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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Eternal Exaltation is in Direct Relation to Temporal Poverty and Humiliation

By Paul Claudel

Jesus Christ tells us that the measure of His exaltation
is that of His abasement. There is nothing so low that He has
not chosen to befriend it. Not only does He crawl in the mud
like the serpent or in corruption like the worm; He is under
our feet. It is our very foundations, the basis of our movement
and our equilibrium alike, that He has come to verify, sanc-
tify, and baptize. It is at our feet that the Creator has assumed
the attitude of a suppliant; our feet that He has watered with
His kisses and His tears. (And who knows? He may be there
still. We must take care not to step on Him.)

The God we worship is not simply upright, He is ex-
alted. He is unfurled to the utmost, there is not a fiber of His
body where power is not in action! He is above everything,
He holds onto nothing, but it is He who holds us and we who
hold fast to Him, indissolubly. He is suspended there for all
time as an intermediary between heaven and earth. He is a
God in full operation. Not only is He Himself raised, but with
His eyes fixed on His Father, He is utterly absorbed in the
effort to raise all else, even ourselves, to His own level.

Of this inexhaustible energy of Christ which draws
everything to Him, of this fourfold longing exerted at once
on the left and on the right, on the heights and on the depths,
of this all-embracing Unity, of this cosmic transaction, the
Cross is not merely the abstract symbol but, I venture to
suggest, the concrete mechanism. The crucified Christ never
ceases to function. It is a visible machine in constant use. It
is the unfailing leaven which never ceases to operate on the
three measures of meal.
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