The Divine Lamp

The unfolding of thy words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple…Make thy face shine upon thy servant, and teach me thy statutes

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Month of Mary, Day 21: Henri Cardinal De Lubac

Posted by Dim Bulb on May 21, 2009

In the Church’s tradition the same biblical images are applied, either in turn or simultaneously, with one the same ever increasing perfusion, to the Church and to Oulr Lady.  Both are the New Eve; Paradise; the Tree of Paradise, whose fruit is Christ; the great tree seen in the dream of Nabuchodonosor, palnted in the center of the earth.  Both are the Ark of the Covenant, Jacob’s Ladder, the Gate of Heaven, the House built on the mountaintop, the fleece of Gideon, the Taernacle of the Highest, the throne of Solomon, the imrpegnable fortress.  Both are the City of God, The mysterious city of which the Psalmist sang; the vailant woman of the Book of Proverbs, the Bride arrayed for her husband, the woman who is the foe of the serpent the great sign described in the Book of Apocalypse-the woman clothed with the sun and victorious over the Dragon.  Both are-after Christ-the dwelling place of wisdom, even wisdom herself; both are “a new world” and “a prodigious creation”; both rest in the shadow of Christ.

There is in all of this something more than a case of parallelism or the alternating use of ambivalent symbols.  As far as the Christian mind is concerned, Mary is the “ideal figure of the Church, the sacrament of it and the “mirror in which the whole Church is reflected.”  Evrywhere the Church finds in her its type and model, its point of origin and perfection: “The form of our mother the Church is according to the form of His mother.”  Our Lady speaks and acts in the name of the Church at every moment of her existence-“she shows forth in herself the figure of the holy Church”-not, of course, in virtue of some decision which is an after thought nor, obviously, because of an explicit intention on her part, but because she already carries the Church within her, so to speak, and contains it, in its wholeness, in her own person.  She is “the whole of the Church,” as M. Olier puts it: “The Church, both kingdom and priesthood, gathered into one single person.”  All that is prophecied by the Old Testament concerning the Church receives a new application, as it were, in the person of Our Lady, whose type the Church thus becomes: “How beautiful are those things which have been prophecied of Mary under the figure of the Chruch!”  And conversely, the things told us by the Gospels about Our Lady are a  prefiguring of the nature and destiny of the Church: “As with Mary, also with the Church.”  “The sacraments of the Church lie hidden,” in everything which they say about her: “Thus the Virgin Mary, who was the best part of the Old Church before Christ, merited being the Bride of God the Father in order to become also the pattern of the new Church, the Bride of the Son of God.” ~THE SLENDOR OF THE CHURCH by Henri Cardinal De Lubac

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Posted by Dim Bulb on January 25, 2007

Often the Church has been called the building of God(1 Cor 3:9). TheLord Himself compared Himself to the stone which the builders rejected, but which was made into the cornerstone (Mt 21:42; see also Act 4:11; 1 Pet 2:7; Psalm 117:22). On this foundation the Church is built by the apostles (1 Cor 3:11), and from it the Church Receives durability and consolidation. This edifice has many names to describe it: the house of God (1 Tim 3:15) in which dwells his family; The household of God in the Spirit (Eph 2:19-22); the dwelling place of God among men (Rev 21:3); and especially, the holy temple. THIS TEMPLE, SYMBOLIZED IN PLACES OF WORSHIP BUILT OUT OF STONE, IS PRAISED BY THE HOLY FATHERS AND, NOT WITHOUT REASON, IS COMPARED IN THE LITURGY TO THE HOLY CITY, THE NEW JERUSALEM. As living stones we here on earth are built into it (1 Pet 2:5). John contemplates this holy city coming down from heaven at the renewal of the world as a bride made ready and adorned for her husband (Rev 21:16). (Vat II; Dog. Const., Lumen Gentium, art. 6. Emphasis added)

May he who is answer you on the day of your distress. May the name of the God Of Jacob establish you on the heights, defend you from his temple, and give you foundation from Zion. May He remember every one of your offerings, accept every one of your oblations. May he give you all your heart desires, bring to accomplishment every plan of yours. (psalm 20:2-5. My translation see NAB 20:2-5)

Yahweh is my light and my salvation. Whom shall I fear?

Yahweh is the strength of my life. Of whom shall I be afraid?

When evil doers came at me to eat up my flesh, even my adversaries and my foes, they stumbled and fell.

Thoiugh an army should camp against me, my heart shall not fear.

Though war should rise against me, even then I will b confident.

One thing have I asked from Yahweh, that I will seek after, that I may dwell in the house of Yahweh all the days of my life, to see Yahweh’s beauty, and to inquire in his temple.

For in the day of trouble he will keep me secretly in his pavilion.In the covert of his tabernacle he will hide me. He will lift me up on a rock. (Psalm 27:1-5 WEB bible; also NAB)

Great is Yahweh, and greatly to be praised, in the city of our God, in his holy mountain.

Beautiful in elevation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion above the heights of the north, the city of the great king.

God has shown himself in her citadel as a refuge.

For, behold, the kings assembled themselves, they passed by together.

they saw, then they were amazed. They were dismayed. They hurried away.

Trembling took hold of them there, pain, as of a woman in travail…

As we have heard, so we have seen, in the city of Yahweh of Armies, in the city of our God. God will establish it forever.

We have thought about your loving kindness, God, in the midst of your temple.

As is your name, God, so is your praise to the ends of the earth. Uour right hand is full of righteuousness.

Let Mount Zion be glad! Let the daughters of Judah rejoice, because of your judgements.

Walk about Zion, and go around her, number its towers, mark well her bulwarks,consider her places, that you may tell it to the next generation.

For this God is our God forever and ever. He will be our guide even to death. ( Psalm 48 :1-6, 8-14. WEB Bible. italicised words in vs. 2 are my modification.

Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep. (Psalm 127:1-2)

ANGELUS COMMENTARY FROM POPE BENEDICT XVI: Psalm 126 (127), just proclaimed, presents before our eyes a spectacle in movement: a house under construction, the city with its watchmen, family life, night watches, daily work, the little and great secrets of daily life. However, over all rises a decisive presence: that of the Lord who watches over the works of man, as the incisive beginning of the psalm suggests: “Uless the Lord build the house, they labor in vain who build.”

A solid society is born, indeed, from the commitment of all its members, but it has need of the blessing and support of that God who, unfortunately, is often excluded and ignored. The Book of Proverbs underlines the primacy of divine action for the well-being of a community and it does so in a radical way, affirming that “the blessings of the Lord make rich, and he adds no sorrow with it” (Prov 10:22) [Comm. on Psalm 126 (127); Pope Benedict XVI]. Go here to read the rest.

See St. Augustine’s notes on this Psalm here.



Posted by Dim Bulb on January 13, 2007

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