Saturday, April 11, 2020

Holy Saturday - The Harrowing of Hell

Our Lord's body lies in the tomb, he has descended to the dead, to Sheol, to Hell, ad infernos. The light of the Gospel, of the Word himself shines out in the darkness of Hades.  The hand of salvation reaches out into the Pit for the salvation of souls.

Harrowing? Yes, for the satanic anti-kingdom. God has broken its gates, he's stormed the stronghold and scattered the Enemy. There, in the dead, leaden, tortured fastness of Hell stands Christ triumphant, Victor, offering the hand of salvation and life to the captives of the demon-ridden underworld. St. John Chrysostom exults:

"The Savior's death has set us free. He that was held prisoner of it has annihilated it. By descending into Hell, He made Hell captive. He embittered it when it tasted of His flesh... It took a body, and met God face to face. It took earth, and encountered Heaven."

As Jesus lies in a grave in a garden, the light who is light shines in the darkness, a brilliant flare of truth, beauty, love and mercy, of life itself. Rejoicing in the triumph, may God give us grace to cry out to him for mercy, so that we too may enter Paradise.

The harrowing of Hell? For sure, and of our own souls also.

God bless,




Happy Easter.

Always On Watch said...

His love for us is this great!

uncle remus said...

And a joyous Pascha to you and yours, Father. Thank you for this and all your posts.

Borepatch said...

I loved the bit in Dante about the harrowing of Hell.

Happy Easter, LSP. He is risen!