One hundred and fifty days the earth remains covered with the waters of the cataclysm. And the Ark was floating here and there, like a ship not governed by humans, without a rudder, wherever the currents of the winds and of the boundless sea carried it.
It is being tested even now of this righteous man the faith, and He carries on His work upon his holy soul the One Who oversees the development of us all and seeking the salvation of us all, the Lord.
It's not paradoxical to be uttered some complaint from inside the Ark, not by the mouth of the righteous and faithful Noah, but from the lips of his children or of the women that were in there, a complaint saying that God had forgotten about them and He overlooked them and He left them desolate to their destiny.
It could also be the case that from the mind of Noah might had passed such a thought, a thought however that this righteous man discarded and didn't accept.
But no, God has never forgotten His own beloved man. It seems, that God doesn't care, but He never and under no occasion He ever forgets. He is just probing the faith of His select ones and He trains it in order to become stronger and more powerful.
And this fact now it wants to depict in a more vivid manner the Scripture when it says, that God «remembered» Noah and of all the birds and of all the beings that were with him inside the ark.
The Scripture never wants to teach us, that God forgets. Because if God would forget, apart from that He wouldn't be God anymore, because He would have imperfections and weaknesses, that only us the weak humans have;
but still, if God would forget, alas then for the creation. It wouldn't be possible for it to be governed with so much wisdom and prudence.
The Scripture is now responding to the feeling of those, who complain in the Ark and it speaks with the tongue, which they themselves used, when after half a year, when they were thinking that God had forgotten about them, they saw in a moment, that God was looking after them and they exclaimed with joy: God has remembered us.
And it might be that with all the sadnesses, that come to us with all the continuous challenges, and in some strokes that present themselves unmerciful and hard and relentless, it might seem to us that God has forgotten us and has abandoned us to our destiny and that He has turned His face away from us, but this it only seems to us.
In reality however it happens the opposite. Woe to you, oh Christian, if He forgets you and abandons you the God. You will not be able not even for a moment to stand in His creation.
And in these dark and black and stern occasions in your life there is nothing else you should do, my brother, but only to endure the Lord.
Endure the Lord. With much patience put your hope in Him. And it won't take long before you will feel His love and you will experience His affection.
But together with Noah God remembered «also all the beasts and all the animals and all the birds and all the serpents that crawl over the earth, all that were with him in the Ark».
His own creations they were too. And if indeed for the man He has a special interest in being concerned and in looking after our God, yet He doesn't estrange from His interest His other creatures as well, which all of them He created in His wisdom.
The Lord is delighted and He is pleased for all His creations; «the Lord is pleased to look after His creations».
And furthermore, these creations of God were made for the man. And thus God is presented to take care and to provide not only for the man, but also for those that belong to the man and are useful to him for his conservation.
I receive however from this paragraph of the Scripture, my brother, a vivid lecture and teaching about the most benevolent providence of God.
And I am taught, that not only myself the human being He has not distanced from His interest our God, but not even these animals and the wild beasts and the serpents. He cares even for those.
And if He cares for those as well, how great it must be the care and the providence that He undertakes for me the man?
And if of the animals and the beasts God does not forget them, how is it possible that He would forget and He would abandon me, who I was created to His image and to His likeness?
Oh my heart, why do you worry? Oh my soul, why are you afraid? You are not alone in this dark valley, which with many tears you were called to cross.
You have next to you the Lord of heaven. Put your hope in Him and make peace. Lean upon His arm the high arm of His and strengthen yourself. God is with us. Who then could stand against us?
God remembered Noah. And how was it shown and indicated this remembering? What did God do, after He had remembered Noah? «He brought wind over the earth and ceased the waters».
He brought wind over the earth of such kind, so that it ceased the water. A wind most likely from north, because the northern wind among all the winds is the most dry and the most sturdy. A pure northern or a northwest wind it must have been that wind.
«He brought wind» the God. Behold therefore the sovereignty and the infinite greatness of God. He determines and dominates everything. He keeps in His hands all the winds as well.
He keeps them and He directs them, wherever and however and whenever He wants. Up to this level it comes the providence and the government of God.
