Wednesday, 28 April 2010
Fruits of Lectio Divina - April 28
Today Holy Mother Church honours the merits of the great Saints Paul of the Cross and Louis-Marie de Monfort and begs for their most powerful intercession. The Epistle is taken from 1 Corinthians 1: 17-25:
A dichotomy is set up by the Apostle concerning the wisdom of God and the supposed wisdom of this passing world. The Cross of our Lord is mere folly for the scholars, intellectuals and the self-proclaimed wise, as who has ever heard of a crucified Messias?
The Old Testament states 'cursed is the man who hangs upon a tree', yet our Lord takes upon the curse, that is our death, the punishment of our first parent and redeems us through His most Precious Blood. Is death not a failure? Is it not the triumph of darkness over the human person who wishes to preserve himself? However, our Lord's perfect act of satisfaction confounds all categories of simple human thinking, classification and systematization. The ineffable Word of the Father sets aside the glory according to His Divine nature, takes on the form of a servant is beholded by men in the flesh.
Only those with the eye and mind of faith can accept this act of divine condescension. The image of the Crucified One is a folly of great treasure, whose worth is hidden to those who look only with eyes of flesh. On the other hand we must walk by faith and not by sight, as we have been called from all eternity from the lump of perdition (mass perditionis) deserving of punishment, to be holy and blameless before Him.
Anyone can be persuaded to adopt any kind of position. One can be convinced to become a Communist, a vegetarian, a teetotaller, yet it is only by the operation of the Holy Spirit that a creature of wrath by nature can cry out 'Abba, Father' and trust in the Cross of the Living One. Such is an encounter with a Person, an event, not an abstract system of thought. The Apostle shows this when he says that he was sent by the Lord to preach the Good News, 'not in wisdom of speech, lest the cross of Christ should be made void'. He put forward no display of oratory or philosophy, but preached with clarity and a virtuous life the mystery of divine love. This call to love, which forms our being, carries us out of Egypt, leaving behind the givens and norms of sinful society into an union through grace.
Such a reality defies human thought and must be embraced in silence with reverence and awe.