January 23, 2010

Reading of the Day

Romolo Marchelli
Lenten Sermons (1682)

God, in order to further torment the
damned, made Himself distiller, and
inside those stills of hell He enclosed
the pangs of the most ravenous
hungers, the most burning thirsts, the
most freezing cold,the firiest passions;
the torments of those slaughtered by
iron, choked by the hangman's noose,
reduced to ashes by flames and torn
apart by wild beasts; the flesh eaten
alive by worms, devoured by
serpents, flayed with knives, gashed
and torn by the torturer's iron combs;
the arrows of Saint Sebastian, the
the gridiron of Saint Lawrence, the oven
in the form in the bronze bull of Saint
Eustace, the lions of Saint Ignatius;
and severed and shattered bones and
dislocated joints and detached limbs;
all the keenest pains, all the most
terrible pangs, all the longest death
agonies and all the slowest, most
laborious, most atrocious deaths.
And distilling all these ingredients,
He made such a brew, each drop of
which contains the refined
quintessence of all pains, in such a
way that each flame, each ember,
better yet each spark of that flame
contains within itself the distillation of
all the torments within a single torment.

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