Hell Really Exists

Hell Really Exists

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of that pin. As thought can move faster than light, jumping instantaneously from earth to the utmost nebulae, so likewise the angels can move from heaven to earth, and from end to end of the universe in almost no time at all. Furthermore, angelic thought is said to be many times faster than human thought because it does not require the cumbersome instrumentality of material images, which take time and effort to form within the mind.1

In the beginning, in that first moment of created time in which the angelic choirs were made, the whole of God's creation was perfect in every respect. Because the realm of spirits was, however, finite and create? it was naturally not as perfect as God himself, yet it was nonetheless as perfect, as godlike, as finite things could possibly be. And in so far as it was godlike, every created spirit was endowed with that most divine of all properties—autonomy, the power of self/direction without compulsion, otherwise known as the freedom of will. Lacking this power, created spirits would have been incapable of the one thing which their Creator wanted them to have, the one thing which so intimately constituted his own essence—the capacity of love. For love exists only when it is given freely, without any duress.

In allowing creatures to possess the divine property of freedom, God was well aware that he had undertaken an immense risk. For if one is free to love, one is also free to hate.

1 The traditional sources of information about the angels are principally as follows: The Vision of Ezekiel in Ezekiel i, various parts of Revelation, the Book of Tobit (Raphael), Esdras 2 (Uriel), an eleventh/century work entitled the Hermeneia by the Greek monk Panselinos, and, most important of all, the Celestial Hierarchies of the sixth-century Syrian monk known as St. Dionysius the Areopagite, in Migne's Patrologia Graeca, vol. iii. Angels, as their name indicates, are the "messengers" between God and men, though, at the same time, their function is also the contemplation of the Beatific Vision of God himself. In other words, the angels are the "insights" that come into conscious/ ness suddenly, giving intimations of hitherto unsuspected levels of reality. "An angel told me" means that I did not think it out by myself, but rather that it came to me all of a sudden.

As soon as freedom is granted, there remains no guarantee of the way in which it may be used. Anything can happen—save the one thing which is impossible by definition, the overthrow of God himself, without whom even freedom cannot be exercised. The God who lent this dangerous gift to his angels knew, by his vision of the future, exactly how they would use it. He knew that the gift would be abused to the limit. He understood vividly, to the last hideous detail, the enormities of wickedness which the bestowal of this gift was to involve. But he knew also that, in spite of the worst that was to happen, the final end which he had in mind would be so splendid as to make the risk entirely justified.

Now among the angels which God had created, there was one so surpassingly beautiful that he was named Lucifer, the Bearer of Light. He is generally thought to have been an Archangel, but some suppose that he must have been much higher in rank—perhaps one of the Cherubim or Seraphim who reflect the immediate and most intense glory of the divine radiance. Since an angel is, like God, aware of himself, one of the first things that Lucifer noticed was the unbelievable grandeur of the being which God had given him. He realized that it would really be impossible for the Almighty to create anything more excellent—that he, Lucifer, was really the crowning triumph of God's handiwork.

He looked again into the heart of the Holy Trinity, and as his gaze went deeper and deeper into that abyss of light he began to share the divine vision of the future. And there, to his complete amazement, he saw that God was preparing a far higher place in heaven, an honour more glorious than the rank of Cherub and Seraph, for creatures who—by comparison with angels—were coarse and crude in the extreme. He saw that he was to be outclassed in the hierarchy of heaven by beings with fleshly and hairy bodies—almost animals. He saw that, of all things, a woman was to be his Queen. Far worse than this, he saw that LogoS'Sophia, God the Son himself was to become man, and to set one of those "vile bodies" upon the very Throne of Heaven.

At all this Lucifer was at once inflamed with a mystery called Malice. Out of his own heart, by his own choice, by the free and unconstrained exercise of his own will, he preferred his own angelic glory to that of the Divine Purpose—which was to "corrupt itself" with humanity. With all the wisdom and foreknowledge possible to an angel, Lucifer could see at once what his malice would involve. He could see, beyond any power of mortal imagination, the everlasting damnation which must inevitably follow from rebellion against God. He realized quite clearly that such rebellion was, as it were, to throw himself with all his might, for ever and ever, against a wall of adamant. Nevertheless, he considered it more noble to rebel and rebel for ever than to surrender the pride of his angelic dignity, and to pay homage to a Body less luminous and spiritual than his own. He was convinced that God's wisdom had gone astray, that the Creator had forgotten himself, and he determined to have no part in such lèse majesté, such an undignified aberration in the otherwise beautiful scheme of creation. Certainly he would have to submit to the utmost wrath, to complete rejection from That which was, after all, the Being of his being. But one thing he need not surrender, the one thing which God had given him as his very own, for all eternity—his own will.

