Saturday, 11 April 2015

Orthodox Easter: Holy Saturday. 'The Great Silence.'

10 Minute Daily Retreat - Read the Daily Gospel with a prayerful heart.
Prepared by Susanne Timpani (No.102)
'Something strange is happening—there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. God has died in the flesh and hell trembles with fear.
http://www.morguefile.com/creative/FidlerJan
He has gone to search for our first parent, as for a lost sheep. Greatly desiring to visit those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, he has gone to free from sorrow the captives Adam and Eve, he who is both God and the son of Eve. 

The Lord approached them bearing the cross, the weapon that had won him the victory. At the sight of him Adam, the first man he had created, struck his breast in terror and cried out to everyone: “My Lord be with you all.” Christ answered him: “And with your spirit.” He took him by the hand and raised him up, saying: “Awake, O sleeper, and rise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.”

I am your God, who for your sake have become your son. Out of love for you and for your descendants I now by my own authority command all who are held in bondage to come forth, all who are in darkness to be enlightened, all who are sleeping to arise. I order you, O sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be held a prisoner in hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead. Rise up, work of my hands, you who were created in my image. Rise, let us leave this place, for you are in me and I am in you; together we form only one person and we cannot be separated.

For your sake I, your God, became your son; I, the Lord, took the form of a slave; I, whose home is above the heavens, descended to the earth and beneath the earth. For your sake, for the sake of man, I became like a man without help, free among the dead. For the sake of you, who left a garden, I was betrayed to the Jews in a garden, and I was crucified in a garden.

See on my face the spittle I received in order to restore to you the life I once breathed into you. See there the marks of the blows I received in order to refashion your warped nature in my image. On my back see the marks of the scourging I endured to remove the burden of sin that weighs upon your back. See my hands, nailed firmly to a tree, for you who once wickedly stretched out your hand to a tree.

I slept on the cross and a sword pierced my side for you who slept in paradise and brought forth Eve from your side. My side has healed the pain in yours. My sleep will rouse you from your sleep in hell. The sword that pierced me has sheathed the sword that was turned against you.

Rise, let us leave this place. The enemy led you out of the earthly paradise. I will not restore you to that paradise, but I will enthrone you in heaven. I forbade you the tree that was only a symbol of life, but see, I who am life itself am now one with you. I appointed cherubim to guard you as slaves are guarded, but now I make them worship you as God. The throne formed by cherubim awaits you, its bearers swift and eager. 

The bridal chamber is adorned, the banquet is ready, the eternal dwelling places are prepared, the treasure houses of all good things lie open. The kingdom of heaven has been prepared for you from all eternity.'

From an ancient homily on Holy Saturday, 'The Lord descends into hell.'

5 minutes: READ the text slowly.
REFLECT on a phrase or word that struck you.
SPEAK to God about your thoughts.
5 minutes: LISTEN to God speak to you.
RESPOND with a prayer that feels right for you.

Stations of the Cross

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Stations_of_the_Cross#/media/File:Leichnam_Jesu_-_Wilhelm_Haverkamp_-_Mutter_Erde_fec.jpg
First Station: Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane Matthew 26:36-41
Second Station: Jesus, Betrayed by Judas, is Arrested Mark 14: 43-46
Third Station: Jesus is Condemned by the Sanhedrin  Luke 22:66-71
Fourth Station: Jesus is Denied by Peter  Matthew 26:69-75
Fifth Station: Jesus is Judged by Pilate Mark 15:1-5,15
Sixth Station: Jesus is Scourged and Crowned with Thorns John 19:1-3
Seventh Station: Jesus Bears the Cross John 19:6,15-17
Eighth Station: Jesus is Helped by Simon the Cyrenian to Carry the Cross Mark 15:21
Ninth Station: Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem  Luke 23:27-31
Tenth Station: Jesus is Crucified  Luke 23:33-34
Eleventh Station: Jesus Promises His Kingdom to the Good Thief Luke 23:39-43
Twelfth Station: Jesus Speaks to His Mother and the Disciple John 19:25-27
Thirteenth Station: Jesus Dies on the Cross Luke 23:44-46

Fourteenth Station: Jesus is Placed in the Tomb Matthew 27:57-60