Saint-Cyprian-of-CarthageHe received the spittings of insulters, who with His spittle had a little before made eyes for a blind man.

And He in whose name the devil and his angels is now scourged by His servants, Himself suffered scourgings!

He was crowned with thorns, who crowns martyrs with eternal flowers.

He was smitten on the face with palms, who gives the true palms to those who overcome.

He was despoiled of His earthly garment, who clothes others in the vesture of immortality.

He was fed with gall, who gave heavenly food.

He was given to drink of vinegar, who appointed the cup of salvation.

That guiltless, that just One—nay, He who is innocency itself and justice itself—is counted among transgressors, and truth is oppressed with false witnesses.

He who shall judge is judged; and the Word of God is led silently to the slaughter.

And when at the cross, of the Lord the stars are confounded, the elements are disturbed, the earth quakes, night shuts out the day, the sun…He speaks not, nor is moved, nor declares His majesty even in His very passion itself.

Even to the end, all things are borne perseveringly and constantly, in order that in Christ a full and perfect patience may be consummated.

And after all these things, He still receives His murderers, if they will be converted and come to Him.

And with a saving patience, He who is benignant to preserve, closes His Church to none.

Those adversaries…, if they repent of their sin, if they acknowledge the crime committed, He receives, not only to the pardon of their sin, but to the reward of the heavenly kingdom.

What can be said more patient, what more merciful? Even he is made alive by Christ’s blood who has shed Christ’s blood.

Such and so great is the patience of Christ; and had it not been such and so great, the Church would never have possessed Paul as an apostle.

But if we also, beloved brethren, are in Christ; if we put Him on, if He is the way of our salvation, who follow Christ in the footsteps of salvation, let us walk by the example of Christ, as the Apostle John instructs us, saying He who saith he abideth in Christ, ought himself also to walk even as He walked.

Peter also, upon whom by the Lord’s condescension the Church was founded, lays it down in his epistle, and says:

Christ suffered for us, leaving you an example, that ye should follow His steps, who did no sin, neither was deceit found in His mouth; who, when He was reviled, reviled not again; when He suffered, threatened not, but gave Himself up to him that judged Him unjustly.

Cyprian of Carthage (d.258): On Patience, 7-9.

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