Along with Lucifer, there were many other angels who felt the same way—according to one authority 7*405,998 of them— and all together, with Lucifer at their head, they turned their backs upon the Beatific Vision, flying and falling from the Godhead towards that ever/receding twilight where Being borders upon Nothing, to the Outer Darkness. It was thus that they put themselves in the service of Nothing rather than the service of Being, and so became the nihilists who were to do their utmost to frustrate the creative handiwork of God, and most especially to corrupt the fleshly humanity which he intended to honour. In this manner a whole host of the angels became devils, and their prince became Satan, the Adversary, and Beelzebub, the Lord of Flies.

Yet because God was infinite, because the sbekinah reached out for ever and ever, the devils found no escape from his light. Turning from it they found it facing them. Above and below, and around on every side, they rushed towards darkness and found—always—the inescapable Light, the hated Love which began to burn them like a raging fire, so that the only escape lay inwards, to the solitary, isolated sanctuary of their own wills. Therefore this place of isolation and solitary confinement, where the light of God torments and gives no gladness, became the place of Satan's dominion, the Kingdom of Hell. Here he ruled over his own angelic hierarchy with its Powers, Principalities, Archangels, and Angels of Night—Mephisto^ pheles, Ashtaroth, Abaddon, Mammon, Asmodeus, and Belphegor.1

Something must be said here as to the true nature of angelic evil, since most people are not aware of any greater evils than lust, cruelty, murder, drunkenness, greed, and sloth. From the angelic point of view these "sins of the flesh" are as far from real evil as conventional goodness is removed from true sanctity or holiness. Very few human beings have the courage, the persistence, the very asceticism necessary for the perfect service of Satan—which requires that one perform miracles of darkness, as the saints perform miracles of light. From this standpoint, characters such as Jenghiz Khan, the Marquis de Sade, Heinrich Himmler, and Jack the Ripper are mere blunderers. The true Satanist must always have the outward aspect of an angel of light, and will never, under any circunv stances, resort to the cruder, violent types of evil. He must be so clever that only an expert in holiness can discern him, for in

1 Anyone wishing to acquaint himself further with the hierarchy of Hell might consult de Givry's Witchcraft, Magic and Alchemy (London, 1931), esp. Chapters 1, 2, and xo.

this way he may far more effectively mislead the sons of men and please his infernal Master, whose supreme craft lies in Deception, and subtle confusion of the truth.

In some ways the Devil is the most significant character in this whole story, for nowhere but in Catholic Christianity do we find a real Power of Darkness. The Satan of Judaism and Islam is rather an angel ministering the wrath of God; the Asuras of Hinduism and Buddhism are simply dark aspects of the divine, which is in itself beyond good and evil. One of the special distinctions of Christianity is that it takes evil more seriously than any other religion. While not allowing the Principle of Evil the rank of equal and opposite to the Principle of Good, as in pure dualism, it insists that evil is in no sense whatsoever of divine origin. It takes its rise exclusively from the finite, created world, but at the same time constitutes an appalling danger of eternal consequence—which God permits but does not condone. The true Christian is, therefore, unceasingly on his guard against this dread reality, and, for all his faith in God, walks through life with the sense that living is a real adventure because it contains a real danger of infinite subtlety and horror. "Brethren, be sober, be vigilant, for your Adversary the Devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about seeking whom he may devour; whom resist, steadfast in the faith." These are the opening words of Compline, the regular prayer of the Church which, day after day, brings the work of worship to its close for the night.

A Christianity without the Devil is, then, lacking in something which is of the essence of the Christian conscious' ness. It is true that in the Middle Ages the Devil of popular mystery plays became a sort of buffoon, and that as time went on his horns and cloven feet, borrowed from Pan, provoked more mirth than terror. But in a more serious mood the Christian mind conceives Lucifer not as an ugly old goat/man but as an angel of dark beauty and deceptive glory—a super/ natural, psychic entity which plots against our welfare with i cleverness far beyond the range of the most intricate human intellect. Against this Power no amount of purely human effort or goodwill is of the slightest avail, for the most heroic man-made holiness is so easily netted in its own pride, and confused by its self-interested motivation. Against the wiles of an archangel the only protection is the Grace of God.

