GuerricKeep awake, brethren, intent upon your prayers.

Keep awake, careful how you carry out your duties, all the more so since the morning of that unending day has dawned, which saw the doubly welcome, serene, eternal light, return to us from the dead, and the morning rising caused the sun to shine with a new brightness.

It is now time for you to wake out of sleep; it is far on in the night; day is near.

Keep awake, I say, that the morning light may rise upon you, no other than Christ, who will reveal himself, sure as the dawn.

Christ is prepared to enable those who are on the watch for him to relive once more the mystery of his resurrection in the morning.

Then indeed you will sing with joyful heart: The Lord is God; he has given light to us. This is the day which the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

This is the day, that is, when he will allow the light which he has hidden with his hands to shine upon you, telling you, his friend, it is his to give, and that you may raise yourself up to receive it.

[…] For you who fear my name, says the Prophet, the sun of righteousness shall rise. And the man who lives an upright life, his eyes shall see the king in his splendour.

This undoubtedly refers to happiness in the life to come; but, as Christ’s resurrection clearly proves, it is also granted to us in due measure for our consolation in this life.

So let us all rouse up and requicken our spirits, whether to watch in prayer or to work with a will, so that our renewed and lively zest may show that, once again, we have received a share in Christ’s resurrection.

Indeed the chief sign of a man’s return to life is vigorous and energetic action.

Moreover, he will make a perfect return to life, if he dies to the body and opens his eyes to contem­plation.

However, his understanding will be undeserving of this until he increases his love by frequent longings and ardent desires, to render himself capable of something so sublime.

Life begins to return when prayer increases love; it reaches perfection when the understanding receives the light of contem­plation.

Strive, then, brethren, to mount ever higher on the ladder of the virtues, the means whereby we grow in holiness of life, so that, as the Apostle says, you may finally arrive at the resurrection of Christ from the dead.

Guerric of Igny (c.1070/80-1157): Sermon 3, On the Resurrection 3.5 (SC 202:250, 256-258); from the Monastic Office of Vigils, Sunday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time, Year 2.

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