Saturday, March 24, 2018

"Worship him who was hung on the cross because of you, even if you are hanging there yourself."

Allegrini (MMO)
"If you are crucified beside him like one of the thieves, now, like the good thief, acknowledge your God.  For your sake, and because of your sin, Christ himself was regarded as a sinner; for his sake, therefore, you must cease to sin.  Worship him who was hung on the cross because of you, even if you are hanging there yourself [(Προσκύνησον τὸν διὰ σὲ κρεμασθέντα [(or σταυρωθέντα)], καὶ κρεμάμενος)].  Derive some benefit from the very shame; purchase salvation with your death.  Enter paradise with Jesus, and discover how far you have fallen.  Contemplate the glories there, and leave the other scoffing thief to die outside in his blasphemy."

     St. Gregory of Nazianzus, Oratio 45 On Holy Pascha 24, trans. Liturgy of the hours (Office of readings, Saturday, Fifth Week of Lent).  The Greek of PG 36, col. 656C (the SC edition has not yet reached no. 45) isn't quite as fulsome:  "even (while) hanging".  NPNF, 2nd ser., vol. 7, trans. Browne & Swallow, pp. 431-432:
If you are crucified with Him as a robber, acknowledge God as a penitent robber.  If even He was numbered among the transgressors for you and your sin, do you become law-abiding for His sake.  Worship Him Who was hanged for you, even if you yourself are hanging; make some gain even from your wickedness; purchase salvation by your death; enter with Jesus into Paradise, so that you may learn from what you have fallen.  Contemplate the glories that are there; let the murderer [(confirmed in the print, though the Greek is τὸν γογγυστὴν, murmerer, mutterer, grumbler)] die outside with his blasphemies....
Festal orations, trans. Nonna Verna Harrison, Popular patristics series 36 (St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 2008), 184:
If you are crucified with him as a thief, come to know God as kind-hearted; if he was counted among the lawless because of you and your sin, become law abiding because of him.  Worship the one hanged for you even if you are hanging; gain something even from the evil, purchase salvation by death.  Come into paradise with Jesus so as to learn from what you have fallen.  Contemplate the beauties there; leave the murmurer [(τὸν γογγυστὴν, murmerer, mutterer, grumbler)] to die outside with his blasphemies.

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