This conception, so marvelously peculiar and sinister, brings into sharp contrast the Christian sense of the goodness of God. For what the Christian consciousness sees in all the trappings of glory, of shekinah, of the blinding radiance of the Trinity, is not so much beauty, or even truth, as goodness. Beauty has seemed a deceptive attribute, shared alike by God and Satan, who also knows the truth—and trembles. What belongs essentially and exclusively to God is inflexible righteousness, and historical Christianity simply has not tolerated any notion of God as an Absolute "beyond good and evil". Thus the Being of being, the Ultimate Reality, has—for the Christian mentality—a definite character, a specific and particular will, such that goodness does not exist merely in relation to evil but is, from everlasting, the very essence of God. As we shall see, this conception is as monstrous and sinister, in its own way, as that of the Devil. It represents the crucial point at which historical Christianity is "aberrant" among the great traditional doctrines of the world, though the aberration is not so much from any defect of the myth as from the minds of those who have been its official interpreters.1

1 To the extent that myth is a figurative expression not only of the very foundations of human life, but also of unconscious contents of a more super* ficial character, the orthodox conception of the Devil has its own particular significance, which will be discussed in the following chapter. See further, A. K. Coomaraswamy's article "Who is Satan and Where is Helb" in Review of Religion, xii, i (New York, i947)t pp- 76-87, in the course of which he observes, "For anyone who holds that 'God made the world', the question, Why did he permit the existence in it of any evil, or that of the Evil One in whom all evil is personified, is altogether meaningless; one might as well enquire why he did not make a world without dimensions or one without temporal succession."

We must now imagine the purely spiritual light of the Trinity, surrounded by its nine choirs of bright angels, floating over an abyss of dark and formless water—the symbol of the prima materia, the elemental substance out of which everything was to be formed.

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.

And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.1

For the "heaven and earth" which God first created was a formless mass. Before he made anything else he made matter— materia, matrixmater—as the maternal womb of the universe, for it is a general principle in mythology that material is the feminine component and spirit the masculine, their respective symbols being water or earth and air or fire. In the Christian myth every new creation is from water and the Spirit, for out of this conjunction the world is made, the Christ is born, and man is recreated through Baptism. The sacred texts make this symbolism peculiarly vivid:

The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.1

Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary.2

Except a man be born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.3

0 God, whose Spirit in the very beginning of the world moved over the waters, that even then the

nature of water might receive the virtue of Sanctis fication By a secret mixture of thy divine virtue render this water fruitful for the regeneration of men, to the end that those who have been sanctified in the immaculate womb of this divine font, being born again a new creature may come forth a heavenly offspring.1

In the beginning the Spirit conceived, the waters gave birth, and the world which was born from their conjunction was the first material image of the Word, of God the Son, the Logos who was the ideal pattern after which the creation was modeled. After the world had been corrupted by Satan, the Spirit conceived again, and that which was born from the immaculate womb of the Virgin Mother Mary, Star of the Sea, was the Word himself in human flesh. Yet again the Spirit conceives, and that which is born again from "the immaculate womb of this divine font" is a man christened, a member of the Body of Christ, an alter Chrhtus—for "to them gave he power to become the sons of God".2

The story goes on to tell us that when God had created Prima Materia, Chaos, the Earth Mother, he formed the universe from her in six days—days, it may be, by divine reckoning, which are periods of "a thousand years" in the Hebrew tradition, and 4,320,000 years in the Hindu.

On the first day, he created light, material light which must be distinguished from the spiritual and uncreated light of the

1 Prayer for the Blessing of the Font, from the Liturgy of Holy Saturday in the Roman Missal.

2 In the same way the texts of Mahayana Buddhism describe the world of things as the waves raised on an ocean by the wind. C£ Brihadaranyaka Upanisbad, Hi. 6, it is asked, "Since all this world is woven, warp and woof, on water, upon what is water woven, warp and woofs" And the answer, "On wind". So also Chandogya Upanisbad, vii. 10.1, "It is just water made solid that is this earth, this atmosphere, this sky, that is gods and men, animals and birds." The significance of this symbolism will be discussed in ch. Ill, when we come to consider the role of the Virgin Mary.

