A collage of wisdom for this Great Sabbath:
“Hosea above all shows us that this agape dimension of God’s love for man goes far beyond the aspect of gratuity. Israel has committed ‘adultery’ and has broken the covenant; God should judge and repudiate her. It is precisely at this point that God is revealed to be God and not man: ‘How can I give you up, O Ephraim! How can I hand you over, O Israel! … My heart recoils within me, my compassion grows warm and tender. I will not execute my fierce anger, I will not again destroy Ephraim; for I am God and not man, the Holy One in your midst’ (Hos 11:8-9). God’s passionate love for his people—for humanity—is at the same time a forgiving love. It is so great that it turns God against himself [ut contra se ipsum vertat Deum], his love against his justice. Here Christians can see a dim prefigurement of the mystery of the Cross: so great is God’s love for man that by becoming man he follows him even into death, and so reconciles justice and love.” — Pope Benedict XVI, “Deus Caritas Est”
And Jesus uttered a loud cry [phōnēn megalēn], and breathed his last. – Mark 15:37
“We could say that the last word of the Word lacks intelligible meaning. This word is only a voice, a sound pronounced by the vocal organs of an animal. One produced at the moment when his lungs were emptied. This sound was produced by flesh, therefore, it was nothing but a spasm of the flesh in the death rattle … At this point of time, the Word and the flesh are but one. In the simplest, least theological meaning of John 1:14, the word becomes flesh. The last word of the Word is that of a powerless Word, reduced to silence … But here everything is turned upside down. What would be the defeat a speaker that one had silenced is no longer that if the speaker is identical with what he has to say, if he is the word of Another who speaks him. It is not the Word that speaks, but is the One who is spoken. If, therefore, a man is the Word, he ought to be silent … what would be most revealing is not what he says, but what he does. Who he is.
It is therefore unreasonable to regret the silence of the divine. This silence is the inevitable consequence of a word uttered without reserve. Christ on the Mount of Olives [in the Garden of Agony] has no response to expect. He himself is the response of God … C.S. Lewis says, ‘I know now, Lord, why you utter no answer: you are yourself the answer.’ The silence of God gives rise to complaints against him, even accusations. But this sort of accusation only desires to inflict on him a reproach and a vengeance he has already fully suffered … If God were that of pagans or philosophers, he could very well find refuge in the highest heavens. But you know that our God stepped forth and stood before us. You can show him the finger, spit on his face, whip him and, finally, nail him to a cross. Whatever. It’s already been done.” — Rémi Brague, “On the God of the Christians”
What is happening? Today there is a great silence over the earth, a great silence, and stillness, a great silence because the King sleeps; the earth was in terror and was still, because God slept in the flesh and raised up those who were sleeping from the ages. God has died in the flesh, and the underworld has trembled. — From an ancient homily on Holy Saturday
“In a place like this, words fail; in the end, there can only be a dread silence – a silence which is itself a heartfelt cry to God: Why, Lord, did you remain silent? How could you tolerate all this? In silence, then, we bow our heads before the endless line of those who suffered and were put to death here; yet our silence becomes in turn a plea for forgiveness and reconciliation, a plea to the living God never to let this happen again.” — Pope Benedict XVI at Auschwitz
There is so much deep contradiction in my soul. Such deep longing for God – so deep that it is painful – a suffering continual – and yet not wanted by God – repulsed – empty – no faith – no love – no zeal. The silence and emptiness is so great that I look and do not see, listen and do not hear. Heaven means nothing – to me it looks like an empty place – the thought of it means nothing to me and yet this torturing longing for God. Pray for me please that I keep smiling at Him in spite of everything. For I am only His – so He has every right over me. I am perfectly happy to be nobody, even to God. . . .
Your devoted child in J.C.
Mother Teresa ― Brian Kolodiejchuk, “Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light: The Private Writings of the Saint of Calcutta”
“When the stone had been sealed by the Jews, and the soldiers where guarding Thine most-pure Body, Thou didst rise on the third day, O Savior, granting life unto the world. Glory to Thy dispensation, O only Lover of mankind.” — Troparion of the Resurrection