Rorate Caeli

Philippians, chapter 2: There is so much going on!

Yet, at times such as Holy Week, in particular this Holy Week, there is not much to be written that would be useful and good, and an occasion of spiritual growth, and not deleterious - for our readers, and also for our own souls. The words of the Apostle to the Philippians, also repeated on Palm Sunday, keep coming back: semetipsum exinanivit, "He emptied himself", "he made himself nothing". He was born for this, he took our mortal form to be obedient, "obedient unto death", "mortem autem crucis"...

Luis Salvador Carmona
Jesús recogiendo sus vestiduras (Jesús flagelado)
Church of the Holy Spirit (Clerecía), Salamanca

How beautiful to say that He emptied himself, for the empty is opposed to the full! For the divine nature is sufficiently full, because every perfection of goodness is there. But human nature and the soul are not full, but capable of fulness, because it was made as a slate not written upon. Therefore, human nature is empty. Hence he says, He emptied himself, because He assumed a human nature. (St. Thomas Aquinas, Commentary on Philippians

"If the Word emptied himself taking the form of a servant," it was that He might make His brothers according to the flesh partakers of the divine nature, through sanctifying grace in this earthly exile, in heaven through the joys of eternal bliss. For the reason why the only-begotten Son of the Eternal Father willed to be a son of man was that we might be made conformed to the image of the Son of God and be renewed according to the image of Him who created us. (Pius XII, Mystici Corporis Christi)

There is so much that is disturbing going on, including in ecclesiastical environments, but we must not get distracted. With the graces made available by the Lord through His Church, especially the Sacraments, it is each one of us - and not anyone else - who must "work out" our "own salvation", with "fear and trembling", without "grumbling and hesitation", "in the midst of" this "crooked and perverse generation": "he that shall persevere to the end shall be saved” (Mt. xxiv, 13).

9 comments:

Wormwood said...

". . . it is each one of us . . . "

Very true.

Thank you, NC, and may you have a fruitful Holy Week.

In Christ.

HSE said...

Yes, there is always that temptation of "hesitation"! May the Good Lord give me courage.

To all a blessed Holy Week.

Uncle Claibourne said...

Nos autem gloriari oportet
in Cruce Domini nostri Jesu Christi

In quo est salus, vita et resurrectio nostra

Per quem salvati et liberati sumus.



Fiat misericordia tua, Domine, super nos, quemadmodum speravimus in te.

In te, Domine, speravi; non confunar in aeternum.

Matt said...

These are wonderful spiritual lessons to meditated upon for the rest of Holy Week and throughout the year. Very humbling. Thanks for posting these, RC.

Jason C. said...

These little meditations are great, but I've appreciated all the more learning about these Spanish pasos and their creators--what an art form. One gets a sense of how impoverished our sacred arts (anything, really) are today in comparison.

Brian said...

Thank you for the spiritual writings and focus on Holy Week and for holding off on sharing the news behind this comment:

Yet, at times such as Holy Week, in particular this Holy Week, there is not much to be written that would be useful and good, and an occasion of spiritual growth, and not deleterious - for our readers, and also for our own souls.

Sancrucensis said...

A very beautiful and timely reflection.

JB said...

Thank you Rorate for bringing the focus back on Christ.

Francis just said that in becoming Christ "God stepped outside of himself." I'm mulling that one over.

Auuinas said...

Look at me - I'm humble and innovative. Parce Domine!