Thought of the day
Thursday, December 29, 2016

The Fifth Day in the Octave of Christmas

Saint Aelred of Rielvaux (1110-1167), Cistercian monk In Ypapanti Domini (Sermon for the feast of the Presentation of the Lord)

The Fifth Day in the Octave of Christmas

Commentary of the day 

Saint Aelred of Rielvaux (1110-1167), Cistercian monk 
In Ypapanti Domini (Sermon for the feast of the Presentation of the Lord)

"Simeon took the child into his arms"

Simeon came into the temple, inspired by the Holy Spirit. And you, if you have searched thoroughly for Jesus everywhere, that is to say if, like the Bride in the Song of Songs (Sg 3:1-3), you have sought him at night on your bed while reading or praying or meditating. If you have also sought him in the city, questioning your brethren, speaking about him, discussing him; if you have sought him in the streets and in the squares by profiting from the words and example of others; if you have sought him from the sentinels, that is to say by listening to those who have attained perfection: then you will come to the temple “inspired by the Spirit”. This is indeed the best place for an encounter of the Word with the soul. We seek him everywhere, we meet him in the temple. . . “I have found him whom my soul loves” (Sg 3:4). Therefore seek all around, seek in everything, seek from everyone, go back and forth so as to pass on at last to the place of his tabernacle, even to the dwelling of God, and then you will find him. 

“Simeon came into the temple, inspired by the Spirit.” Therefore he also received him into his hands when his parents brought the Child Jesus into the temple. This is the love that tastes with consent, which binds with embracing, which tastes with the affection. Oh brothers, may the tongue be silent. . .! Nothing is more desirable than silence here: these are the secrets of the Bridegroom and the Bride…, strangers have no share in it. “My secret is mine, my secret is mine!” (Is 24:16 Vg.). Where is your secret, O Bride who alone has experienced what that sweetness is that we feel when, with a spiritual kiss, the created soul and uncreated Spirit stand before each other and are united one to another to the point that they become two in one, or better, I say, they become one: justifying and justified, sanctified and making holy, deifying and deified?... 

May we, too, be worthy to say the words that follow: “I held him and would not let him go” (Sg 3:4). This is what Simeon merited, who said: “Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace.” He desired to be allowed to go, freed from the chains of the flesh, so as to cling more closely with his heart’s embrace to Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom be glory and honor through endless ages.