Monday, 29 September 2014

The Bread and Wine of Delight

Behold this Bread! This Heavenly Bread which bears the name: Son of God. Let not thy bodily eyes deceive thee, for this is not a mere wafer, it is the Infant, Crucified and Resurrected Body of our Lord Jesus Christ. He hides behind this veil of bread, just as the sun hides behind the clouds. He hides not in order to deceive thee, but He hides in order to come to thee, and to be received by thee. He must veil Himself with the appearance of bread, just as the sun must veil himself with the clouds on a hot day, so as to not burn and consume thee. In the same manner our Lord comes hidden in this Holy Sacrament, because the Light of His Glory is so great, the fire of His Love so intense, that we would be  obliterated and consumed to ash if we were to catch but a glimpse of He, the Beloved unveiled.

Indeed thy bodily eyes and thy worldly mind tell thee that this is naught but a bread of pious symbolism; but nay, ask the Lord to open the eyes of thy soul, and indeed thou shalt behold the Ancient of Days (Dan 7:13) enthroned upon that Altar. Thou shalt behold the “Alpha and the Omega…the Beginning and the End” (Rev 22:13) shining in the brilliance of His Glory within that Tabernacle of dwelling. Thou shalt behold “the Lamb that was slain” (Rev 5:12), whose dying brought life; the Bronze Serpent Divine (Num 21:9), whose lustrous beauty heals the ugliness of sin; raised aloft in the hands of that priest of the King (Jn 3:13). Put on the spectacles of faith and thou wilt see that this seeming speck of bread is in actual fact thy Destiny, thy Purpose, thy Meaning, thy Pearl of Great Price, thy Honey from the Rock, thy Sweetness and Delight, thy Beloved and Paradise Sublime! “O come and eat me” whispers He to thee, “come, let me kiss thee, and kiss me in return.” Wherefore it is written: “O taste and see that the Lord is good” (Ps 34:8a); for “with great delight I sat in his shadow”, that is at the foot of the Cross in Adoration of this Holy Sacrament, “and his fruit was sweet to my taste.” (Song 2:3).

What is this cup that we drink? Let not thy bodily taste buds deceive thee, for this is not earthly wine, but Heavenly Wine that bears the name: Fruit of the Father. “Thou shalt indeed drink of the chalice that I drink of; and with the baptism wherewith I am baptised thou shalt be baptised” (Mk 10:39b) says the Lord of Hosts. The very Lord who “will baptize thee with the Holy Spirit and with fire” (Lk 3:16b); a holy dousing which He has done unto thee in the Sacrament of Confirmation, and a dousing which He intensifies with each and every reception of the Holy Eucharist. For thus saith the Lord: “I came to cast fire upon the earth; and would that it were already kindled!” (Lk 12:49) –wherefore by earth it can be understood to mean thy soul which he comes in this Sacrament to set ablaze and kindle with the Fire of Divine Love. For when thou dost drink this cup thou dost drink Fire, the Fire of God’s Desire. When this liquid flame flows through the ravine of thy oesophagus, thy soul’s heart is rekindled with this Living Flame of Love. For this is the torrent of fire spoken of when the prophet Daniel writes: “A stream of fire issued and came forth from before him” (Dan 7:10a). Thus when we adore this Precious Blood, the Father breathes His Spirit into the flaming bush of His Desire that burns within our hearts. It is thus that the Holy Spirit comes into us in this Sacrament of Love, in order to fan the flames of Himself within us; so that we may burn ever more ardently with the desire for our Beloved, the Beloved of the Father; being as living burnt offerings that send forth the incense of Divine Affection –the Holy Spirit Himself- to the Throne of God above which is within. As thou dost burn with this desire to consume the Beloved Fruit of the Father, thou shalt say unto He, the apple of thy eye: “O that you would kiss me with the kisses of your mouth! For your love is better than wine” (Song 1:2).Him

