Saturday, January 12, 2008

Today He is Reborn in the Sacraments

My dirty little secret: I've gone back to using the modern Divine Office for the last week or so (but did Epiphany according to the Breviary).  It's the shape of things to come – I'll be joining friends of mine for Lauds and Compline according to the modern Liturgy of the Hours on a regular basis once I get back to Perth from holidays.  When I can, I mix and match the parts in Latin and English, since I have both the Latin original and the English version of the Office.

Anyhow, frankly it's nice to return to what I've been used to (and a great reduction in time and effort, which sounds bad!), despite the great appeal and attraction of the '62 Breviary, which I've treasured over the past three months.  I always knew this would happen, because there was no way with full time work I'd be able to keep it up anyhow.

One joy has been getting back to the Patristic gems in the Office: Friday's passage taken from Sermon 100, on the Epiphany, by St Maximus of Turin, contained the pregnant phrase [Dominus] hodie renatus est sacramentis ("today he [the Lord] is reborn in the sacraments"): this is said in reference to the Theophany, the Baptism of Christ in the Jordan, whereby He, the Holy One, sanctified the waters and made them fit for the later administration of baptism to all who shall come to believe; but in a deeper sense Christ is reborn in all the sacraments – for the purpose, the final cause of them all is the engendering of Christ in those who receive them in faith, that the Christus totus, Christ, Head and members, be built up, that Christ may be all in all and the Divine Image restored in man, that the last Adam may bear the likeness of the first Adam, that man may be Christified and made sharer in the Divine Nature.  For only if Christ be born in us and live in us and depart not from us are we redeemed and saved.

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