Saint John of Damascus (around 675-749), Monk, Theologian, Doctor of the Church
1st Sermon on the Dormition
“Who am I that the mother of my Lord should come to me?”
“Blest are you among women and blest is the fruit of your womb.” For all generations will call you blest, as you said (Lk 1:48). The daughters of Jerusalem, that is to say, the Church, saw you and proclaimed your happiness. For you are the royal throne near which the angels stood contemplating their Master and Creator, who was seated on it (Dan 7:9). You have become the spiritual Eden, more sacred and more divine than the former one. The earthly Adam lived in the former; in you lives the Lord who came from heaven (1 Cor 15:47). Noah’s ark was a prefiguration of you; it saved the seed of the second creation, for you gave birth to Christ, the world’s salvation, who submerged sin and pacified the floods.
It was you whom the burning bush described ahead of time, whom the tables depicted, on which God wrote (Ex 31:18), which the ark of the covenant told about; it is you whom the golden urn, the candelabra, and Aaron’s staff that blossomed (Num 17:23) obviously prefigured. I almost left out Jacob?s ladder. Just as Jacob saw heaven united with the earth by means of the two ends of the ladder, and the angels descending and ascending on it, and as the one who is really the strong and invincible one engaged in a symbolic struggle with him, thus you yourself became the mediator and ladder by which God came down to us and took upon himself the weakness of our substance, embracing it and closely uniting it to him.
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