Thursday, March 25, 2010

Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord

"God is he whose nature is goodness, whose will is power, and whose work is mercy.  Wherefore, at the very beginning of the world, as soon as the devil's hatred had mortally poisoned mankind with the venom of his envy, this almighty and merciful God even then foretold those remedies which his mercy had foreordained for our healing.  At that time he bade the serpent know that there was to be a Seed of the woman who yet should crush the prideful swelling of his pestilential head.  This Seed was none other than the Christ to come in the flesh, even God and Man in one Person, who should be born of the Virgin, and by his virgin-birth should condemn the seducer of man.

The devil rejoiced that he had, by his artful cunning, so deceived man as to make him lose the gifts of God, and forfeit the privilege of eternal life.  Yea, when the devil had thus brought man under the hard sentence of death, he found a certain solace for his own misery in the fact that he now had a comrade in his guilt.  He thought also that God, in his just anger, would change his original design towards man, whom he had made in such honour.  But, dearly beloved, that unchangeable God, whose will cannot be baulked of its loving-kindness, in the dispensation of his own secret counsel, had already provided a mysterious way for carrying out his original purpose of goodness.  So it was that mankind, which had been led into sin by the wicked craft of the devil, was not suffered to perish, and frustrate that gracious purpose of God.

When, therefore, dearly beloved, the fulness of that time was come, which God had appointed for our redemption, our Lord Jesus Christ entered this lower world.  Christ came down from his heavenly throne.  And, while he left not that glory which he hath with the Father before the world was, he was incarnate by a new order and a new birth, in that he who is invisible among his own, was made visible among us.  He who is before the ages, began to be in time.  He who is the Lord of all placed the glory of his majesty under a shadow, for he took upon him the form of a servant.  Thus God the Impassible vouchsafed to become a man subject to suffering, and the Immortal laid himself under the laws of death."

-- From a sermon by St Leo the Great

** Painting by Murillo

1 comment:

aspiring... said...

ocd sister, good morning, You have included St. Leo's works several times in your blog. Thank you... A paragraph in this paraticular sermon ties in well as a conclusion to an idea I have struggled with and which I wrote about and posted yesterday. I will include it in the body of the post, and will also reference your site as the source of my discovery. If you object, please let me know by way of a comment at that post. God bless you sister, I pray