Prepare for Joy: Opening Wide the Gate

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O saving Victim, opening wide
The gate of Heaven to us below;
Our foes press hard on every side;
Your aid supply; Your strength bestow.
To your great name be endless praise,
Immortal Godhead, One in Three.
O grant us endless length of days,
In our true native land with thee.
Amen.
~translation of St. Thomas Acquinas’ Eucharist hymn “O Salutaris Hostia”
O salutaris Hostia,
Quae caeli pandis ostium:
Bella premunt hostilia,
Da robur, fer auxilium.
Uni trinoque Domino
Sit sempiterna gloria,
Qui vitam sine termino
Nobis donet in patria.
Amen.

 

We stand outside the gate, incapable of opening it ourselves, watching as He throws it open wide.  We choose to enter into the endless length of days, or we choose to remain outside, lingering in the familiar confines of what we know, though it destroys us.

There we shall rest and we shall see; we shall see and we shall love; we shall love and we shall praise. Behold what shall be in the end and shall not end.
~Augustine of Hippo

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We are Fields

photo by Josh Scholten
How is it they live for eons in such harmony – the billions of stars –
when most men can barely go a minute without declaring war in their mind against someone they know.
There are wars where no one marches with a flag, though that does not keep casualties from mounting.

Our hearts irrigate this earth.  We are fields before each other.

How can we live in harmony?
First we need to know
 we are all madly in love
with the same
God.
~Thomas Acquinas
I look at headline news through my fingers, cringing.   In the posturing between countries and factions, only the names and faces have changed, not the hatred, not the threats.
We’ve seen this all before, over and over.  Not quite 150 years ago it was in the Gettysburg fields that blood of rival armies intermingled and irrigated the soil.  Even as we now stand side by side with Germany and Japan, our bitter enemies a mere seventy years ago, we have fallen on new killing fields in the Middle East.
We can barely go a minute without declaring war in our minds against our neighbor, especially in a presidential election year.  The casualties mount from our bitterness toward one another here on this soil, not only those so different from us on distant shores.
How can there ever be harmony?  How can we overcome our rancorous hearts?
It is not love for each other that comes first.   We are too flawed,  incapable of love or being loveable.

First we need to know and love the only God who loves the unloveable so much He became one with us, overcoming our hatred with sacrifice.

We are dying fields desperate in drought.
We need His bleeding heart irrigating our thirsting soil.