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The Seven Words: Spoken by Christ on the Cross

The Seven Words: Spoken by Christ on the Cross

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  • ISBN-13: 9781484045022
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Release Date: Apr 05, 2013
  • Pages: 186 pages
  • Dimensions: 0.42 x 9.00 x 6.00 inches

Overview

Saint Robert Cardinal Bellarmine wrote this work on the Seven Last Words of Jesus Christ, which has become a spiritual classic. Saint Robert begins: “BEHOLD me, now, for the fourth year, preparing for my death. Having withdrawn from the business of the world to a place of repose, I give myself up to the meditation of the Sacred Scriptures, and to writing the thoughts that occur to me in my meditations; so that if I am no longer able to be of use by word of mouth, or the composition of voluminous works, I may at least be of some use to my brethren, by these pious little books. Whilst then I was reflecting as to what would be the most eligible subject both to prepare me to die well, and to assist others to live well, the death of our Lord occurred to me, together with the last sermon which the Redeemer of the world preached from the Cross, as from an elevated pulpit, to the human race. This sermon consists of seven short but weighty sentences, and in these seven words is comprised everything of which our Lord spoke when He said: "Behold we go up to Jerusalem, and all things shall be accomplished which were written by the Prophets concerning the son of Man."· The things which the Prophets foretold about Christ may be reduced to four heads: His sermons to the people; His prayer to His Father; the great torments He endured; and the sublime and admirable works He performed. Now these things were verified in a wonderful manner in the preaching to the people. He preached in the Temple, in the synagogues, in the fields, in deserts, in private houses, nay, He preached even from a ship to the people who were standing on the shore.” And let us consider this: “Of the first three words which He spoke, the first was for His enemies, the second for His friends, the third for His relations. Now, the reason why He thus prayed, is that the first demand of charity is to succour those who are in want: and those who were then most in want of spiritual succour were His enemies; and what we also, the disciples of so great a Master, stand most in need of is to love our enemies, a virtue which we know is most difficult to be obtained and rarely to be met with, whereas the love of our friends and relations is easy and natural, increases with our years, and often predominates more than it ought.” Later on we read: “We have explained in the preceding Part the three first words which were spoken by our Lord from the pulpit of 'the Cross, about the sixth hour, soon after His crucifixion. In this Part we will explain the remaining four words, which, after the darkness and silence of three hours, this; same Lord from this same pulpit .proclaimed with a loud voice.” This about the darkness of the three hours is interesting: “But here three difficulties present themselves. In the first place, an eclipse of the sun takes place at new moon, when the moon is between the earth and the sun, and this could not be at the death of Christ, because the moon was not in conjunction with the sun, as it is when there is a new moon, but was opposite to the sun as at full moon, as the Passion occurred at the Pasch of the Jews, which, according to St. Luke, was on the fourteenth day of the lunar month. In the second place, even if the moon had been in conjunction with the sun at the time of the Passion, the darkness could not have lasted three hours, that is, from the sixth to the ninth hour, since an eclipse of the sun does not last long, particularly if it is a total eclipse, when the sun is so entirely hidden that its obscuration is called darkness. For as the moon moves quicker than the sun, according to its own proper motion, it consequently darkens the whole surface of the sun for a short time only, and, being constantly in motion, the sun, as the moon recedes, begins to give its light to the earth. Lastly, it can never happen that through the conjunction of the sun and moon the whole earth should be left in darkness.”

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