Monday, June 18, 2012

Corpus Christi / Sacred Heart

These feasts of the Lord, Corpus Christi and Sacred Heart, which follow Pentecost have been especially meaningful for me this year. It seems that only after Pentecost and the Descent of the Spirit do we come to know Jesus as He wants us to know Him. And how do we know him? Through the Eucharist symbols of bread and wine that have become His very body and blood. We also know him through communion with and in His Heart.

The following is a prayer of St Aelred of Rievaulx, Cistercian Abbot of  the monastery of Rievaulx in Yorkshire England. (St Aelred died in 1167.) We read this prayer for Lauds on the Feast of Corpus Christi. In this passage St Aelred talks not only of our being fed, but of the Lord being fed also by us:

 O Lord, on what do you feed in us if it is not the sweet devotion of our heart? This devotion is a pious and sweet affection arising from the two-fold consideration of Christ’s humanity and his divinity. Happy the soul which is fed and nourished by this holy interchange. Ravished to the heights of heavenly joy, it gazes upon the glory of its creator and is delighted with the splendor of his beauty. By the ardor of ineffable desire and with the sweetness of inexpressible love, it crosses over into God, where, filled with the honey of heavenly sweetness, it tastes and sees how sweet is the Lord, how blessed is every one who hopes in him.