Thursday, June 02, 2022

The Octave of the Ascension 2022

From the homily of Pope St Gregory the Great read on the octave of the Ascension in the Roman Breviary.

Concerning the glory of (Christ’s) Ascension, Habakkuk also said, “The sun was lifted up, and the moon stood still in her rank.” (3, 10-11) Who is here signified by the name of the Sun, if not the Lord, and by the name of the Moon, if not the Church? For until the Lord ascended to the heavens, His Holy Church was in every way afraid of the hostilities of the world, but after She was strengthened by His Ascension, She openly preached what She had come to believe in secret. Therefore was the sun was lifted up, and the moon stood still in her rank, since, the Lord went unto heaven, His Holy Church grew stronger the authority of Her preaching.

The Prophet Habakkuk, by Girolamo Romanino, from the Sacrament Chapel of the church of St John the Evangelist in Brescia, Italy. (1521-4.) The quotation on the banderole, the opening words of his canticle in chapter 3, follows the Old Latin text, which was translated from the Septuagint, rather than the Vulgate version of St Jerome. St Gregory cites this same older version above.
Therefore, dearest brethren, it behooveth us to follow in heart and mind thither, where we believe Him to have ascended bodily. Let us flee earthly desires; let nothing now delight us here below, who have a Father in heaven. And we must especially consider this, that He Who ascended in peace will return in dread, and require from us a strict account of our keeping of those commandments which He gave us in mildness. Let no man therefore reckon lightly these seasons of repentance, let no one fail to take care of himself while he can, for our Redeemer will come unto judgment all the more strictly, as He hath shown us great patience before the judgment.
The Ascension of Christ, by Jacopo Tintoretto

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