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THE HOLY CROSS SERMONS
On Saint Catherine's Day, 25th of November
Surge, propera, amica mea, et veni
. Wise Salomon writes these words, and these are the words of the Son of God, calling the holy virgin Catherine into the glory of the heavenly king. "Rise up", he says, "make haste, my love, and come!" And the Son of God spoke these very important words with which he rouses, impels, and attracts each pious soul. He rouses, saying: "Rise up!" He impels, saying: "Make haste!" He attracts, saying: "And come!" And when the Son of God says: "Rise up", he says, abandon the state of sin; make haste to the better from the good, go to the heavenly kingdom. And so the Son of God says: "Rise up!" But in the holy writing, God Almighty speaks to four kinds of people, rousing them with the words: "Rise up," showing that there are four kinds of sinners; because he says these words to either the sitting, or the sleeping, or the lying, or the dead. The sitting are those who delay doing good; the lying are those who are in love with evil; the sleeping are those who are hardened in sins; the dead are those who give up hope of God's love. And to all of them, this merciful God speaks, saying: "Rise up!"
First, he says "rise up" to the sitting, who for four reasons delay doing good: because they do not look at the future good, because they like the temporal good, because they do not remember where they are heading, and because they take no care of themselves. And because they do not want to see God and delay rising up, they are well described as being blind. Saint Luke writes about such a blind person:
Cecus sedebat secus viam
. The person is blind because he did not look at the future good. He sat because he loved the temporal good; by the road, because he did not remember where to go; a beggar, because he did not have anything good. And because Saint Catherine had a good conscience, she did not delay in rising up to the voice of God. [...]
And God says the second "rise up" to the lying, who are in love with evil. They are well described as this infirm paralyzed man, about whom Saint Luke says:
Offerebant ei, inquit, paraliticum iacentem in lecto. Cui dixit: Surge! Et surrexit
. What is the meaning of this infirm man lying in bed? Truly nothing different from a sinful man persisting in bad deeds, who, not remembering the eternal good, came to love that which is temporal, and delays in rising up to do any good deed. [...] Saint Catherine strove toward the good, did not persist in the evil, but she deterred by her teaching the ones who persist in the evil state, as one can read in her holy life. [...]
The third "rise up" God says to the sleeping, who are hardened in sins; because a sinner hardened in sin is like a prisoner chained in the dungeon. About him Saint Luke says:
In ipsa nocte erat Petrus dormiens
And the fourth word "rise up" God says to the dead, who give up hope of God's love. [...]
, from the evil state,
to the better from the good,
to the heavenly kingdom. Amen.
Translated by Michael J. Mikoś
"A blind man sat by the road" (cf. Luke 18, 35).
"They brought him a miserable paralyzed man lying in bed. To whom he said: Raise up! and he rose up" (cf. Luke 5, 18; 24-25).
"That night Peter was asleep".