Trinity, as well as from the supernatural light of the angels. At the same time he divided light from darkness and day from night.1

On the second day, he created the firmament of Heaven, the colossal dome (or sphere) of brass within the midst of the waters of chaos, so that it divided the upper waters from the nether waters—the waters above the firmament from those below.2

On the third day, he created the earth in the very centre of the firmament, and divided it from the waters so that the former became the dry land, and the latter the oceans. And on the under/side of the earth at the Antipodes he created the seven/storey mountain of Purgatory. Within the earth, like a vast funnel reaching down to its very centre, he created the pit of Hell, surrounded with its nine rings of "pockets" or valleys, corresponding to the nine orders of the heavenly choirs above. Into the very depth of this pit he cast Lucifer and his angels, and some say that the mountain of Purgatory was made when the earth itself shrank from the falling Devil.3 On the same day, he created all trees, plants, flowers, and grasses to bear fruit for men and beasts, and herbs for the healing of diseases.

1 The important symbol of division, of God setting his compass (dividers) upon the face of the deep, is discussed below, ch. III.

2 Water has a dual role in mythology, for sometimes it is the fountain of life and at other times "the depths" into which one should dread to fall. Thus to fall into the "nether waters" is to regress to a prehuman state, to be swamped by unconscious contents and to lose all rational control. For there are two ways of becoming egoless or unselfish: to descend into the lower waters so that one is not even an ego, and to ascend into the upper waters by the increase of con' sciousness, thus outgrowing the illusion of individual isolation.

3 The Mediaeval picture of the universe is not quite that of Genesis. In the former the firmament was spherical, since it was known that the earth is a globe, but in the latter it is a dome, and the dry land of the earth is divided from the nether waters. The brazen firmament is the HebrewChristian equivalent of the World Egg, originally laid by the Divine Bird upon the primaeval waters, as in the Egyptian, Orphic, and Hindu mythologies. It is of interest that the Devil lies at the very centre of the created universe—indicative, perhaps, of the feeling that the individual ego is the true centre of man, since, as we shall see, "Pness" is what the Devil primarily represents.

fig. i the creation of the animals

Woodcut from the Meditations of Turrecremata, Rome 1473

fig. i the creation of the animals

Woodcut from the Meditations of Turrecremata, Rome 1473

On the fourth day, he created the sun, moon, and stars, and set them within seven crystal spheres, within the firmament and around the earth. In the first sphere he set the Moon, as a light for the night, in the second Mercury, in the third Venus, in the fourth the Sun, as a light for the day, in the fifth Mars, in the sixth Jupiter, and in the seventh Saturn. And round and about the outside of the seventh sphere he set the stars of the Zodiac, so that on this day the Sun lay under the Sign of the Ram, where it lies also at Easter, when the world was redeemed by the Sacrifice of the Lamb of God.

On the fifth day, he created all fish and birds.

On the sixth day, he created the beasts of the earth, and, finally, Adam—the man. He formed Adam from the dust and clay of the earth; he made him in his own image, and breathed the breath of his own divine life into his nostrils so that the man became a living soul.1 He made Adam the ruler of the earth, the head of nature, commanding all beasts, birds, fish, and plants to be subservient to him. One by one, God brought all those creatures into Adam's presence, and to each one Adam gave a name.

On the seventh day, Saturday, the Sabbath, God rested, and rejoiced in the knowledge that everything which he had made was good. According to Clement of Alexandria, the six days of creation and the seventh of rest are to be understood as a kind of simultaneous radiation from a centre.

There proceed from God, the heart of the world, indefinite extensions—upwards and downwards, to right and left, backward and forward. Looking in these six directions, as at a constant number, he completes the creation of the world, of which he is the beginning and end. In him the six phases of time have their end, and it is from him that they receive their indefinite extension. And that is the secret of the number seven.2

For the number seven signifies God himself, the heart or centre of the six rays, sometimes called the Seventh Ray. In other words, in the six days God manifests himself outwardly, but on the seventh he returns back into himself. And this is a day of rest because the heart and centre of God is "unmoved", just as in a wheel the spokes turn but the hub remains fixed.3

1 God's breath (ruach Adonri) is the spirit, and is thus God himself residing within the vessel of clay, the two together constituting a living soul (psyche, nefesh). The symbolism indicates that Adam is the first incarnation and Christ the second, for as Christ is conceived of the Spirit and born of the Virgin Mother, Adam is the creation of the Spirit breathed into virgin matter.

a What Clement actually describes is the three-dimensional cross, which, when represented on a plane surface appears as the six/pointed star*, and this, curiously enough, is the earliest form of the Christian monogram for Christ, made by the superimposition of the initials of the Greek name ihcoyc xpictoc. It is for this reason that symbols of the sun—the astronomical

