Thursday, September 14, 2006

Feast of the Holy Cross

Leo the Great's Sermon On the Lord's Passion:

When Christ is exalted on the Cross, beloved brothers, do not let only those things which the ungodly have seen come to the sight of your mind. For to them it was said through Moses, " And your life will be hanging before your eyes and you will tremble day and night and not believe in your life." For they could think of nothing except their crime in connection with the crucified Lord, and they were afraid, not with the fear by which true faith justifies, but with that by which a bad conscience is tormented. But our mind, which is enlightend with the spirit of truth, should receive the glory of the Cross, illuminating heaven and earth, in a heart that is pure and free. And we should see with inward vision what the Lord said when He spoke of His imminent Passion, "Now is the judgment of the world; now will the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all things to Myself."
O wonderful power of the Cross! O unutterable glory of the Passion, in which is to be found the judgment-set of the Lord and the judgment of the world and the power of the Crucified! For You drew all things to Yourself, Lord; when You stretched out Your hands all day to an unbelieving and contradicting people, the whole world knew that this gesture signified its obligation to confess Your majesty. You drew all things to Yourself, Lord, when in horror of the crime of the Jews all the elements of nature expressed their common feeling: when the lights of heaven were darkened and day turned to night and the earth shook with strange tremors and all creatures refused their services to ungodly men. You drew all things to Yourself, Lord, when the veil of the Temple was torn and the Holy of holies taken away from the unworthy priests that the figure might be changed to the reality, the prophecy to the manifestation, and the law into the Gospel.

Read the rest of the sermon:

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