29 March 2013


from ALPB, but touching on one of the key liturgical songs of this day:

A child of a Lutheran parsonage who ended up an atheist and died in a lunatic asylum, Nietzsche, once observed essentially the same: "You Christians lost the world when you lost your joy." Schmemann thought this profound and cited it more than once. For the Christian faith came into the world as good news of a great joy; and it spread throughout the world as the message and gift of a joy that the world cannot give. Again to the words of this day: "For behold! By the wood of the cross joy has come into all the world!" Without becoming anew witnesses to this great joy, the Church's inner life withers and dies; but when her children again taste it, when her pastors are again witnesses to it, when her entire liturgical life is the very gift of it to the sad and weary world, then renewal comes to the Church. The shower of the Gospel, pregnant with the new life of God, rains upon the earth and joy springs anew in the hearts of men. "What joy to know when life is past, the Lord we love is first and last, the end as the beginning; he will someday, O glorious grace!, transport us to that happy place beyond all tears and sinning."

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