La guarigione del sordomuto, Cristoforo de Predis, Milano, 1440-1486
11th Sunday After Pentecost
Today’s Introit, well served by its sturdy 5th mode melody, is a ringing affirmation of the presence of the living God in His holy place.
The Church, and, in its own way, the monastery, which is a microcosm of the Church (an ecclesiola, a little Church) fulfills the words of the Prophet-King:
God is in His holy place;
God who maketh men of one mind to dwell in a house;
He shall give power and strength to His people.
V. Let God arise and let His enemies be scattered:
and let them that hate Him flee from before His face.
(Ps 67: 6, 7, 36)
God Is Available
The good news is this: that God is in His holy place. He is at home, and is receiving visitors. God is very near, not remote and inaccessible. God is available, even to the smallest and humblest of His children, not engaged in meetings with the powerful of the earth, and forever absorbed in the affairs of the cosmos “The sparrow hath found herself a house, and the turtledove a nest for herself where she may lay her young ones. Thy altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God” (Ps 83:4).
A Place Prepared
This is the house of which Our Lord says, “In my Father’s house there are many mansions. If not, I would have told you: because I go to prepare a place for you. And if I shall go, and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and will take you to myself; that where I am, you also may be” (Jn 14:3). The desire and will of Our Lord’s Divine Heart are clearest in His priestly prayer to the Father: “Father, I will that where I am, they also whom Thou hast given me may be with me; that they may see my glory which Thou hast given me, because Thou hast loved me before the creation of the world” (Jn 17:24).
Where Sons Abide
So lavish is the Divine Hospitality, that those who enter His house as guests are invited to abide there as members of His household, as adopted sons in the Son. “Blessed are they that dwell in Thy house, O Lord: they shall praise Thee forever and ever. . . . Better is one day in Thy courts above thousands. I have chosen to be an abject in the house of my God, rather than to dwell in the tents of sinners” (Ps 83:5, 11).
One House, One Heart, One Soul
“God maketh men of one mind to dwell in a house.” This is the very sentence used by Saint Augustine in the 2nd article of his Rule. Saint Augustine, moreover, couples this sentence from the psalm with the description of the primitive Church from the Acts of the Apostles:
And the multitude of believers had but one heart and one soul:
neither did anyone say that aught of the things which he possessed, was his own;
but all things were common unto them (Ac 4:32).
The Pierced Side: A Door
The holy place of God is the Body of Christ. The entrance to that holy place is the door opened in the Sacred Side of Jesus by the soldier’s lance. If you would find God, go to His temple, that is, go to the Body of Christ. Enter His Church, and then, press on to cross the threshold of His pierced Side.. It is concerning this temple that God said to Solomon:
I have chosen this place to Myself for a house of sacrifice . . .
My eyes also shall be open,
and My ears attentive to the prayer of him that shall pray in this place.
For I have chosen, and sanctified this place,
that My name may be there forever,
and My eyes and My heart may remain there perpetually. (2 Para 7, 12. 15-16)
After the Introit, Kyrie, and Gloria, we pray one of the most beautiful Collects of the entire series for the Sundays After Pentecost:
Almighty and everlasting God,
Who art always more ready to hear than we to pray,
and art wont to give more than either we desire or deserve,
pour down upon us the abundance of Thy mercy,
forgiving us those things of which our conscience is afraid,
and giving us those good things which we are not worthy to ask.
Though our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son,
Who liveth and reigneth with Thee,
in the unity of the Holy Ghost,
one God, world without end. Amen.
The Voice of the Son and the Voice of His Bride
One who prays from within the Church, prays from within the temple of the Heart of Jesus, and one who prays from within the temple of the Heart of Jesus, has discovered what it means to pray with the Church. Such a prayer is always heard, for in it, the Father recognizes the voice of the Son speaking on behalf of His Mystical Body, and the voice of His Bride, the Church, ever pleading the interests of her Bridegroom’s Heart.