You have seen a while above, that God take care of the man, He takes care of the animals as well, of the birds, of the serpents. Now you can see here, that also the winds He is the One Who holds them, the weathers He is the One Who determines them, the rain and the drought He is the One Who arranges them.
«And they were closed the fountains of the abyss and the cataracts of the sky; and the rain stopped from the sky».
A dry wind blew, that assisted the evaporation of the water and the clearing of the sky of the clouds.
At the same time however the fountains closed of the abyss as well, so that it was not coming any more water from the earth and was not increasing the overflow of the waters;
there were also closed the cataracts of the sky, so that it wouldn't rain any more, and therefore it stopped the rain completely. It stopped for many months, for a long time. Behold therefore that the rain and the drought it is Him Who manages them.
He is holding in His hands a key. With that key He first opened the fountains of the abyss and the cataracts of the sky and brought the cataclysm. With that key He now closes the fountains and these cataracts and He gathers the waters as if He had some kind of bag and He closes them inside!
And so now immediately the waters begin to lessen. Slowly-slowly and little by little, as also slowly-slowly and within a time period of forty days and night they multiplied.
The sun on the one hand, but also the new seas and lakes that had formed, began to accumulate and to absorb the water.
Also inside the earth there were created new cisterns of water. And unlike before that the water was coming out from the earth in order to drown the people, now it is being stored in it.
And thus the water was gradually reducing during the whole period of these hundred fifty days that was covering the earth.
The Arc during these days was floating and was not standing anywhere. Now however it finds somewhere to stand still. During the seventh month, in its 27th day, the Arc stopped on some summit of the mountain Ararat.
It stopped there by itself where God had taken it. It was not Noah who brought it there. Noah could not do anything were it was. It was brought there by the sage and benevolent providence of God onto the mountain Ararat.
That is, permitted the benevolent providence of God assistance to the Arc somewhat earlier. Immediately after the high mountains started to appear from within these vast waters.
He didn't wait to appear the lower places of the earth, because it would pass more time. The faster possible, the quickest possible, He leads the Arc to be safely driven ashore.
Behold then, my brother, that God has times and places of repose for His own people, after the temptations and the hardships, that He sends to them.
And He guides to these places His people on His own, many times without the need for the guided ones to this repose to do anything in order to take place this lifesaving guidance of God.
And He guides them in times and periods, that His nation and His people think, that God had abandoned them and had forgotten about them.
Imagine, my brother, as soon as it stopped and ran aground the Arc in the dry land, how much it would be the joy of Noe. Because Noah certainly understood it, that the Arc had stopped somewhere.
Before that, they all had the feeling that they were travelling day and night in the sea. Now the Arc doesn't move at all, nor it rolls nor it tilts on the one side or the other. It remains immobile and fixed.
They all perceive that. But at the same time they feel, that this is the work of God, that they thought until a while before, that He had forgotten about them. And everyone now therefore with joy and with gratitude towards God they must have shouted and must have said: «God remembered us».
We are now around the month of April. But there are still many, too many waters. Only the summits of the highest mountains have appeared here and there in too far-off one from the other distances.
If someone would observe from the Arc, then he would continue seeing an immense sea and nothing more. It is an issue whether he could detect somewhere as if a dark point in the horizon some summit.
They should therefore be further reduced the waters. And the waters are indeed reducing. It's being continued their absorption until the tenth month.
During the tenth month, the first day of the month, the scripture says, appeared the summits of the mountains. That is the absorption and the drainage of the waters continued until now.
From Ararat mountain someone could also see of the neighbouring mountains, that were near there, the summits. They are not any longer dark and distant and indistinct spots their summits that can be seen. They are near there, all around, and someone could see them very clearly.
And Noah distinguishes them and sees them. Certainly from time to time he must have come upstairs to the window and must have observed to see what is happening outside.
Like the sailors who navigate inside the ships with sails and have been adrifted by the tempest to unknown places and they sail days and nights in the oceans.
They also climb up their ship masts all the time and they turn around here and there their gaze, lest somewhere they detect the land.
