Ignatius_BrianchaninovWho shall roll the stone from the tomb for us?

These words of the holy women have their own mysterious meaning.

[…] The tomb is our heart.

The heart was once a temple, but it became a tomb.

Christ enters it by means of the sacrament of Baptism, in order to dwell in us and work in us. Then the heart is consecrated as a temple to God.

[…] Brought in by Baptism, Christ continues to abide in us, but He is as if wounded and mortified by our behavior.

The temple of God not made by hands is turned into a cramped, dark tomb.

very great stone is rolled over its entrance.

The enemies of God set a guard over the tomb, and seal its entrance blocked by the stone.

They seal the stone to the cave so that in addition to the stone’s great weight, this famous seal forbids anyone to even touch the stone.

The enemies of God themselves watch over the preservation of this deadness!

They have thought through and set up all these obstacles in order to forestall the resurrection, to prevent it, and make it impossible.

The stone is the soul’s illness by which all the other spiritual illnesses are guarded incurably and which the holy fathers call insensibility.

[…] According to the fathers, insensibility is the deadening of spiritual feelings, the unseen death of the human soul with respect to spiritual things/

[…] When insensibility stagnates in the soul and becomes a property of it, then the world and its rulers place a seal on the stone.

[…] Who shall roll the stone from the tomb for us?

[…] The heart stricken by its former careless life as by a mortal wound does not discover any signs of life.

[…] It is asleep in a deep sleep, the sleep of death; it is asleep, drunken with sinful poison.

Who shall roll the stone from the tomb for us?

This stone is very great.

[…] An angel of God, at God’s command, comes down to help the laboring and troubled soul, rolls away the stone of hardness from the heart, fills the heart with compunction, announces to the soul the resurrection, which is the usual result of continual compunction.

Compunction is the first sign of a heart revived toward God and eternity….

Compunction is a person’s feeling of mercy and compassion toward himself, toward his grave state, his fallen state, a state of eternal death.

[…] Christ is resurrected in the person who is prepared for it, and the tomb—the heart—again becomes a temple of God. Arise, O Lord, save, O my God (Ps. 3:7).

In Thy mysterious and yet essential Resurrection is my salvation.

Ignatius Brianchaninov (1807–1867; Russian Orthodox): Homily on the Sunday of the Myrrh Bearing Women on Spiritual Deadness translated by Nun Cornelia Rees @ Pravoslavie.