The power of Christ’s Blood

4.-MS-M.472,-fol.-131vFrom the Catecheses by St. John Chrysostom

If we wish to understand the power of Christ’s blood, we should go back to the ancient account of its prefiguration in Egypt. Sacrifice a lamb without blemish, commanded Moses, and sprinkle its blood on your doors. If we were to ask him what he meant, and how the blood of an irrational beast could possibly save men endowed with reason, his answer would be that the saving power lies not in the blood itself, but in the fact that it is a sign of the Lord’s blood. In those days, when the destroying angel saw the blood on the doors he Continue reading

The Deposition

A very beautiful meditation, and one of my favorites, on the deposition of Jesus from the cross by St. Josemaria Escriva.

Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea, who are hidden disciples of Christ, intercede for Him making use of the high positions they hold. In the hour of loneliness, of total abandonment and of scorn…, it is then that they stand up for him audacter, boldly (Mark 15:43)…: heroic courage!

With them I too will go up to the foot of the Cross; I will press my arms tightly round the cold Body, the corpse of Christ, with the fire of my love…; I will unnail it, with my reparation and mortifications… I will wrap it in the new winding-sheet of my clean life, and I will bury it in the living rock of my breast, where no one can tear it away from me, and there, Lord, take your rest!

Were the whole world to abandon you and to scorn you… serviam!, I will serve you, Lord.

Detail from Deposition in the Sepulchre by Grunewald

Love’s work is done

Grunewaldcrucifixion

CRUX fidelis,
inter omnes
arbor una nobilis;
nulla talem silva profert,
flore, fronde, germine.
Dulce lignum, dulci clavo,
dulce pondus sustinens!
FAITHFUL Cross!
above all other,
one and only noble Tree!
None in foliage, none in blossom,
none in fruit thy peers may be;
sweetest wood and sweetest iron!
Sweetest Weight is hung on thee!

And it was night. Jn13:30  There is a chill that grips the heart as one reads those three words.

Judas moves into the shadows to betray his Master, His Lord.

As he closes the door of the upper room, he shuts fast the door of his heart to God’s mercy and grace. As he moves from light to darkness he seals his descison with that terrible kiss of betrayal.

The evil one has done his work, in those early hours of the morning, in the night, under the cover of darkness. Conniving, orchestrating, his lying lips pressed against the ears of those in his power, whispering fear, whispering hate.

The evil one has done his work.  Jesus: falsely charged and cruelly driven before his captors to that dreadful place of execution.

Jesus: fastened to that tree of torture by Love, it is Love that holds Him fast on that tree of death.

Hate has done it’s work, now Love will show His power.

Love in vulnerability has shattered those bonds that hate holds hostage.

It is finished. Jn 19:30  The Sacrifice complete, mankind is freed from that curse of old.  Love’s work is done.