Thursday, May 9, 2024



Look here you lot, it's the great Feast of the Ascension, so enough Putinism, war theory and, ahem, bikers. Here's a meditation by Austin Farrer from Words of Life:

Where then, in all my spreading world is Jesus Christ, the man risen and glorified? When clouds received him from our sight, into what height, what distance did he go? However far away I place him, I gain nothing by it: he fits no better beyond Orion than behind the nearest trees. His risen being is no part of our interlocked system of bodily force, whether far or near. He is nowhere in this world. He is not outside it, either, for it hasn’t got an outside where he could be. Where is he then?

It is useless to start from me, and to fan out and out, looking for Jesus Christ: I must start from Jesus Christ, and fan out from there until, I reach myself.…

At first it may seem that we have two answers, spreading on independent planes and nowhere touching at a single point. Christ’s universe of spirit, and ours of physical force. Yet thinking further we perceive that it cannot be so. For while it is indeed impossible to place heaven in the world, it is impossible not to place the world in heaven. If Christ’s knowledge is spiritual, as ours is physical, then he knows us, for we are spirits too, spirits in fleshly bodies; and if he knows our spirits, he knows what our spirits know, including their bodily knowledge. He hears us speak from within our throats; he thinks our thoughts as fast as we can form them. But he feels in our fingers too, and looks through our eyes; he lives out along the lines of our vision, and our sun, moon and stars are his. By sheer love, heaven grafts the world into itself, and roots our universe in its own heart. 

Jesus Christ, living Son of the living God, clothed in our nature, I cannot place you in my world, but neither can I escape from yours. I cannot reach you by many steps, but I can reach you by one, the single step of faith, which lands me in the heart of heaven. If ever I am to end with you, it is from you I must begin. Thou God seest me; and if ever I am to see across the gulf from me to you, it will be by starting with you, and seeing myself through your holy and compassionate eyes.


And again, from Crown of the Year:

WE are told in an Old Testament tale, how an angel of God having appeared to man disappeared again by going up in the flame from the altar.  And in the same way Elijah, when he could no more be found, was believed to have gone up on the crests of flaming horses.  The flame which carried Christ to heaven was the flame of his own sacrifice.  Flame tends always upwards.  All his life long Christ's love burnt towards the heart of heaven in a bright fire, until he was wholly consumed in it, and went up in that fire to God.  The fire is kindled on our altars, here Christ ascends in fire; the fire is kindled in the Christian heart, and we ascend.  He says to us, Lift up your hearts; and we reply, We lift them up unto the Lord.


Yes indeed.

Sursum Corda,



Paul M said...

Just read this now…beautiful.

LSP said...

Farrer is... remarkable, Paul. My Godfather, btw.

Unknown said...

Austin Farrer, whenever you quote him, is like rain onto thirsty earth. Refreshing and life-enhancing.

LSP said...

Anon, same here.