Good Friday

Crucifixus etiam pro nobis sub Pontio Pilato, passus et seplutus est.

I was thinking the other day that the Crucifixion seems like such a long time ago. Then I though how quickly the past year has flown, how "much" I've learned, and how "little" I've been able to read (of hearts no less than books). And then suddenly 1,973 years didn't seem so distant.

* * *

Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthanai

O Kritoon, tooi Asklepiooi opheilomen alektruona, alla apodote kai mee ameleeseete.

Perhaps in the man himself, we discern something of the image of his father. The simple fact of demonic possession would account for the terrible persona of Socrates: his uniquely spotless character, his superhuman temperance, his insufferable pride. More than all of the long speeches in Plato, Socrates' power over our imagination stems from his heroic death. Yet in his death do we not see a sham of the death of Christ? He would have us not fear death, but look upon it as either an eternal sleep or as the realization of our best dreams. Whereas the Galilean is followed by a crowd of weeping women, Socrates dismisses his female relatives lest they be less than bravely dry-eyed in the face of death. His dying words have not the revelation of purpose, but almost the smile of irony. The Athenian, simply, exults in a sort of death-in-life and life-in-death: he does not cry out, he does sweat blood, he mocks and does not have compassion upon ordinary human weakness.

* * *

My children, when you were little, we used to sometimes go for walks in our pine woods. But you used instinctively to give me you hands as we entered the woods, where it was darker, lonelier, and in the stillness our voices sounded loud and frightening. In this book I am again giving you my hands. I am leading you, not through cool pine woods, but up and up a narrow defile between bare and steep rocks from which in shadow things uncoil and slither away. It will be dark. But, in the end, if I have lead you aright, you will be able to make out three crosses, from two of which hang thieves. I will have brought you to Golgotha--the place of Skulls. This is the meaning of the journey. Before you understand, I may not be there, my hands may have slipped from yours. It will not matter. For when you understand what you see, you will no longer be children. You will know that life is pain, that each of us hangs always upon the cross of himself. And when you know that this is true of every man, woman, and child on earth, you will be wise.

, p. 22

sunt lacrimae rerum, et mentem mortalia tangunt

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