Monday, March 06, 2017

Lent V

Stay me up with flowers, compass me about with apples: because I languish with love. (Song 2:5)

Love dwelt among the saints with immeasurable celebration, through the coming of Christ. They who tasted the savor of that Love became insatiable; they were not satisfied with the various trials which they suffered, whether from Satan or from human beings, but they voluntarily added innumerable tribulations for themselves....Similarly, the Holy Illuminator and the great Paul and other saints like them considered the tribulations which came for Christ's sake to be gifts, like apples; thus Trdat said to Saint Gregory, 'Is that happiness?' and he responded, 'Yea, this is happiness!'

[St. Gregory of Narek, The Blessing of Blessings: Gregory of Narek's Commentary on the Song of Songs, Ervine, tr. Cistercian Publicans (Kalamazoo, MI: 2007), p. 105. The context of the exchange alluded to is that St. Gregory the Illuminator, who brought Christianity to Armenia, is said to have been tortured and beaten over the head severely for preaching Christianity.]

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