Thursday, November 12, 2009

Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh

He died on the cross, and the operative words are the most tragic words of history: He, who is the Son of God, because he has accepted total, final, unreserved and unlimited solidarity with men in all their conditions, without participating in evil but accepting all its consequences; He, nailed on the cross, cries out the cry of forlorn humanity, 'My God, my God, why has thou forsaken me?'

People who are keen on exegesis explain to us that at that point He was rehearsing a verse of a prophetic song. If you have seen anyone die a violent death you can't well imagine Him at the last moment rehearsing a prayer He had been taught when he was a little boy! Besides, it is an error of vision -- for it is prophecy that is turned towards its fulfilment, not fulfilment that is supposed to recite words of prophecy. No, it was something real. When Christ said 'My God, my God why hast thou forsaken me', he was crying out, shouting out the words of a humanity that had lost God, and he was participating in that very thing which is the only real tragedy of humanity -- all the rest is a consequence. The loss of God is death, is forlornness, is hunger, is separation. All the tragedy of man is in one word, 'Godlessness'. And He participates in our godlessness, not in the sense in which we reject God, but in a more tragic way, in a way in which one can lose what is the dearest, the holiest, the most precious, the very heart of one's life and soul.

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from God and Man (London: Darton, Longman & Todd), pp. 86 & 87