The tradition maintains that Adam, the primordial man, was the perfect man as God originally designed him. He was physical and yet immortal, and all creatures of the earth obeyed him. The animals served him and the plants fed him, and there was no need for him to labour for his livelihood. He was thus in perfect harmony with his natural surroundings, and constantly aware of the presence of God. For this material image of himself God planted a garden—Eden—in the centre of the world, which was to be the earthly counterpart of Heaven, since all things which were below were to mirror those which were above. In Heaven there is "a pure river of the water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of

God____In the midst of the stream of it, and (branching out)

on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bare twelve fruitings, and yielded her fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations."1 So also in Eden, "The tree of life (was) in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. And a river went out of Eden to water the garden."2

However, Eden was not quite like its heavenly prototype. There was the extra tree, the Tree of Knowledge. Yet this must be taken to represent the same risk which was taken in the creation of the angels with free will. For Adam, too, was endowed with this freedom, and the Tree of Knowledge may perhaps be regarded as a kind of materialization of the negative potentiality within that freedom—the very real possibility that Adam might choose his own will rather than God's. "And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree in the garden thou mayest freely eat, but of the Tree of the Knowledge imago Dei—may be either four' or six/rayed stars, according as to whether the sun is shown in two or three dimensions. Thus the creation of the world in six directions and three dimensions is the primordial crucifixion of the Logos, the slaying of the Lamb at the foundation of the world {Revelation 13 : 8). Creation is a sacrificial act in the sense that it is God's assumption of finite limitations, whereby the One is—in play but not in reality—dismembered into the Many.

of Good and Evil, thou shalt not eat of it, for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."1

After this, the Lord God took another risk. He decided that it was not good for Adam to be alone, for of all the beasts of the field, none was sufficient to be a companion for him. So he put Adam into a deep sleep, and, taking out one of his ribs, fashioned from it the Woman, Eve. In this manner, then, was completed the creation of the First Parents of our race— immortal, free from all conflict and sorrow, innocent, naked, and unashamed.2

It was then that Lucifer entered the garden. He assumed the form of a serpent, and entwined himself about the Tree of Knowledge. In due time, Eve came to the part of the garden where the Tree was standing, and there beheld the golden fruit and the splendid snake with shining scales, twisted around the trunk of the Tree. And the Serpent Lucifer murmured to Eve, saying, "Yes? Hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree in the garden?" And Eve replied, "We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden. But of the fruit of the Tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die."

"Ye shall not surely die," answered the Serpent. "For God

2 After "going to sleep" Adam became divided, no longer androgyne, but two'sexed. It was this that made it possible for him to fall. For when God first entered (breathed his spirit into) Adam, the indwelling spirit was "awake" and aware of its proper divinity, of its substantial unity with God. But this putting of Adam into a deep sleep is the Spirit's voluntary self-forgetting—a further extension of the sacrificial character of the creation, as when an actor, playing a part, forgets his proper identity and identifies himself with the persona he has assumed. In the actual myth the generation of Eve and the Fall succeed one another, but myth extends in narrative what is simultaneous in reailty. (Note that in Plato's Symposium the order is reversed—division into two sexes is the penalty for the fail.) It need not be supposed that this division of man refers to the biological origin of two sexes. In mythology male and female, yang and yin, signify duality rather than sexuality, and the Fall is the subordination of the human mind to the dualistic predicament in thinking and feeling—to the insoluble conflict between good and evil pleasure and pain, life and death.

knows that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil." So when Eve saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a Tree to be desired in that it would make one wise, she took and ate the fruit, and then went and gave some to Adam, so that he ate as well. At once the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked. In the shame of this discovery they plucked fig/leaves, and, sewing them together, made aprons.

It was, at this time, the cool of the day, and apparently it was God's custom to descend from Heaven at this hour and walk in the garden. Hearing him coming, the pair went and hid themselves amongst the trees, fearing that he would see them in their nakedness. But God called them out of their hiding/ place, and, seeing the aprons of fig/leaves, demanded, "Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the Tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldst not eat?" And Adam, searching rather desperately for an excuse, replied, "The woman thou gavest to be with me—she gave me of the Tree, and I did eat." Whereupon God turned to Eve—"What is this that thou hast done?" "The serpent", she answered, "beguiled me, and I did eat."

