Imitation of Christ – Book 4, Ch.12-15, pt.1

This Tuesday, we are continuing our meditations found in Book Four of Thomas á Kempis’ The Imitation of Christ.  We will be reading meditations twelve through fifteen this week. 

In Meditation 13, á Kempis speaks of us being intimately united with Christ in the Eucharist. Throughout the New Testament, the relationship between Christ and his church is compared to that between a husband and a wife. Jesus compares the Kingdom of Heaven to a wedding banquet (Matt. 22, Matt. 25) and himself to the bridegroom (Mark 2:19, John 3:27-30). Paul writes that Christ and his Church become one flesh as a husband and wife (Eph. 5:32) and John has the vision of the marriage between Christ and the saints (Rev. 19:7).  For the early church, the Eucharist was not simply a wedding feast but the very manifestation of the physical union between Christ and his Bride or between Christ and the individual’s soul. Theodoret of Cyprus (393-457) writes that “in eating the elements of the Bridegroom and drinking His blood, we accomplish a marital union with Christ.” Or as St. Ambrose (337-397) says: “When the body of Christ is placed on the lips of the believer, it is truly a kiss given by Christ to the soul, the expression of the union of love between the believer and his Lord.”  As you prepare for this Tuesday, contemplate the Eucharist as the marital union between Christ and yourself.  On Sunday, discern this measure of the significance of your reception of the elements.  

Dinner at 6. The menu is Italian wedding soup and stuffed cheese bread. Meditation at 6:45. Compline at 8. Hope to see you here.

Eat, O friends, and drink: drink deeply, O lovers.  Be intoxicated with love.

Song of Songs 5:1

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