O our creation, house of glory, space of Love,
home of communion between us and them!
How broken, how fractured you have become
through the infidelity of our beloved,
turning their face away from us.
But she, the precious Bride of my only Son,
fills the world mysteriously with her presence,
the very “space” of our encounter
with the beloved ones we have made.
Even when they turn away, unfaithful,
she resides as our primal intention,
as the mothering-mystery and bridal-space
that abides at the very heart of the world.
Before the world itself came to exist
our Holy Church has already existed,
that Home for every human heart,
that space of intimacy with Us in love,
and the intimacy of all human hearts
bound together to one another within Us.
Cradled in the arms of our Love, dear children,
you are cradled in the maternity of the Church,
present and enfolding you, yourself a spouse of Christ,
even before she breaks forth visibly into this world.
The heavenly Jerusalem descends, little by little,
to become present within this world,
in the people chosen as our own:
In Adam and Eve, already bearing a great mystery
foreshadowing the union of Christ and the Church;
those who bore the original impress of our hand
and the experience from which all experience springs;
who, in sinning, bore the curse of infidelity
and yet await, with hearts rent through contrition,
the One who will take them by the hand
and lead them out to the place which they lost.
In Abel and his pure sacrifice, springing from the heart,
who was murdered by his brother, his blood crying out:
a symbol and prefiguration of the Blood later to be shed
by the One, murdered by his own brethren,
this Blood crying out not for justice or vengeance,
but for Mercy outpoured, flooding the world.
In Noah, obedient to our call and our command,
purified through the waters of the flood
and receiving the sign of the bow in the clouds,
promise of our endless fidelity to our Covenant
and the newness of life ever given
even in the face of human infidelity.
In Abraham, man of faith placing his hope in the promise
that led him out of the land of sojourning
and toward the land of our promise;
Abraham, who gave his only beloved Son
in an act of profound love and trust,
and in Isaac, the son willingly offered up,
and yet spared from the sacrifice,
a type and image of the beloved Son to come
who will willingly lay down his life to death.
In Jacob and his sons, the twelve tribes
bearing his name, Israel,
a man who faltered in duplicity,
and yet who wrestled all night with an angle,
encountered through the strife
the wounding touch of our Love,
healing, transforming, freeing.
In Joseph, sold as a slave into Egypt,
forgiving his brethren and helping them
through the power of his surrender to providence;
a heart upright, chaste, and pure,
which by its luminosity shines goodness
for so many persons who are in need.
In Moses, touched by the flames which burn without consuming,
who goes forth to confront Pharaoh, despiser of God,
and leads my people up out of slavery,
through the waters of the sea and the sojourn in the desert,
led by the pillar of fire and the cloud of our presence.
In David, the man after my own heart,
who sins and yet is repentant,
offering the sacrifice of a contrite and humble heart,
fallen away and yet conformed to ours
through the fires of penitent love,
melted in compassion.
In the prophets, obeying our every word
and giving their lives so lovingly, so wholly,
for our beloved, yet rebellious people,
that they burned like torches for all to see.
O this many-personed subject,
this single mystery, our only Bride!
In whom each is a unique bride,
beloved in the one Beloved,
bound together to all others in unity
and yet each, unique and unrepeatable,
as if the only beloved of our heart!
Dear, beloved children,
cradled in the arms of Communion,
the Communion that is our Church,
our Family in the world which we have made
and redeemed with our own Love.
Dearly beloved, receive me when I come,
and let me espouse you to myself!