Similarly also Noah must have opened from time to time the window of the Arc and he must have observed around in order to see what is going on. And now he sees the summits of the neighbouring montains.
The fortieth day, that is the 10th of the eleventh month, during our month September to October, Noah begins not only with his own eyes, but also through various envoys and explorers of his to examine the situation upon the earth.
And then he opens the window and from there he releases to the outside a raven. «And exiting the raven it did not return». The raven went outside and did not come back to the Ark.
This was a sign for Noah, that the situation out there was such, that could survive the birds that were wild and carnivores. Because, if it couldn't live in this situation the raven, certainly it would return back.
But in order to be informed better about this situation Noah, he takes at the same day also one of the meek birds, the dove, and he sents it after the raven «to see if the water had retired from the earth».
If also the dove that is not such a tough bird, as is the raven, and it neither feeds from dead bodies and corpses like the raven, would remain out and would not return, that would be a sign, that not only great territories of dry land were existing, but that had also appeared some vegetation too, capable of feeding the meek birds as well.
The raven was able to feed from the dead bodies, which it would find plenty at that time. The dove however would need leafs and grains and fruits.
But the dove does not remain outside, like the raven. «Not finding repose for the sole of her foot she returned unto him into the Ark».
It didn't find nowhere to stand. And even if there were land somewhere, it would be full of mud and stagnant waters. To the summits of the mountains to be able to fly, it should have strong wings like the ones of the raven.
It returned again therefore to the Ark and Noah «by extending his hand he took it and he pulled it inside toward himself into the Ark».
Noah put his hand out from the window, he caught the dove which being tired must have reposed upon the Ark and he took it inside.
Seven days later Noah released again for a second time the dove. And this time it went, but it didn't come back so soon, like seven days before. It remained outside during whole hours. As long as there was daylight, the dove stays outside.
But when the sun began to fall and prevailed the darkness, the dove remembered its nest and comes back in the evening, around the night, to the ark, «and had an olive tree leaf, pinned on its mouth».
Like a nail pinned on its mouth it was holding with its beak the dove an olive leaf. And this was an obvious sign, that the waters had been reduced and the trees had begun to live again and to flourish again.
And again Noah waited for seven days. And after they had passed these days, he released for the third time the dove. The things now however were much better than they were a week earlier.
The dove not only finds a place to feed during the day, but even finds a place, in which it could nest for the night. And so it doesn't need anymore the Ark and there is no need to come back to it.
For this reason therefore «it didn't want to go back to Noah». And thus therefore that venerable patriarch was informed, that the drying of the waters had advanced considerably.
Noah therefore from the depth of the Arc that he was found he surveys and examines the earth and the waters upon it, in order to be sure whether the dry land appeared and up to which point it was extending.
Therefore Noah does not know, when exactly the waters would withdraw and when he would be able to go out himself and his children from the ark. Nevertheless he knew well and accurately the day when it would start the cataclysm.
What a strange thing, you might tell me; to know exactly, when it would start the cataclysm and to not know when it would end and when the face of the earth would come out again to the light of the sun!
And yet it is not this thing strange at all, my reader. Pay a little attention and immediately you will understand the reason for this thing.
Because, if he wouldn't know it, how would he make these preparations, that had to be made, in order to enter inside the Ark both himself and his children and all the animals and beasts and serpents, that had to enter?
He had to know therefore the day of the cataclysm, and for that reason God reveals it to him and discloses it to him.
The day however that the earth would dry out and the waters would be absorbed it was not necessary to know it. What would he gain, if he knew it? His curiosity only he would satisfy and nothing more.
And maybe in fact he would enter into a greater temptation, if from the beginning, it was disclosed to him that day.
Because, as you can see, Noah remained inside the Ark with all the other crew of the Ark during a whole year. And it must have passed that time very slowly, without even them understanding it, how it passed.
But if from the beginning they knew, that for a whole year they would remain in there, I am not refering of course to the righteous and virtuous Noah, certainly however the women that were in there and the children of Noah would show much greater impatience and would gravely feel that confinement of the Ark.
