Monday, September 21, 2009

Patristic Wisdom

Does the struggle against the Devil ever cease? The Devil is called a lion and a dragon: a lion because of his violence, a dragon for his treachery. A lion rages openly, but a dragon secretly lies in wait. In the early days the Church fought against the lion; now, her battle is with the dragon. But, as the lion was conquered, so the dragon is conquered. What is the strength of a lion against that lion of which it is written, “The lion of the tribe of Juda has overcome”?
Morever, what is the strength of a dragon against the death of the Lord who hung a serpent on a cross? He triumphed over death which the Devil had craftily inflicted upon man. When Moses in the desert fastened a serpent up on the cross,everyone who had been bitten by a serpent and looked upon this one was cured. Similarly, everyone who has been bitten by the craft of Satan should look upon Christ hanging on the cross, for there death was slain. The Lord always lives, but He was clothed with
death in order to kill it. Death could not die, except in life. Just as bitterness does not disappear except in sweetness, nor cold except in warmth, so death is not dead except in life.--St. Caesarius of Arles

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