Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Storm-tossed, but Secure

He also commanded the storm, and it became a breeze,
    And its waves were still.
Then they were glad, for they were silent,
    And He guided them to the haven of their desire.  (Ps 107:29-30)

But we who hope for the Son of God are persecuted and trodden down by those unbelievers.  For the wings of the vessels are the churches; and the sea is the world, in which the Church is set, like a ship tossed in the deep, but not destroyed, for she has with her the skilled Pilot, Christ.  And she bears in her midst also the trophy (which is erected) over death, for she carries with her the cross of the Lord.  For her prow is the east, and her stern is the west, and her hold is the south, and her tillers are the two Testaments; and the ropes that stretch around her are the love of Christ, which binds the Church; and the net which she bears with her is the laver of the regeneration which renews the believing, whence too are these glories.  As the wind the Spirit from heaven is present, by whom those who believe are sealed: she has also anchors of iron accompanying her, viz., the holy commandments of Christ Himself, which are strong as iron.  She has also mariners on the right and on the left, assessors like the holy angels, by whom the Church is always governed and defended.  The ladder in her leading up to the sailyard is an emblem of the passion of Christ, which brings the faithful to the ascent of heaven.  And the top-sails aloft upon the yard are the company of prophets, martyrs, and apostles, who have entered into their rest in the kingdom of Christ.

Hippolytus, Treatise on Christ and Antichrist 59

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