"In verbo veritatis" (2 Cor 6:7)

February 29, 2012

Two avian metaphors

Filed under: Lent 2012 — komonchak @ 9:37 am

The Lord will grant that my weak voice will be strong enough today to keep your attention. Please help me by your silence, for my mind is ready but the flesh weak. Having conceived joyous things from God’s Scriptures, that mind is now in labor, and desires to give birth to them in your ears and minds. Provide a nest for the word in yourselves. The Scriptures praise the turtle dove that seeks a nest where she may lay her little ones (Ps 83[84]:4). (Sermon 37, 1; PL 38, 221)

“I will divide Sichem” (Ps 59(60):8. How does the Church divide Sichem? Sichem means “shoulders”. Shoulders are divided when their sins weigh down some while others bear Christ’s burden. He was looking for devout shoulders when he said, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Mt 11:30). Other burdens press and weigh you down; Christ’s burden lifts you. Other burdens have weight; Christ’s burden has wings. If you remove the wings of a bird, it might seem as if you are removing a burden, but the more of the burden you take away, the more the bird would be earth-bound. The bird you wanted to unburden just lies there; it can’t fly because you took away its burden. When the burden returns, the bird flies. That is what Christ’s burden is like. Don’t be slow to take it on you; forget about the ones who don’t want to carry it. Let them bear it who wish to, and they will find how light it is, how sweet, how pleasant, how it snatches you away from the earth and takes you up into the sky. (Augustine, EnPs 59(60), 8; PL 36, 719)

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