19 September 2010

Through the Lattice

From a sermon on the Song of Songs by Ronald Knox:

That voice at the window brings to my own mind a fancy which I have often had, which I suppose many of us have had before now, in looking at the Sacred Host enthroned in the monstrance. The fancy, I mean, that the glittering disc of whiteness which we see occupying that round opening is not reflecting the light of the candles in front of it, but is penetrated with a light of its own, a light not of this world, shining through it from behind, as if through a window, outdazzling gold and candle-flame with a more intense radiance. Such a visual impression you may have for just a moment, then you reflect that it is only an illusion; and then on further thought you question, Is it an illusion? Is it not rather the truth, but a truth hidden from our eyes, that the Host in the monstrance, or rather those accidents of it which make themselves known to our senses, are a kind of window through which a heavenly light streams into our world; a window giving access on a spiritual world outside our human experience?

... At the window, behind the wall of partition that is a wall of partition no longer, stands the Beloved himself, calling us out into the open; calling us away from the ointments and the spikenard of Solomon’s court, that stupefy and enchain our senses, to the gardens and the vineyards, to the fields and the villages, to the pure airs of eternity. Arise (he says), make haste and come. Come away from the blind pursuit of creatures, from all the plans your busy brain evolves for your present and future pleasures, from the frivolous distractions it clings to. Come away from the pettiness and the meanness of your everyday life, from the grudges, the jealousies, the unhealed enmities that set your imagination throbbing. Come away from the cares and solicitudes about tomorrow that seem so urgent, your heavy anxieties about the world’s future and your own, so short either of them and so uncertain. Come away into the wilderness of prayer, where my love will follow you and my hand hold you; learn to live, with the innermost part of your soul, with all your secret aspirations, with all the center of your hopes and cares, in that supernatural world which can be yours now, which must be yours hereafter.
Most appropriate given some of the influences on the name of this blog, meant to evoke the super-reality that lingers just outside our immediate existence, in the corner of the soul's eye.


Benjamin said...

This is a FANTASTIC text for adolescents struggling to be chaste. At least it was for me when I was that age. A bit of it was in a book of daily readings we had. Hugely consoling.

Benjamin said...

"Come away into the wilderness of prayer" is the pinnacle. Those words have lingered with me for something like 15 years.