He Bears Us on His Sacred Heart

Breastplate of high priestAmidst the lengthy chronologies and Lord of the Rings-esque descriptions, there are gems to be found in the Old Testament (pun intended).  One example of this is God’s directions for building the tabernacle, which are incredibly intricate.  It is meant to be modeled after the heavenly kingdom, so there is a goldmine of symbolism to be found in everything that God commanded Moses to build.

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As it is in Heaven

The Wedding Feast of the Lamb
“The Adoration of the Lamb” by Jan van Eyck, 1432

The Father has prepared a wedding banquet with food and drink that satisfies our deepest hunger.  The Father begs us to come to the feast.  He has prepared the choicest food and has saved the best wine for last.  The food at this banquet will never run out and we will never hunger or thirst again.  He implores us “come to the feast.”

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The Well is Deep

Jesus the Bridegroom.  The very words send a thrill through my heart.  The sisters heard me go on and on about the topic, but you, my lucky readers, are a whole new audience!

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Thanks to my time in the convent, I’ve been given a love for scripture and new eyes to see its depth.  The top two things that have opened up scripture for me are:

  1. Reading scripture with Jewish eyes.
  2. Seeing that Jesus is always the Bridegroom.

Today’s Gospel is the perfect example of this.  In the Old Testament, whenever a man and woman met at a well, they ended up getting married.  Another key piece of information is that the Jews and Samaritans were “divorced” from one another.  The Israelites had split into the Northern and Southern kingdoms, with Samaria in the North and Jerusalem in the South.  So when Jesus meets the Samaritan woman at the well and asks her, “give me a drink”, what He’s really saying is, “give me your hand.”

What really turned me on to all this is Dr. Brant Pitre and his book Jesus the Bridegroom.  I strongly recommend it to all.  The most important thing I want to convey is that Jesus is a personal bridegroom to each one of us, not just of the Church in general, and we experience this best through prayer.  When I learned how to pray according to the Ignatian method of prayer I felt like I had never prayed before.  This involves imagining the scene with all your senses and placing yourself in it.  Imagine yourself as the Samaritan woman.  Jesus asks you for a drink, you ask him for living water.  What are your “husbands”, those things that you are ashamed of, that you think make you unworthy? He already knows and He is “the one”, the Christ, the Bridegroom.