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Fatima. Sacrifices for sinners Category: Sacrifice Medjugorje. Sacrifices

Fr. Sergei Bulgakov. About Sacrifice

The Absolute's sacrifice of its absoluteness

… Creation is the Absolute's sacrifice of its absoluteness, summoned by no one or anything (for there is nothing outside the Absolute) and in this sense free and uncaused, rationally inexplicable.

The creation of the world by God, the self-bifurcation of the Absolute, is the sacrifice of the Absolute for the sake of the relative, which becomes for it "other" (θάτερον, thateron), a creative sacrifice of love. Golgotha was not only eternally pre-established at the creation of the world as an event in time, but it also constitutes the metaphysical essence of creation. The divine "it is accomplished" proclaimed from the cross, embraces all being, refers to all creation. The voluntary sacrifice of selfless love, the Golgotha of the Absolute, is the foundation of creation, for "God so loved the world that he gave his Only-begotten Son," and sent him "not to judge the world, but so that the world might be saved through him" (Jhn 3:16–17). The world is founded by the cross, taken upon himself by God in the name of love. Creation is an act not only of the omnipotence and wisdom of God, but also of sacrificial love; it is accomplished for the sake of enjoyment by the being "of the other" which has become in the name of the creaturely "it was very good" an unlimited love for creation. For God is Love, and the life of love and its greatest joy is sacrifice. Love has meaning, purpose, and reward only in itself and thus does not know the rational why — there is nothing holier or more blessed than love. For this reason creation is the absolutely free, having meaning and foundation only in itself, the absolutely independent motion of divine love, love for the sake of love, its holy folly. … Creation is freedom from any why and how, the cruciform joy of the world's creation voluntarily accepted by God. Tragedy is bound up with doom, with constrained, compulsory necessity, albeit the highest sort. God is at liberty to introduce himself into the tragic process of world history, while remaining in himself and for himself free from it. This is why in the Absolute itself there is no place for tragedy, which is rooted in the antagonism of the shattered forces of relative being.

Creation is therefore an act of the measureless humility of the Absolute, which renounces its own actuality: love-humility is the ultimate and universal virtue of Christianity. It is the ontological basis of creation. By giving a place in itself to the world with its relativity, the Absolute in its love humbles itself before the creature — in truth the depths of divine love-humility are unsearchable!

Sergius Bulgakov
Unfading Light
I. The Creatureliness of the World

Sacrifice of love

The sacrifice of the Father's love consists in self-renunciation and in self-emptying in the begetting of the Son. The sacrifice of the Son's love consists in self-deplition in the begottenness from the Father, in the acceptance of birth as begottenness. These are not only pre-eternal facts but also acts for both the one and the other. The sacrifice of love, in its reality, is pre-eternal suffering — not the suffering of limitation (which is incompatible with the absoluteness of divine life) but the suffering of the authenticity of scrifice and of its immensity. This suffering of sacrifice not only does not contradict the Divine all-blessedness but, on the contrary, is its foundation, for this all-blessedness would be empty and unreal if it were not based on authentic sacrifice, on the reality of suffering. If God is love, He is also sacrifice, which manifests the victorious power of love and its joy only through suffering.[*]

[*] One can also define this state of sacrifice as voluntary hypostatic dying, under the condition that the concept of death is liberated from the meaning it has in temporal creaturely life, a meaning that has nothing in common with spiritual dying as a manifestation of eternal life.

Fr. Sergius Bulgakov
The Lamb of God
Chapter I. The Divine Sophia
2. The Divine Spirit

See also



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