Thursday, September 06, 2007

Our Lady of Sorrows



The Descent from the Cross

And now the moment more bitter than aloes: Jesus is delivered into His Mother's arms. He is dead. The dagger is buried finally and forever in that heart which was destined to become its sheath. Now it is no longer her eyes which watch, which understand, and give evidence. This Jesus, who was just on the cross, has been again laid in her arms. She embraces Him, she holds Him, she supports Him, she contains Him. At last it is hers, this lifeless body from which the soul has fled—her Son and her God. She holds it in her lap.

Here is the first moment of complete possession which has been granted her since the days of Bethlehem and Nazareth, a moment of perfect union between the consummated Christ and this woman who is the Church, now' confirmed forever in her maternal ordination. And surely we cannot think that those lips which He offered to Judas and chastised Simon for not seeking are now denied His mother. For now He depends on her alone, He has been placed completely in her hands—length, breadth, and weight—this Christ whom she has just watched being unfastened limb by limb from that rigid framework which held Him fixed to the ancient Law.

Electe ramos, arbor alta! Now it is she who is the cross: she has become the scale on which is weighed that "eternal weight of glory" [II Cor. 4:17] before which, unlike Moses, she does not shrink. It is she who will henceforth be the human stalk and stem of this Christ five times opened.' He is her impression, and she is his expression.

~Excerpted from I Believe in God by Paul Claudel

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