Home      Back to Palm Sunday




The New Christian Year
Oxford University Press, London, 1941





…To live thus, to cram to-day with eternity and not with the next day, the Christian has learnt and continues to learn (for the Christian is always learning) from the Pattern.  How did He manage to live without anxiety for the next day-he who from the first instant of His public life when He stepped forward as a teacher knew how His life would end, that the next day was His crucifixion, knew this while the people exultantly hailed Him as King (ah, bitter knowledge to have at precisely that moment!), knew when they were crying, "Hosanna!", at His entry into Jerusalem that they would cry, "Crucify Him!", and that it was to this end He made His entry; He who bore every day the prodigious weight of this superhuman knowledge-how did He manage to live without anxiety for the next day?

Kierkegaard: Christian Discourses.




THE progress of these terrors are plainly shown us in our Lord's agony in the garden, when the reality of this eternal death so broke in upon Him, so awakened and stirred itself in Him, as to force great drops of blood to sweat from His body...His agony was His entrance into the last eternal terrors of the lost soul, into the real horrors of that dreadful eternal death which man unredeemed must have died into when he left this world.  We are therefore not to consider our Lord's death upon the Cross as only the death of that mortal body which was nailed to it, but we are to look upon Him with wounded hearts, as fixed and fastened in the state of that two-fold death, which was due to the fallen nature, out of which He could not come till He could say, "It is finished; Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit."

William Law: An Appeal.




HE said to Judas, when he betrayed him: "Friend, wherefore art thou come?"  Just as if he had said: "Thou hatest me, and art mine enemy, yet I love thee and am thy friend." ...As though God in human nature were saying: "I am pure, simple Goodness, and therefore I cannot will or desire or rejoice in, or do or give anything but goodness.  If I am to reward thee for thy evil and wickedness I must do it with goodness, for I am and have nothing else."

Theologia Germanica.




HIS own single voice prostrated that great crowd ...For God lay hid in that human flesh; and eternal day was so obscured in those human limbs, that with lanterns and torches he was sought for to be slain by the darkness...And now everywhere through the Gospel Christ is still saying: "I am He.”

St Augustine: Lectures on St John.


GOD withdrew his protection, but did not break the Union.

Anonymous, quoted by Aquinas: Catena Aurea.




JESUS suffers in His passions the torments which men inflict upon Him; but in His agony He suffers the torments which He inflicts on Himself; This is a.  suffering from no human, but an almighty hand, for He must be almighty to bear it.

Pascal: Pensees.


HE was pierced with love no less than with grief, and it was that wound of love which made him so constantly to endure all the other...Christ pierced on the cross is liber charitatis, "the very book of love" laid open before us.

Lancelot Andrewes: Sermon on Good Friday, 1597.




JESUS is alone on the earth, without anyone not only to feel and share His suffering, but even to know of it; He and Heaven were alone in that knowledge.

Pascal: Pensees.


THE perfection of our knowledge is Christ; the perfection of our knowledge in, or touching Christ, is the knowledge of Christ's piercing.  This is the chief sight; nay, in this sight are all sights; so that know this, and know all.

Lancelot Andrewes: Sermon on Good Friday, 1597.


THE tree upon which were fixed the members of Him dying was even the chair of the Master teaching.

St Augustine: Lectures on St John.


EVERY mystery of Christ's assumed mortality was fulfilled and his immortality alone remained.

St Ambrose, quoted by Aquinas:Catena Aurea.


THOU, the Life, wert laid in the grave, O Christ; and the hosts of the angels shuddered, praising thy humility.

Ritual of the Orthodox Church.




THEY (Joseph and Nicodemus) answered (the Blessed Virgin) and said: ' 'We sorrow and mourn with all our hearts for all that is done to him, and fain would we have helped him, but we could not overcome wickedness with right, nevertheless this little service shall we do to our Lord." Then rose they up and made them ready to take him down.

St Bonaventure: The Privity of the Passion.


IT was not written by hazard: "Joseph wrapped Christ's body in a clean winding-sheet, and placed it in a new monument," and that “he rolled a great stone," because all things around the body of Jesus are clean, and new, and exceeding great.

Origen: St Matthew.