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Hujus cultu memorise
Prsesta, Pater, perPilium, Prsesta, per almum Spiri
tum: Quibus hoc das edulium Prosperum serves exitum.
light of believers, the victim of redemption, and the pasture of thy sheep!
By our worship of this memorial of thy cruel death, lead us from the abyss of misery, O thou that criest: i" thirst.
Grant, O Father, through thy Son, grant through the Spirit of love, that we, to whom thou givest such nourishment as this, may be brought by thee to a prosperous end.
WITHIN THE OCTAVE OF CORPUS CHRISTI.
Let us adore Christ, the Christum regem adoremus
King, who ruleth the nations: dominantem gentibus, qui
who giveth fatness of spirit to se manducantibus dat spiri
them that eat him. tus pinguedinem.
Man has been cast forth from Eden, and is gone into the dreary land of his exile. He has nothing left him of the Tree of Life, but the recollection that it was once his. It remains in the happy land where it was first planted; how could it go after the sinner man, now that he is banished into the vale of tears? No! it remains in Paradise; far from the abode of suffering, and out of mortals' sight, it continues in all its loveliness, bearing testimony to the primitive intentions of God, which were peace, innocence, and love. The day will come, when we shall see it again, for it is to be one of the charms of the new earth, into which our Lord will lead his chosen people on the day of the great Pasch, and the restoration of all things.1 Happy day! after which, as the Apostle tells us, every creature longeth, bowed down as it now is, and made subject, by reason of a fault which was not its own, to the inconstancy of ceaseless change. Man, who, against the creature's will, subjected it to the servitude of corruption, that same man keeps up within it the hope, that the time of deliverance being come, it, too, will partake, in its own way, of the glorious liberty of the children of God.J The glory of the new Paradise will be greater than that of the
1 Apoc. xxii. 2. 2 Eom. viii. 19-22.
one of old; for, it is not under the veil of symbols, or in a passing way, that the deifying union is to be fulfilled, but divine Wisdom will give himself, and for ever, and without veil, to man, and in an eternal embrace.
And yet, this union, whose permanent enjoyment is to make the eternal bliss of heaven, is to be contracted even now, and on this very earth of ours; for it is the economy of the divine plan, that, in all things, the future life should have its roots in the present one, and should be but the revelation, in the light of glory, of the ineffable realities formed here by grace. What, then, after the Fall, will be the conditions of the alliance, from which eternal Wisdom has not been turned by the sin committed by his creature Man?
O the depth of the riches of this Wisdom of God! * His love is strong as death,2 and, even after man's disloyalty, will be infinitely admirable in its delicate ways of gaining its object. There is to be nothing unbecoming in the alliance he is bent on! He will admit no compromise with the depravity which has befallen our now sinful race! His mercy is infinite; and, through that, he has pardoned the offence, the moment the offender expressed his sorrow; but the pardon is not one which was to mean no compensation, no expiation, on man's side; that would have ill-suited the dignity of such a Spouse as he. And since sinful man cannot offer an adequate expiation, he, Wisdom, undertakes to pay the culprit's whole debt, and give him back the holiness he has forfeited; this done, he will take our human nature, and espouse her to himself, as his much loved Bride. / will espouse thee unto me, in justice and judgment, says this God to man, by his prophet Osee.3
And he adds: I will espouse thee unto me in faith.*
1Rom. xi. 33. s Osee, ii. J9.
1 Cant. viii. 6. • Ibid. 20;
For, just as the entrance of divine Wisdom into this world, which he comes to save from pride by humility, is to be without exterior parade or glory, so, likewise, the divine union is to be accomplished in the mystery of the sacred species of the nuptial banquet, and these species will offer nought to view but the appearance of bread and wine, such as one could find on any table. But, Faith will see through that veil; and the unspeakable dignity conferred on the children of men, by this heavenly food, will reflect its brightness on the whole creation.
The whole world of creatures, each in its own way, was in expectation of this marvellous manifestation, which was to be made upon the sons of God,1 by the union to be contracted between Wisdom and Man. The Prophet thus speaks of this universal expectation: And it shall come to pass in that day, lwill hear, saith the Lord, 1 will hear the heavens; and they shall hear the earth; and the earth shall hear the corn, and the wine, and the oil; and these shall hear Jezrahel.2 Jezrahel means "the seed, or race, of God." God will give to man, through corn and wine, the substance to be offered in the mysteries; and, through oil, the priesthood, which is to transform them into the marriage-dowry, in the very action of the Sacrifice. It is to be by the Sacrifice, and by Blood, that this alliance of justice and love is to be contracted.
We read in Scripture, that Moses was one day traversing the desert; he had on him a legal transgression; the Angel of the Lord met him, and was about to slay him, when Sephora, the wife of this future leader of Israel, averted the divine vengeance by the rough and speedy circumcision of her son, Eliezer: then marking with his blood the feet of the guilty one, she said to him: A Spouse of blood art thou to me!3 Thus, and with far greater truth, could
1 Eom. viii. 19. 2 Osee, ii. 21-22. 3 Exod. iv. 24-26.