« PoprzedniaDalej »
The Word of God, who was born of God, and was not made nor created, and who came down from heaven—this Word was seen, and handled, and revealed to men, by John the Evangelist.
John sprang up amidst those true rivulets, which, from the commencement, flowed from the True Fountain; he has made the whole world drink of that life-giving nectar, that flows from the throne of God.
He soared above the heavens, and gazed, with the fixedness of his soul's eye, on the brightness of the true Sun; this spiritual contemplator saw, as it were from under the wings of the Seraphim, the Face of God.
He hears what songs are sung round the Throne by the Four and Twenty Elders and the heavenly Harpers. He has stamped upon the coin of our terrestrial city the impress and seal of the Holy Trinity.
He, the guardian of the Virgin, wrote his Gospel, that he might show to the world the profound mystery of the Divine Generation: and Jesus, after allowing him to recline on his Sacred Heart, commended his own pure Lily, Mary, to this his and her much loved one, the Son of Thunder.
He drinks a deadly poison! but the virtue of his faith preserves his virginal body from
Verbum Dei, Deo natum, Quod nec factum nec creatum,
Venit de ccelestibus:
Inter illos primitivos
Coelum transit, veri rotam Solis ibi vidit, totam Mentis figens aciem: Speculator spiritalis Quasi Seraphim sub alis Dei videt faciem.
Audiit in gyro sedis Quid psallant cum citharcedis
guater seni procedures :
Iste custos Virginis
Haurit virus hic lethale, Ubi corpus virginale Virtus servat fidei:
Pena stupet quod in poena Sit Joannes sine poena Bullieutis olei.
Hie naturis imperat Ut et saxa transferat In decus gemmarum: Quo jubente riguit, Auri fulvum induit Virgula silvarum.
Hic infernum reserat, Morti jubet, referat uos venenum stravit: bstruit quod Ebion, Cerinthus et Marcion Perfide latravit.
Volat avis sine meta Quo nec vates, nec Pro
pheta Evolavit altius: Tam implenda, quam impleta
Numquam vidit tot secreta
Visus sed non intellectus,
Die, dilecte, de dilecto, Qualis sit, et ex dilecto Sponsus sponsae nuncia: Die quis cibus Angelorum, Quae sint festa superorum De sponsi praesentia.
Veri panem intellectus, Coenam Christi supra pectus Christi sumptam resera: Ut cantemus de patrono,
death. Nay, the very creature that was prepared to torture him—the boiling oil— stood wondering at his feeling not its cruel power to pain.
Nature is obedient to him. He bids the stones be gems, and they obey: he bids the branch of a tree turn its pliant fibres into the precious metal of gold, and it obeys.
He bids the sepulchre and death yield back them whom poison had made their victims; they obey. He stops the biasphemous howlings of Ebion, Cerinthus, and Marcion.
He is the Eagle, soaring to the infinite; nor Seer, nor Prophet, passed him in his flight. No pure mind ever saw more clearly than he so many mysteries, already past or yet to come.
Jesus, the Bridegroom, clothed in his scarlet robe, after being seen by men, but not understood, returned to his palace above: he sent to his Bride the Eagle of Ezechiel, that he might relate to her the mystery seen in heaven.
0 Beloved Disciple! speak to us of thy Beloved: tell the Church the beauty of this thy Jesus, who is her chosen Spouse: tell her, who is the Bread of the Angels: tell her, what feasts her Spouse's presence causes to the citizens of heaven.
Speak to her of that Bread which feeds the soul with truth; reveal to her that Supper of thy Lord taken on the
Breast of thy Lord: we will Coram Agno, coram throno, sing to the Lamb, we will sing Laudes super aethera. round the Throne, we will praise him above the heavens, tor his having given us such a Patron as thee.
O glorious Saint! we thank thee with all the gratitude of our hearts, for the assistance thou hast so lovingly granted us, during the celebration of this grand Feast of Jesus' Birth. Thou art ever with us at Christmas; but it is only to help us to know Jesus the more; for, in considering thy prerogatives, we are giving praise to Him, who gave them to thee. We offer thee, then, the homage of our admiration and thanks, dear Friend of Jesus, and adopted Child of Mary! Before leaving us, suffer us to offer thee, once more, our humble petitions.
Pray, sweet Apostle of Fraternal Love! that the hearts of all men may be united in holy charity; that dissensions may cease; that the simplicity of the dove, of which thou wast such a touching example, may become the spirit of our present age, adverse though it seem to this commandment of our Lord. May Faith, without which love and charity cannot exist, be maintained in all its purity; may the serpent of heresy be crushed, and its poisoned cup find neither teachers to offer it, nor disciples to drink it. May the attachment to the doctrines of the Church be firm and courageous; may no human schemes or theories, or cowardly toleration of error, enervate the principles of truth and morals; may the children of light boldly disown fellowship with the children of darkness.
Remember, O holy Prophet! the sublime vision granted thee of the Churches of Asia Minor; and obtain for the Angels, who are set over ours, that unflinching faithfulness, which alone wins the victory and the Crown. Pray, also, for those countries which received the Gospel from thee, but have since deserved to lose the Faith. They have been suffering, now for ages, the consequences of false doctrines— slavery and degradation; intercede for them, that they may be regenerated by Jesus and his Spouse the Church. From thy heavenly home, send Peace to thine own dear Church of Ephesus, and to her Sister-Churches of Smyrna, Pergamus, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea; may they awake from their sleep; may they rise from their tomb; may Mahometanism cease its brutalising tyranny over them; may schism and heresy, which now keep the East in a state of barbarism, be extinguished; and may the whole flock be once more united in the one Fold. Cover with thy protecting love the holy Church of Rome, which was witness of thy glorious Confession, and which she counts as one of those her grand glories, which began with the Martyrdom of thy fellow Apostles, Peter and Paul . May she receive a fresh infusion of light and charity, now that the harvest is whitening over so many countries.1 And, lastly, Beloved Disciple of the Saviour of mankind! pray that, on the last day, we may enjoy the sight of thy glorified Body; and, after having so often presented us, on this earth, to Jesus and Mary in Bethlehem, present us, on that day, to the same Jesus and Mary in the glories of the eternal Vision.
We finish, to-day, the Octave consecrated to the memory of the Holy Innocents of Bethlehem. Thanks be to God, who has given them to us, to be our intercessors and our models! Their name will not re-appear on the Church's Calendar, until the return of the Christmas Solemnity; let us, therefore, devoutly approach these sweet Infant Saints— venerate them, love them, and address to them our farewell prayers.
The Holy Church, which, on the Feast, vested in the colour of mourning,—and this out of condolence with Rachel's grief,—now, on the Octave-Day, clothes herself in the red of her Martyrs, in order to honour these Babes, who shed their blood for Jesus. Notwithstanding, she is full of tender compassion for those poor Mothers, who suffered such agonies of grief at the sight of the murder of their little ones: she continually alludes to it in to-day's Liturgy, and reads, in the Office of Matins, a passage from an ancient Sermon, which vividly describes their feelings. We cannot withhold it from our readers. The Sermon, from which it is taken, was for a long time attributed to St. Augustine.
"When our Lord was born, there began lamen"tation, not indeed in heaven, but on earth! Lamen"tation for the Mothers, joy for the Angels, heaven "for the Babes. He that is born, is God: a victim "must be offered him, and Innocents must be that "offering, for he came to condemn the malice of this