Dixit ergo Iesus Petro: "Mitte gladium tuum in vaginam. Calicem, quem didit mihi Pater, non bibam illum?" ... "Sitio." Vas ergo erat positum aceto plenum. Illi autem spongiam plenam aceto, hyssopo circumponentes, obtulerunt ori eius. Cum ergo accepisset Iesus acetum, dixit: "Consummatum est." Et inclinato capite, tradidit spiritum. (From the Gospel for Good Friday, the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to Saint John: "Jesus therefore said to Peter: 'Put up thy sword in the scabbard. The chalice which My Father hath given Me, shall I not drink it?'...'I thirst.' Now there was a vessel set there, full of vinegar. And they, putting a sponge full of vinegar about hyssop, put it to His mouth. Jesus therefore, when He had taken the vinegar, said: 'It is consummated.'And bowing His head, He gave up the spirit.")
Chalice - Lily. The chalice is the lily, stylized and adapted to our use, and which, born from water, is proper for us to take to our lips.
The lily, and especially the water-lily, also called lotus or nenuphar, has always had a peculiar place in the symbolism of all religions. It projects its roots to substantial and deep regions, separated from our sight by these fluid, contemplative, mirror-like layers which are the domain of that which is contingent, unstable, of illusion and of this "time", of this reflection which relates to several circumstances.
It is there, from below, that it feeds from this mysterious mud where the hand of the Creator searched and modeled the matter of man. Infixus sum, Psalm LXVIII tells us, in limo profundi and it is from there that Israel "will spring like a lily" (Os. xiv, 6). Whether in Egypt, in Assyria, in Persia, in India, or in China, it is the lily which stands as a support for all gods or which, between its fingers, recreates their souls by opening their nostrils. It is the lily which also has its place in the capitals of columns and in the arms of the candelabra, such a prominent place in the decoration of Ark and Temple.
On the elongated stem which it uses to reach the deep, to search for life through moment and accident, it blossoms, in a circle of geometrically composed petals: the flower, the essential and synthetic cup, the central point which bestows perfect meaning and is the supreme center of the calculated dispositions of a concentric universe.
Ego flos campis, say the Canticles (ii, 1) et lilium convallium.
Un poète regarde la croix
And the lilies are about to bloom...