Furthermore, this concealment of the day, that the earth would dry out and the waters would get absorbed, had also some other benefit, about which we have already talked about.
The benefit is that, it would be useful as a means, by which it would be established even more the faith of Noah and would be strengthened his righteous soul and would be trained even more into determination and into patience.
Besides, the day that it would start the cataclysm Noah could not by no other means know it but only if God would have revealed it to him through a revelation. And He does reveal it to him.
The when however approximately the earth would dry out and if it was about time for Noah to open the Ark and get out of it, this he could even on his own examine it and find it out.
And then at the end, as we shall see, when it will be the time for Noah to come out of the Ark, it will be God again Who shall tell him and shall call him to come out.
These in relation with the inspection, that Noah is performing, in order to see whether it appeared the land and whether it had been absorbed the water adequately.
He releases the raven and immediately after he relaeases the dove. Very well. The second time, that he released again the dove, when was it? Right on the seven days. And the third time? In seven more days. From seven to seven.
This makes some bible interpreters think, that during the day of Sabbath they took place these sendings of the raven and of the dove.
That is, they explain the interpreters, that, when Noah entered into the ark, he kept the count of the days of the week and he knew when it was the holy day of Sabbath.
Besides the numbers that are given to us in the Scripture for the various periods of the cataclysm, the 150 days that the waters remained, the date during which the Ark stopped in the mountain Ararat, and so on,
all these, that have been preserved in the Scripture through the tradition of mouth to mouth, as Noah delivered them, clearly prove, that Noah was keeping account of the days.
And every seventh day therefore was sanctified by Noah inside the Ark and he continues this elderly patriarch doing inside the Ark every Saturday what he was doing before he entered into the Ark.
After therefore during a day of Sabbath he prayed and completed his usual worship towards God that righteous and pious man, at the same time he must have asked from God to let him know, what was happening outside and to lead these birds, that he would release, to bring him back some news regarding this.
This interpretation, my reader, is not erroneous. Neither is there anything, which would prevent us from accepting it. On the contrary it both seem very likely, and also the devoutness of Noah it greatly exalts.
The raven does not return. It finds corpses and it stays to eat. The dove however, the pure and innocent and harmless dove, returns immediately, because it doesn't have where to tread. Mud everywhere, waters everywhere, sea everywhere.
The dove however, my reader, symbolizes something. Do you know what? The soul the clean one, the pure one, the charismatic, that brings inside it the Spirit of God, which like a dove at the Jordan river was seen coming down upon Jesus. That kind of soul symbolizes the dove.
Similarly the raven symbolizes the carnal soul, that is attached to the material world, that prefers the eating and drinking and that doesn't think of something more noble and of something higher.
Continuously downwards this soul sees and departs far away, very far away from the Ark of the salvation, from Jesus Christ.
On the contrary the pure soul does not find repose and peace in this deplorable world of the sin, where the evil is flooding and is abundant and creates a real cataclysm.
And it comes back therefore towards the Ark, towards Jesus, as the dove back then comes back towards Noah.
Oh my soul, my soul, come back to your repose. Christ, that sweet name, is your repose, your joy, your support, your safe roof, the impregnable fortress and castle, within which you shall find your salvation and your peace.
Oh! Yes; «who will give me wings as of the dove for me to fly and find repose?» Who will give to my soul these wings, which like the dove will be able with them to fly over near Christ, in order to find in Him its repose? Who?
You go on and decide it, oh my soul, and come closer to your Saviour. Ask for it with all your heart from Him, towards Whom you wish to get closer.
And behold, how Noah extends his hand and receives the dove in order to take it inside the Ark, into which it wishes to enter.
Similarly Christ also will extend His great hand in order to help you too, in order to pull you in and to attract you to His side, in order to get you closer near Him, as long as you want it and desire it and you ask for it.
It's not the raven the gluttonous one, who prefers the corpses from the Ark, but it's the pure and harmless dove. It's this that brings in it's beak that leaf of the olive, which always symbolizes the peace and the hilarity.
