Holy Saturday

For all those who experience a sense of abandonment from God, this day is for you.

On the day that Christ was dead to all, words to ponder by one of the few theologians who discuss what Holy Saturday truly means: Hans Urs Von Balthasar.

“It is Chris who through compassio, has taken upon himself the timor horroris:

verum timorem, veram tristitiam sicut et verum carnem

not because he had to suffer but rather ‘miserationis voluntate’ as Alain of Lille puts it.

But in that case it is he who sets the limits to the extension of damnation, who forms the boundary stone marking the place where the lowest pitch is reached and the reverse movement set into operation. (Mysterium Paschale, p. 167)

 

…for the death of Christ to be inclusive, it must be simultaneously exclusive and unique in its expiatory value. (Mysterium Paschale, p.168)

 

This contemplative and objective (passive) moment is what distinguishes Holy Saturday from the subjective and active experience of suffering in the Passion. Christ belongs now with the refa’im, with those ‘deprived of strength’. He cannot conduct an active struggle against the ‘powers of Hell’. No more can he ‘triumph’ subjectively over them, which would pre-suppose new life and strength. (Mysterium Paschale, p. 173)

 

…Hell is a product of the Redemption, a product which henceforth must be ‘contemplated’ in its own ‘for itself’ by the Redeemer, so as to become, in its state of sheer reprobation that which exists  ‘for him’: that over which, in his Resurrection, he received the power and the keys. This is why every dramatic representation, of the style of the ‘theory of ransom’, in either its grosser or its more subtle form, is here superfluous. (Mysterium Paschale, p. 174)