Monday, March 25, 2013

Bargain of the Century. Of the Millenium. Of all Time.

It's impossible to have a favorite passage from St. Augustine, but if I could narrow it down to twenty or so, this from today's Office of Readings would be on my list:

 He had no power of himself to die for us: he had to take from us our mortal flesh. This was the way in which, though immortal, he was able to die; the way in which he chose to give life to mortal men: he would first share with us, and then enable us to share with him. Of ourselves we had no power to live, nor did he of himself have the power to die.
Accordingly, he effected a wonderful exchange with us, through mutual sharing: we gave him the power to die, he will give us the power to live.

Another thought for this week: Holy Week is a great time to really notice the function of antiphons as a guide to prayerfully interpreting the psalms. Today's antiphons give a whole new character to the psalms of Monday, week II. This morning, for example, the first antiphon: "My heart is nearly broken with sorrow...keep watch with me." turns psalm 42 into an incredibly moving meditation on the agony in the garden. Antiphon 2: " the prince of this world will be driven out." makes the canticle from Sirach show us both spiritual warfare and the hidden glory in Christ's passion. The third antiphon this morning, "Jesus...endured the cross, heedless of the shame..." gives new meaning to the phrase in Psalm 19, "rejoices like a champion to run its course, which we apply both to the sun in the sky and the Son who descended from heaven.

Book giveaway coming soon to celebrate Easter!