Yes, my brother; with all that he will do the carnal man, who like the raven is seeking to satisfy himself with the pleasures of the material world and of the flesh, it is impossible to ever attain the peace, to endeavor it, to taste it.
Peace is only for the gifted by the Spirit of God souls. Only these hearts, who resemble the dove, which is holding on its beak the leaf of the olive, only those have in their possession and as their decoration and as their delight the peace.
And why not? The peace of the heart is not something, that is able to offer it the restless and disorderly world with its even more disordered and uncertain and unstable goods that it has.
The world only restlessness and disturbance and disgust and disappointment it can give, not peace and true joy.
Fake peace, something that seems from the outside like peace, but deep down it is full of agitation, one such thing the world can give and is giving it.
The true peace however and the real one never and for no reason at all it cannot transmit. The peace the true one, the deep one, the imperturbable, «the one that surpasses every intellect», only exists in God, and only the Spirit of God can transmit it and give it for free.
And these souls therefore, which retain the joy of the Holy Spirit, these graced souls, the doves of the holy grace, these and only these will have and maintain this treasure of the divine and sweet peace.
Three times Noah realeased the dove from the Ark. And if the first two times the dove returned again, the third time however it didn't return again. And this was a sign, that the earth had began to dry out and that in many places the land had appeared.
We are now on the six hundredth first year of Noah's age. When Noah was six hundred years old the cataclysm started. Now he is six hundred and one years old, Noah. That is, he has been in there in the Ark enclosed almost for a whole year.
«And it happened that in the first after six hundred years in the life of Noah, during the first month, the first day of the month the water had drained from the earth».
In the 27th day of the second month the cataclysm started. Ten months passed and came the first month of the next year, and then the plenty of water, with which the earth was covered, was gone, but it had not yet completely drained the earth.
From far away if you looked, you would see some extended dry land, but if you go there in order to walk on that land, it would not be hard to take a deep dive in the puddle and the mud.
And Noah now, since God does not tell him to exit from the Ark, he does not dare to exit. As in order to enter inside the Ark he was waiting for the order of God, likewise also in order to come out from the Ark, he had to wait for the same order.
So what does Noah do in order to lighten a little the sadness of that prison, that was created upon him by the confinement inside the Ark? «He opened the roof of the Ark».
He uncovered one part of the Ark. And thus he was not any longer from all sides confined. He could breathe somewhat better now. He could turn his eyes around to see what happened to the world. He could finally see something and enjoy himself.
The Scripture, as you see, my reader, particularly refers to what Noah saw, that the water had withdrawn from the face and from the surface of the earth. It considers that it is worth to be written and it is worth a word to be made about this, which Noah saw.
It has knowledge of the great impression, that must have made to Noah that view; the joy that he must have experienced; the enthusiasm that must have captured his heart;
his gratitude towards God, which must have been ignited inside him; the words of gratitude and of doxology, that must have come out of his lips. How it must have seemed that moment to Noah!
And despite all that, the land was something that he must have been seeing every day in other times Noah; it was the most usual thing and the most common, that he had it in front of his feet and was stepping upon it all the time.
And I am not ever saying, that the just and righteous and pious Noah did not appreciate back then nor he considered at all the great benediction and endowment, that God had given to us. I say however, that now he appreciates it more.
He appreciated it also then and he thanked God for all the beneficences, that He was giving to him. Now however he is in the position to appreciate much better the value of this good and to thank warmer and more vividly to God.
When we have the gifts by God, that is, our health, the water, the clean air, the bread, that land where we walk upon and so many others, we don't consider them at all; we don't even consider them as gifts and as endowments by God.
This is the wealth, that has been given to us abundantly by our Father, and because we have so much of it, we tread upon it and we despise it and we don't even consider it as true wealth.
But what if we miss it! When it comes some blockage and the bread end up being sold by the grams, well! then our minds change and our eyes start seeing a bit differently.
«How much we have had before and we haven't considered it!», we all shout aloud. Then they open our eyes, but in order to shut again when after a while, when they pass away the years of deprivation and they come back again the years of abundance.
Ah! My God; why do I have to be so blind and why can't I see Your blessings and can't I thank You for those day and night?