20 December 2010

Your Cistercian Commentary of the Day

Someday, I'm going to put pen to paper in an effort to explain just how important the Cistercians are/were important to Catholicism as a whole, and to Capuchin Franciscanism more specifically.  In the meantime, here's your Cistercian commentary of the day:

Blessed Guerric of Igny (c.1080-1157), Cistercian abbot 
Sermon 3 for the Annunciation, 2-4 (©Cistercian Fathers series) 

"The Lord himself will give you a sign: the virgin shall be with child" (Is 7,14)

«The Lord spoke to Ahaz: 'Ask for a sign from the Lord, your God.' But Ahaz answered: 'I will not ask! I will not tempt the Lord!'» (Is 7,10-12)....The sign which they refused... we receive with full faith and devout veneration, recognizing the Son whom the Virgin conceives to be for us «in the depths» of Sheol a sign of liberation and pardon, «in the heights above» a sign and a hope of exultation and glory... The Lord has now lifted up an ensign, first on the gibbet of the Cross, afterward on the throne of his kingdom...

Yes, the Virgin Mother conceiving and giving birth is a sign for us that he who is conceived and brought forth is God and man. The Son doing the things of God and suffering the things of man is a sign for us that he raises up to God man for whom he is conceived and brought forth and for whom also he suffers. 

Of all the human weaknesses or injuries which God deigned to bear for us, the first in time and, one might say, the greatest in humility, was, I think, that the majesty which knows no bounds allowed itself to be conceived in the womb and to be confined in the womb for the space of nine months. Where else did he so empty himself out, or when was he seen so completely eclipsed? For so long a time Wisdom says nothing, Power works nothing that can be discerned. The majesty which lies hidden and enclosed is not betrayed by any visible sign. He was not seen so weak on the Cross... But in the womb he is as if he were not. Almighty power lies idle as if it could do nothing. The eternal Word constrains himself to silence.

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