Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Lent XVIII

My beloved is gone down into his garden, to the bed of aromatical spices, to feed in the gardens, and to gather lilies. (Song 6:2 [6:1 in the Vulgate])

Surely the bed of spices is the mind of the faithful, which is instructed in the discipline of true faith as though it were constituted with equal sides all around and as though a skillful gardener had turned it frequently so as to remove all superfluous plants, doubtless because the gardener scrutinizes it carefully and considers intently to make sure that it contains nothing profane, nothing unclean, nothing at all detrimental to heavenly salvation. He strives to make it worthy so that his beloved (namely, the beneficent sower of justice) should plant the spices of virtues in it and water it with his grace and continual assistance so that it never withers....

...Now he feeds in the gardens because he delights in the pious deeds of the saints....He gathers lilies when the just attain the perfect splendor of merits, and he leads them from this life to the heavenly kingdom....

[The Venerable Bede, On the Song of Songs and Selected Writings, Holder, tr. Paulist Press (Mahwah, NJ: 2011) p. 176.]

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