Category Archives: Wedding Banquet

The Lord’s Goodness – Two Souls, One Heart

Today, at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, I was praying to express my faith in the Lord’s real Presence in the Eucharist there. I was met with the inaudible response, “Come. I give you peace and pardon” and I saw in my mind an image of Him standing like a giant, extending His hand to me, smiling.

Thereafter, before processing to receive Him in the Eucharist, I heard a call to divine marriage, something I do not understand well yet. I state “divine” because that is the only way it can be known – it must be clearly discerned from what we understand in human marriage. But, it was given to me to know that this marriage was so strong and intimate that it would be as if I had the Sacred Heart of Jesus as my very own heart – two souls, yet one heart, human and divine. I don’t understand this fully, but I believe that it is very good.

So, when we receive the Lord faithfully in the Eucharist, perhaps He is giving us His own heart and desiring that we accept it to replace our own injured, fallen stony hearts. This is part of our call to divine marriage, becoming one in Goodness. For as the divine intention is written:

A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. I will put my spirit within you, and make you follow my statutes and be careful to observe my ordinances. Then you shall live in the land that I gave to your ancestors; and you shall be my people, and I will be your God. [Ezekiel 36:26-28]

Vision of A Lady Dressed for Matrimony and Understanding Metaphorical Marriage With God

At the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass yesterday morning, as the distribution of the Eucharist began during Holy Communion, I looked up, and in my mind’s eye, I saw the beautiful image of a lady dressed for her wedding. She was standing in the sanctuary to the right of the priest, our parochial vicar, who was facing the nave and distributing the Blessed Sacrament. She was also facing the people who went up to receive Jesus.

She was fully covered in a white matrimonial gown which appeared to be made of linen with pearls woven in (there were shiny glimmers here and there). There was no silk, no saffron veil, but all like a finely woven embroidery of linen covering her hair and face and draping over her gown. She was just standing there, her arms covered under her gown and veil.

This inspired in me the thought of a real Wedding Banquet, and the holiness of what we should be thinking when we approach the sanctuary during Holy Communion. The image was brief, but I saw her. Who was she? Was she a vision of Holy Mother Church?

Hear how St. Isaiah the Prophet writes of God’s love for the Church as His bride:

For your Maker is your husband,
    the Lord of hosts is his name;
the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer,
    the God of the whole earth he is called.
For the Lord has called you
    like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit,
like the wife of a man’s youth when she is cast off,
    says your God.
For a brief moment I abandoned you,
    but with great compassion I will gather you.
In overflowing wrath for a moment
    I hid my face from you,
but with everlasting love I will have compassion on you,
    says the Lord, your Redeemer.
[Isaiah 54:5-8]

Hear how St. John the Baptist speaks of the Lord as Bridegroom to His Church:

He who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. For this reason my joy has been fulfilled. [John 3:29]

Who is the bride here? We assume it is the Church after the imagery of Isaiah (and other prophets), and that the bride is not necessarily happy since it is only the friend of the bridegroom who is said to be happy. Hear also how St. Paul joins in to teach the reality:

For no one ever hates his own body, but he nourishes and tenderly cares for it, just as Christ does for the church, because we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a great mystery, and I am applying it to Christ and the church. [Ephesians 5:29-32]

And with St. Paul, we see atheists Lord’s role as Bridegroom confirmed and understand more fully the Lord’s intentions to care for the Church as His Bride.

I think the image, then, was a reminder to us about the Lord’s intentions for the Faithful – that He give us a most Holy spouse in Himself, and that we be treated such that we may become healthy enough to respond to His call to be like a holy spouse in that divine metaphorical matrimony and marriage, the actual application and eternal living out of which remains veiled in mystical secrecy…and misunderstandings as a result.

Now, I think that many people, including devout religious, misunderstand this mystery of the metaphorical bridal imagery. I have misunderstood it, too. I’m sure that there are people who go after the religious, celibate life seeking something like a human marriage with the human person of Jesus Christ – an imagined, “perfect husband” who is found and intimately experienced in the heart and mind. However, those who follow this line of thought may easily be led into a fallacy, the fallacy of a real human marriage. This is not a human marriage – it cannot be; for how can a temporary institution be applied to an eternal state of being where that human institution, and elements of it, is no longer in effect? For as Jesus the Lord Himself revealed regarding the human institution,

…You are wrong, because you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. [Matthew 22:29-30]

How do the angels of God live, and can their lives be spousal as we understand the word? We assume that we know about angels, but we do not know in fact since we are not angels and do not experience the life of angels. So, let us clearly state now that our relationship with God is metaphorically marital and monogamous, not really marital and monogamous in the sense of a real human marriage, and is somewhat like the little-understood lives and relationships of angels with God.

We can continue to build our understanding of metaphorical marriage with the Lord, and entrench our understanding of a requirement for metaphorical monogamy with God in the command which comes from God Himself,

you shall have no other gods before me. [Exodus 20:3]

Also, as the Lord commissioned Moses to teach to the Chosen People, Israel, a teaching which the Lord Jesus validated, we can understand a commanded metaphorical monogamy, not only between our current generation and the Lord, but also between our future generations and the Lord since we are to teach our children to also love God in a metaphorically monogamous way:

Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise. Bind them as a sign on your hand, fix them as an emblem on your forehead,  and write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. [Deuteronomy 6:4-9]

And, in summary, the vision of a lady dressed for Matrimony reminds us of the Lord’s faithful intentions for the Bride, the Church, in a metaphorical marriage with Him, and also the expectation that the Bride is or will become prepared to fulfill that honor, with a mind set for monogamy and, with that monogamy, the loving and dedicated care of the Lord.

Infant Jesus: “…in the womb, I knew you…”

At today’s Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the Gospel reading was on the Wedding at Cana.  The pastor really “hit home” when he mentioned that, at the prompting of Mother Mary, the good Lord Jesus miraculously made somewhere between 150 and 180 gallons of really, really high-quality wine for the wedding party.  This showed the Lord’s generosity – he did not just respond to Mother Mary’s prompting; He was zealous, providing an overabundance of the best wine!  St. John goes on to demonstrate Jesus’s divine generosity throughout the Gospel.

Now, the pastor used this homily as an occasion to speak about abortion, especially since the National March for Life will be happening next Friday on the 43d anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

Infant Jesus

Infant Jesus: “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.”

During his homily, he quoted Jeremiah 1:5:

Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.

But, as the priest was saying this, I saw, in my mind, the Infant Jesus standing before me with arm and hand raised, and He was saying the same words.

Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.

The picture to the left does not do it justice.  The Infant Jesus was even younger and He had his right arm up and his hand and finger extended upward – as if He were blessing me.

Now, it is the finger of God which wrote the Ten Commandments onto the two tablets which Moses brought down from Mt. Sinai.  As such, we are reminded that what the Infant Jesus says is God’s Word – His Truth, and it is to be believed as written.  All human life is known and precious to Him, even before they are born.

Let there be no misunderstanding about the reality of the human personage and sacred dignity of all unborn human beings, and let those who have aborted their children or who helped others to do so seek the help of the Blessed Virgin Mary,  repent, seek full rest and mercy and healing in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, join in the overabundance and generosity of the Lord’s Wedding Feast, and then witness to others about the Truth.