Saturday, March 13, 2004

Chapter One of Life of Christ

And finally, to wrap up my first day back, I wanted to pick up where The Confirmand left off, but posting various things I found of significance in Bishop Sheen's wonderful book, The Life of Christ.

Chapter One is entitled "The Only Person Pre-announced" and begins to lay out the case that Christ is the only historical figure that claimed to be God, that was actually announced by God. Buddha, Mohammed, Confucius, Lao-tze, and thousands of others were men who claimed to be God, but were never actually announced BY God. They just showed up, and said "Hey, look at me. I'm God!" Sheen states that by using Reason and History as tests, you can plainly see that Christ is who He says He was.

Reason, because everyone has it, even those without faith; history, because everyone lives in it and should know something about it.

Some key passages I liked:

The Annals of the Celestial Empire (China) contain this statement:

In the 24th year of Tchao-Wang of the dynasty of the Tcheou, on the 8th day of the 4th moon, a light appeared in the Southwest which illumined the king's palace. The monarch, struck by its splendor, interrogated the sages. They showed him books in which this prodigy signified the appearance of the great Saint of the West whose religion was to be introduced into their country.

And this:

Cicero, after recounting the sayings of the ancient oracles and the Sibyls about a "King whom we must recognize to be saved," asked in expectation, "To what man and to what period of time do these predictions point?" The Fourth Eclogue of Virgil recounted the same ancient tradition and spoke of "a chaste woman, smiling on her infant boy, with whom the iron age would pass away."

More examples of Pagan testimonies of the coming and life of Jesus Christ.

And my favorite one of all. I hope to reach the point of "drinking death like water." This indeed is the Christ we need today....and the Christ that the world fears. It is the Christ Gibson portrayed in TPOTC...One who is willing to take the beating he did and die...for you and for me.

“If He is what He claimed to be, a Savior, a Redeemer, then we have a virile Christ and a leader worth following in these terrible times; One Who will step into the breach of death, crushing sin, gloom and despair; a leader to Whom we can make totalitarian sacrifice without losing, but gaining freedom, and Whom we can love even unto death. We need a Christ today Who will make cords and drive the buyers and sellers from our new temples; Who will blast the unfruitful fig tree; Who will talk of crosses and sacrifices and Whose voice will be like the voice of the raging sea. But He will not allow us to pick and choose among His words, discarding the hard ones, and accepting the ones that please our fancy. We need a Christ Who will restore moral indignation, Who will make us hate evil with a passionate intensity, and love goodness to a point where we can drink death like water.”


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