Hearing all this*, the divine wrath of the Lord God was aroused, and he pronounced a solemn and terrible curse upon the Serpent, and upon Adam and Eve—a curse which affected the whole realm of nature because Adam was its head and lord. He condemned the Serpent to go always upon its belly in the dust, and to be in perpetual enmity with the human race. He condemned Eve, and all her female offspring, to bring forth children in pain and sorrow, and to be subject to her husband. As for Adam, for Adam's sake the Lord God cursed the very earth so that it would no longer bring forth fruit for him without sweat and toil, so that it would bring forth not only fruit but also thorns and thistles. And finally, he pronounced the curse of death and of expulsion from the garden—'For dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return.

___Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put forth his hand and take also of the

Tree of Life, and eat, and live for ever----" Without a further word the Lord God expelled the pair from the garden, to till the ground from which they were taken. And at the eastern entrance to the garden, to guard the way to the Tree of Life, he set a Cherub with a sword of fire which turned every way.

From this moment death, suffering, and evil entered the material world—the outward and visible signs of something still worse, of the Fall of the world from Grace, of separation from the divine life of God, incurring the sentence passed upon Lucifer—the sentence of everlasting damnation.

Tradition, not scripture, adds a further word to this story. In the course of time one of the sons of Adam, named Seth, procured a branch of the fatal Tree. Versions of this story differ very much, for some accounts say that Adam himself brought it from Eden when he was expelled, and used it throughout his life for a staff. Others say that what Seth ac/ quired was not a branch of the Tree of Knowledge, but seeds from the Tree of Life, given to him by the angel sentinel.1 But despite the differing details, the theme is clear—a portion of one of the Trees came out of the garden, and subsequently had a most miraculous history.

It became the famous rod of Moses, which turned into a serpent to confound the Egyptian magicians, with which he divided the waters of the Red Sea so that the children of Israel could flee the hosts of Pharaoh in safety, upon which he hung nehushtan, the brazen serpent, so that all who beheld it were delivered from a plague of snakes, and with which he struck the rock in the wilderness so that it gave forth water. It became a beam in the great temple built by Solomon the Wise. It

1 For the various versions see A. S. Rappoport, Mediaeval Legends of Christ (New York, 1935), ch. rr.

3. the tree of jesse (British Museum, Nero MS., c. twelfth century.) From the phallus of the recumbent Jesse springs the Tree of Life, with its stem consisting of David, St. Mary, and the Christ. The manypetaled flower at the top contains the Dove of the St>irit. and the figures on either side are two prophets, perhaps

4. the elevation of the host at high mass Taken in a monastic church, this photograph shows the solemn moment when the Host (the sacred Bread) has been consecrated as the Body of Christ and is raised for adoration. The three monks at the altar are the Priest (standing, and wearing the chasuble), the Deacon (kneeling by the Priest, wearing the dalmatic), and the Subdeacon (kneeling behind the Priest, wearing the humeral veil over the tunicle).

The four monks kneeling to the right of the altar are (left to right) the Thurifer in the act of censing the Host, the Master of Ceremonies, and two acolytes, one of whom is ringing the Sanctus Bell. The two in the fore/ ground are acolytes with candles.

passed, in time, to the carpenter's shop of Joseph, the foster/ father of Jesus, and from him it was acquired by Judas the Betrayer, who, in the end, turned it over to the Roman soldiers who used it for the Cross upon which they crucified the Christ—for the Cross which became the Tree of Salvation.

Herein we discover one of those marvelous networks of correspondences which do so much to illumine the sense of the myth. For Eden is not only the mirror of Paradise above: it is also a reflection of Christ, wherein all the events of man's Redemption are seen in reverse. Over against the Tree of Knowledge, from which came death, is the Tree of the Cross, from which came eternal life. The parallel is brought out in the Proper Preface for the Mass at Passiontide:

Who didst set the salvation of mankind upon the Tree of the Cross, so that whence came death, thence also life might rise again, and that he who by the Tree was vanquisher might also by the Tree be vanquished, through Christ our Lord.

The Theme of the Cross as the true Tree of Life is taken up again in the Mass of the Presanctified on Good Friday—

Crux fdelis, inter omnes Arbor una nobilis: Nulla silva talem profert Fronde, fore, germine. Dulce lignum, dulces clavos, Duke pondus sustinet

Faithful Cross, the one Tree noble above all: no forest affords the like of this in leaf, or flower, or seed. Sweet the wood, sweet the nails, sweet the weight it bears.

Over against Adam stands Christ, the Second Adam, for "the first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam a

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