SATURDAY, MARCH 30, 2013
Posted by David Werling
The sight of this sepulchre is insufferable to Satan's pride, for it is the trophy of the defeat of death, the offspring of sin. He flatters himself on having succeeded, when Jerusalem is destroyed by the Roman legions, and on her ruins there rises up a new pagan city, called Ælia. But no! neither the name of Jerusalem, nor the glory of the holy sepulchre, shall perish. The pagans cover it with a mound of earth, on which they build a temple to Jupiter; it is the same spirit that dictated their raising an altar to Venus on Calvary, and another to Adonis over the cave of Bethlehem. But all these sacrilegious efforts only serve to tell the Christians the exact site of these several sacred places. The pagans think by this artifice to turn the respect and homage of the Christians from Jesus to their false gods; here again they fail. The Christians abstain from visiting the holy places, as long as they are desecrated by the presence of the these idols; but they keep their eye fixed on what their Redeemer has endeared to them, and wait in patience for the time when it shall please the eternal Father again to glorify his Son.
Godfrey de Bouillon
Its glory shone out still more brightly, when, at the call of the Father of Christendom, the western nations rose up in arms, and marched, under the banner of the Cross, to the deliverance of Jerusalem. The love of the holy sepulchre was in every heart, its name on every tongue. The first engagement drove back the Saracen, and left the city in possession of the crusaders. A sublime spectacle was then witnessed in the church of the holy sepulchre; the pious Godfrey of Bouillon was consecrated king of Jerusalem, and the holy mysteries were celebrated, for the first time in the language and ritual of Rome, under the oriental dome of St. Helen's basilica. But the reign of Japheth in the tents of Sem was of short duration, owing partly to the short-sighted policy of the western sovereigns, which kept them from appreciating the importance of such a conquest; and partly to the treachery of the Greek Empire, which betrayed the defenceless Jerusalem once more into the hands of the Sarcens. Still, the period of the Latin kingdom in the holy city was one of the glories of the Jesus' sepulchre, foretold by Isaias.
Greek and Armenian Schismatics fight with each other at the Holy Sepulchre.
What are to be its future glories? At present, it is profaned by the sacrifices which are offered, in its basilica, by schismatical and heretical priests; it is entrusted, for a few hours each year, to the Catholics of Jerusalem, and during that brief interval it receives the fervent homage of the true spouse of Jesus. When will the holy sepulchre be reinstated in its honour? Will the nations of the West return to the fervour of faith, the emulate the holy chivalry of the crusaders of old? Or will the East renounce the schism, which has cost her her liberty; stretch out her hand to the mother and mistress of all churches; and, on the rock of the Resurrection, sign the covenant of a union, which would be the death-warrant of Islamism? Only God knows: but this much he has revealed to us in sacred Scripture, that before the end of the world, Israel will return to the Messias he despised and crucified, and that the glory of Jerusalem is to be restored by the Jews who shall be converted.
Then will the sepulchre of the Son of Jesse be at the height of its glory, and soon will this Son of Jesse himself appear. Our bodies will then be on the eve of the general resurrection; and thus the final result of the Pasch will be simultaneous with the last and greatest glory of the holy sepulchre. As we rise from our graves, we shall fix our eyes upon our Jesus' tomb, and love it as the origin and source of the immortality we shall then have. Until the time of our death comes, when our bodies must be laid in the temporary prison of the grave, let us love the sepulchre of our dear Saviour; let us be zealous for its honour; and, imitating our forefathers in that earnest faith which made them its defenders and soldiers, let us get well into us that portion of the Easter spirit, which consists in understanding and loving the glories of Jesus' sepulchre.
The Dome of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre