O Lord Thou shalt open my lips and my mouth shall declare Thy praise.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Open to Me, My Sister, My Bride

Christ and His Bride

Today we worship the Sacred Intimacy between Christ and His Bride the Church. He gives His entire self to Her, even His Very Body, for Her good: to get Her to Heaven. In the same way, She gives Her entire self to Him for His good: the spread of His Divine and Immortal Kingdom. He gives Himself to Her and She gives Herself to Him. She, by consuming Him, is taken into Him and the Two become One Flesh; One Holy, Immortal, Precious, and Life-Giving Flesh. She becomes so united to Him that there cannot be any separation of the Two; they are One Flesh. She broke a hole in His Heart by Her sins, now She enters by that same hole and rests in Him, His blood washing Her clean. It really is beautiful how we have these three feasts in succession: Corpus Christi, Sacred Heart, and Precious Blood. It is the union of Christ the Bridegroom and His Ecclesial Bride. He breaks Himself over Her to be Her protection and sustenance and She breaks Herself under Him to support Him in His work. This is the source of all marriage. Every legitimate marriage that ever existed is either a prefigurement of this or an echo. The Sacrament of Marriage and the sacrifice of the marriage bed are an imitation of this. If the marital sacrifice is not an imitation of this, then that is what renders it lustful and a sin-and it doesn't matter if you're married or not; to use your spouse for lust is the worst insult you could give your spouse. Let us look to Christ and the Church. That is how we are to act; that is what we are to imitate.

Here is the sequence for this most solemn feast. I can't remember if the translation is my own or if I found it online, I've had it for so long:

Laud, O Zion, your salvation,
Laud with hymns of exultation,
Christ, your king and shepherd true:
Bring him all the praise you know,
He is more than you bestow, 
Never can you reach his due.

Special theme for glad thanksgiving
Is the quickening and the living
Bread today before you set:
From his hands of old partaken,
As we know, by faith unshaken,
Where the Twelve at supper met.

Full and clear ring out your chanting,
Joy nor sweetest grace be wanting,
From your heart let praises burst:
For today the feast is holden,
When the institution olden
Of that supper was rehearsed.

Here the new law's new oblation,
By the new king's revelation,
Ends the form of ancient rite:
Now the new the old effaces,
Truth away the shadow chases,
Light dispels the gloom of night.

What he did at supper seated,
Christ ordained to be done,
in His memory:
And his rule for guidance taking,
Bread and wine we hallow, making
Thus our sacrifice of peace.

This the truth each Christian learns,
Bread into his flesh he turns,
To his precious blood the wine:
Sight has failed, nor thought conceives,
But a dauntless faith believes,
Resting on a power divine.

Here beneath these signs are hidden
Priceless things to sense forbidden;
Sign, not things are all we see:
Blood is poured and flesh is broken,
Yet in either wondrous token
Christ entire we know to be.

Whoso of this food partakes,
Does not rend the Lord nor breaks;
Christ is whole to all that taste:
Thousands are, as one, receivers,
One, as thousands of believers,
Eats of him who cannot waste.

Bad and good the feast are sharing,
Of what divers dooms preparing,
Endless death, or endless life.
Life to these, to those damnation,
See how like participation
Is with unlike issues rife.

When the sacrament is broken,
Doubt not, but believe 'tis spoken,
That each severed outward token
doth the very whole contain.

Naught the precious gift divides,
Breaking but the sign betides
Jesus still the same abides,
still unbroken does remain.

Lo! the angel's food is given
To the pilgrim who has striven;
See the children's bread from heaven,
which on dogs may not be spent.

Truth the ancient types fulfilling,
Isaac bound, a victim willing,
Paschal lamb, its lifeblood spilling,
manna to the fathers sent.

Very bread, good shepherd, tend us,
Jesus, of your love befriend us,
You refresh us, you defend us,
Your eternal goodness send us
In the land of life to see.

You who all things can and know,
Who on earth such food bestow,
Grant us with your saints, though lowest,
Where the heavenly feast you show,
Fellow heirs and guests to be.
Amen.  Alleluia.