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“YOU WILL BE SANCTIFIED THROUGH FAITH AND MEEKNESS”

THE CONSTANT AND FEARLESS FAITH OF MOSES

You will be sanctified through faith and meekness. And your meekness will remain unblemished, if faith precedes it. But it must be a faith that is true and unfeigned; a faith not dead but living and vigorous. And not only living and vigorous, it must be the constant and fearless faith of Moses of which Saint Paul writes: “By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the fierceness of the king.” Kings are fierce but faith is fiercer, for it sees that their power has no foundation. Because of this it scorns all the folly of those who persecute it, secure in its own superiority. It is more ready and strong to endure to the end than their fury is to persecute…

EVERLASTING GOODS

Faith is laid down as the groundwork and foundation upon which those everlasting goods we hope for are to rest. Without this faith it is impossible to please God, with it, it is impossible to displease him. “Your eyes, O Lord, are upon faith,” said he who forever stood in your sight through faith. And indeed it is only right and fitting, in fact you owe it to us, that your eyes, Lord, should return the gaze of faith, because my eyes are always upon the Lord who replies in all sincerity: “You understand what faith is.”

BEING SANCTIFIED THROUGH FAITH AND MEEKNESS

The faith which now stands before God anxious to behold his will, will then stand before him serenely to behold his glory. Be watchful, brethren, stand firm in your faith. The man whom faith arouses with sense of wonder and awe is not able to slumber through negligence; the one whom faith establishes in hope cannot falter through lack of confidence. But let all that you do be done in love so that meekness is joined in faith until it may be said of each one of you: “The Lord sanctified him through his faith and meekness.” May the Holy of Holies grant you this, who lives and reigns through endless ages. Amen.
– Bl. Guerric of Igny, 12th century

 

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IF THE “SONG OF SONGS” IN THE BIBLE SEEMS TOO “SEXY” TO US, WE HAVE PERHAPS BECOME CONTAMINATED WITH MODERN DAY DECADENCE

THE SONG OF SONGS PUT AT THE CENTRE OF LONGINGS THE ASPIRATIONS TO TRUE LOVE IRRADIATING FROM GOD, AND THE EARLIER MONKS HAD NO PROBLEM WITH THAT.

“The Song of Songs is a poem. Do not at first try to understand: let the text take hold and it will open up a universe to us. The Song awakens our own experience, going straight to the heart since it is about the Lover and the Beloved. It is a poem about a love encounter. The author let this encounter happen as in a dream in order to unveil its mystery; the call of love comes from elsewhere. Search, meeting, flight are enchanting and are true inasmuch as they reveal a mystery: Someone else draws us. This explains the title of the book: The Song of Songs. In Hebrew, it is one of the forms of the superlative: The Song par excellence or the Sublime Song. In the Song, just as in the great prophets, although with different words, the experience of God-Love is what inspired the entire dream and what invited human images.

The Song is not a song about human love which was put in the Bible after having received a religious interpretation: Jewish tradition considered it to be the song of divine love from the beginning. The fact that God is not mentioned is intentional: he is present from beginning to end, but this One Alone at the same time Love and Lover is far different from the “God” of human religions. In Christian countries, the monks took possession of the Song. They who had given up human love passed over the mystery of the love encounter in ordinary life. They saw the song as an allegory, a picture of spiritual experience. The expressions of carnal love in no way embarrassed them: it helped them to understand how strong the love relationship with the One Alone can be, how heady and devouring.

In fact they were to give back to Christianity a treasure they had found. The Song reread and commented by the monks gave rise to awareness of the mystery of love. The love songs and stories, fairly crude at the beginning, were gradually replaced by the literature of ‘courtly love’. From then on, century after century, the primacy of married love would be affirmed. At times, it is said rather cynically that love ends in marriage and that is what movies and television never cease to repeat whenever a decadent culture only acknowledges love when it promises but fleshly gratification and things it will not fulfil. The Song of Songs put at the centre of longings the aspiration to true love: this always irradiates from God and, like himself, is faithful until death and beyond.”

 
 

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