Suffering and Salvation

In the East, Easter is about the victory of God, and does not show Jesus having burst from the grave surrounded in light, but rather shows His descent into hell. The following is from a homily Pope Benedict gave called Christ the Liberator. It can be found in the book The Essential Pope Benedict XVI. He is discussing the icon of the Resurrection in the East, and its differences.

In the perspective of the icon, this is an affirmation concerning Jesus’ victory. The icon shows Him having shattered the bolt of this world., Having torn its gates from their hinges. It depicts him as the “stronger man” who has opened and penetrated into the domain of the “strong man.” It portrays Him as the Victor, having burst through the supposedly impregnablefortress of death, such that death is not now longer a place of no return; its doors lie open. Christ in the aura of His wounded love, stands in this doorway, addresses the still somnolent Adam, and takes him by the hand to lead him forth…The Adam addressed by the victorious Christ is we ourselves- “I am in you and you are in me.” Having taken human nature he is now present in human flesh and we are present in him, the Son.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, and I would ask you to consider how Lent and all of Christianity has either invited you into or repulsed you from the “aura of wounded love” and leave a comment.

Share your experiences in sacrificial, wounded love. I’d love to hear from you, and maybe start a discussion. Most especially since my soteriology has taken a new twist in the past few months: “To suffer with gracious acceptance is to have found what it means to be saved” is the soteriological formula that I’ve been working with.

To end with a quote by Irenaeus:  “I have learned to love suffering, but I do not know that I deserve the honor.”

What are your thoughts?



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