THE VEIL: Contemplating the Christian Mysteries

 A website representing a lifetime of  writing by respected scholar IO member Thomas


The Veil seeks to provide essays and texts for those interested in an ongoing formation in faith – what in the early church was called mystagogia – a deeper contemplation of the Mysteries of Christian Revelation, in a manner which is Catholic in its universality and orthodox in its conformity to the deposit of faith as founded in Scripture and Apostolic Tradition. As such the Veil follows the counsel of Christ, “Seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened to you” (Luke 11:9)”


Tradition has long held that the veil of the temple, referred to in all three synoptic gospels as being torn at the moment of Christ’s death upon the cross, was that which separated the Holy of Holies, the most sacred and interior part of the temple at Jerusalem, from the Holy or main body of the temple where the liturgical observances took place. Another view, equally as venerable holds that the veil referred to was that which stood some 25 metres tall and which hung in front of the main temple doors.

More recent scholarship promotes a more literalist interpretation, their reasoning drawn from the following verse: “Now the centurion and they that were with him watching Jesus, having seen the earthquake, and the things that were done, were sore afraid, saying: Indeed this was the Son of God,” (Matthew 27:54), and whereas the temple was presumed visible from Golgotha, only its exterior would have been in sight, thus only the outer veil could have been seen.

To assume however that the synoptic accounts are of a purely literalist viewpoint closes the door to any symbolic or spiritual significance other than that which is overt and explicit (and yet which is, nevertheless, entirely adequate for the needs of man), but also limits scripture to a purely dogmatic and moralistic expression, if not reducing it entirely to an historical and anecdotal one. Patristic Tradition however, holds that scripture can be read in four ways: the literal and the moral, but also the analogical and the anagogical. Suffice to say it is the latter viewpoint that will be considered here … Read on


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