- The Catholic Thing - https://www.thecatholicthing.org -

Conversation between father and son in the land of Moria

So they walked and talked together on the third day.
Here is the hill, where I shall offer a sacrifice to God—

said the father, and the son was silent, dared not ask:
Where is the lamb? We have fire, wood, a sacrificial knife,
but where is the sacrifice?
God alone will choose it—
This he said, and dared not say aloud
the words: the lamb, my son, will be you—
so he was silent.

With this silence he was falling again into a soundless hollow.
He had heard the voice which led him.
Now the voice was silent.
He was left with nothing but his own name
Abraham: He who believed against hope.
In a moment he will build a sacrificial pile,
make fire, bind Isaacs hands—
and then—what? the pile will burst into flames….
Already he sees himself as the father of a dead son,
the son the Voice gave him and is now taking away?

O, Abraham, you who are climbing this hill in the land of Moria,
there exists a certain boundary to fatherhood, a threshold that you will never cross.
Here another Father will accept the Sacrifice of his Son.
Do not be afraid, Abraham, go on,
and do what you have to do.
You will be the father of many nations.
Do what you have to do, to the end.
He will stop your hand, when it is ready to strike that sacrificial blow….
He will not permit your hand to fall,
when in your heart it has already fallen.
Yes—your hand will stop in the air.
He Himself will stay it.
And from now on, the Hill of Moria will wait—
for on this hill the mystery must be fulfilled. —from The Roman Triptych