepared, the treasure houses of all good things lie open. The kingdom of heaven has been prepared for you from all eternity. - Ancient Homily on Holy Saturday

[In the setting of the homily, Christ is speaking these words to Adam. I've produced it as it appears in the Breviary. I suspect the troublesome words about "now I make them worship you as God" are to be understood from the context of Christ Himself confessing unity with Adam: "For your sake, I, your God, became your son." A bit over the top, but it really drives home the same point that Lewis did in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. The thrones for which we are destined; the heights to which He has summoned us and prepared the way, and IS that way; and the shocking truth that the angels are made to SERVE us!]


Anonymous said...

Who is this by?

William Weedon said...

I'm not sure. It's cited in the Breviary as just "ancient homily." In the dim recesses of the mind, I am thinking it might be from one of the pseudopigraphical writings. But it nails the cross exactly "See on my face the spittle I received in order to restore to you the life I once breathed into you. See there the marks of the blows I received in order to refashion your warped nature in my image. On my back see the marks of the scourging I endured to reove the burden of sin that weighs upon your back. See my hands, nailed firmly to a tree, for you who once wickedly stretched out your hands to a tree." That's not typical of any of the gnostic writings.

Anonymous said...

A Jesuit in a CA parish made reference to this sermon in the traditional Latin Breviary saying:

"This is a homily not given by someone who become a saint or is well known. It is simply a part of a sermon given by a priest or deacon in the very early centuries after the Church, founded by Christ, was growing and thriving."

Another commentator online mentioned that it was originally written in Greek.