“And a voice came out of the cloud; saying: This is my beloved son. Listen to him!” (Lk 9:35). O harken to this voice made flesh in Christ, and spoken by the Father from the Cloud of the Holy Spirit that abides in the sky of thy soul. Follow this Director of thy soul, follow Him who takes the form of a cloud –that is holy inspirations and insights- in the midst of consolation, and who takes the form of a pillar of fire –that is a firm desire to love God- in the midst of desolation. Follow Him and He will lead thee safely and securely to the Land of Promise, to the Heavenly Kingdom, to the blessed state of living in His Divine Will. Indeed as it is written: “There never failed the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, before the people.” (Ex 13:22). Follow the voice of the Father by listening to the Son in Scripture, in holy counsel and in adoring silence; and follow the interior movements of the Spirit through prayer and faithful surrender. The Spirit will show unto thee the way to the Promised Land, to that place of Milk and Honey that abides in the Holy of Holies of thy heart, that sacred haven which is hidden in the deepest of its chambers. Come before Him who dwells in the Tabernacle of thy heart; do this by drawing dear to the Blessed Sacrament of Love, and do this always and constantly by fusing thyself with the Will Divine –whether in flesh before the Holy Host or only in spirit, for by fusing thyself with His Holy Will, by bathing in the hot spring of His Volition that abides in the deepest hollow of thy garden’s being, thou shalt be in the Holy Host Itself, regardless of one’s fleshly proximity to the Sacrament Divine. This is how thou shalt become intimate with thy Beloved and how thou mayst come to please Him. O “draw near to God and he will draw near to thee” (Jas 4:8a).

“And the spirit and the bride say: Come. And he that heareth, let him say: Come. And he that thirsteth, let him come.” (Rev 22:17a). And “if you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” (Mt 19:21). For indeed the Israelites left all they knew to journey to naught but a promised land of mere temporal milk –that is temporal comforts- and earthly honey –that is fleshly delights. Yet we are called to a Promised Land, to a Kingdom that is Eternal, a Land we call ‘Beloved’, whose milk is everlasting companionship, and whose honey is the sweetness of eternal kiss. “All you that thirst, come to the waters: and you that have no money make haste, buy, and eat: come ye, buy wine and milk without money, and without any price” says He to thee. “Why do you spend money for that which is not bread, and your labour for that which doth not satisfy you? Hearken diligently to me, and eat that which is good, and your soul shall be delighted in fatness. Incline your ear and come to me: hear and your soul shall live, and I will make an everlasting covenant with you” (Is 55:1-3b). Will thou not abandon the familiar home of thy understandings for such a Beloved? Will thou not cast away the possessions of thy attachments and the wealth of thy desires for such a Beloved? For “the kingdom of heaven is like to a merchant seeking good pearls. Who when he had found one pearl of great price, went his way, and sold all that he had, and bought it.” (Mt 13:45-46). Will thou not be such a merchant, one whom sells –that is surrenders- their understandings in order to live in Him, and He in thee? And one whom sells their attachments and desires in order to possess Him, and He to possess thee? Thus saith the Lord: “Hearken, O daughter, and see, and incline thy ear: and forget thy people and thy father’s house. And the king shall greatly desire thy beauty; for he is the Lord thy God, and him they shall adore.” (Ps 45:10-11). So forget thy people, thy possessions, and thy father’s house, for thee and the Beloved are destined to be wed! Let thy plea to thy royal admirer be as follows: “Draw me after you, let us make haste.” (Song 1:4a). And indeed once thou dost dwell with Him in the secret hollow of His Will that abides in thy heart, that hollow to which the Blessed Sacrament is as portal, thou shalt say: “The king has brought me into his chambers.” (Song 1:4a). Those chambers which are one but many, for as one goes from intimacy to intimacy, one proceeds from chamber to chamber, feasting all the while upon that Fruit of the Father called “our daily bread” (Mt 6:11) the Bread of Divine Will. “My food is to do the will of him who sent me” (Jn 4:34a) says our Beloved; that food of Divine Will which we as His brides are to feed upon also, in and through She the Virgin Mary, His Immaculate Bride. So “taste and see that the Lord is good” (Ps 34:8a), for thou art His bride, and thus His Will is thy delight, and therefore thou shalt feast upon it daily as daily thou dost implore: “give us this day our daily bread” (Mt 6:11).

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