|Christ being born in a stable under a baldacchino|
More from St. John of the Cross: this language may embarrass some Catholics. It is the language of God. That He calls us, each one, the Bride, is a revelation from the Holy Spirit. The Church is also the Bride.
Look at St. Peter's and the baldacchino.
The Italians know what the baldacchino is. It is the traditional covering of the marriage bed. The secret place of our hearts, as well. St. Bernard of Clairvaulx and St. John of the Cross understood this mystery of love and shared this with us. Here is more John of the Cross on his feast day.
Where have You hidden Yourself,
And abandoned me to my sorrow, O my Beloved!
You have fled like the hart,
Having wounded me.
I ran after You, crying; but You were gone.
You will still urge and say, How is it, then, that I find Him not, nor feel Him, if He is within my soul? It is because He is hidden, and because you hide not yourself also that you may find Him and feel Him; for he that will seek that which is hidden must enter secretly into the secret place where it is hidden, and when he finds it, he is himself hidden like the object of his search. Seeing, then, that the Bridegroom whom you love is “the treasure hidden in the field”27 of your soul, for which the wise merchant gave all that he had, so you, if you will find Him, must forget all that is yours, withdraw from all created things, and hide yourself in the secret retreat of the spirit, shutting the door upon yourself — that is, denying your will in all things — and praying to your Father in secret.28 Then you, being hidden with Him, will be conscious of His presence in secret, and will love Him, possess Him in secret, and delight in Him in secret, in a way that no tongue or language can express.
Courage, then, O soul most beautiful, you know now that your Beloved, Whom you desire, dwells hidden within your breast; strive, therefore, to be truly hidden with Him, and then you shall embrace Him, and be conscious of His presence with loving affection. Consider also that He bids you, by the mouth of Isaiah, to come to His secret hiding-place, saying, “Go, . . . enter into your chambers, shut your doors upon you”; that is, all your faculties, so that no created thing shall enter: “be hid a little for a moment,”29 that is, for the moment of this mortal life; for if now during this life which is short, you will “with all watchfulness keep your heart,”30 as the wise man says, God will most assuredly give you, as He has promised by the prophet Isaiah, “hidden treasures and mysteries of secrets.”31 The substance of these secrets is God Himself, for He is the substance of the faith, and the object of it, and the faith is the secret and the mystery. And when that which the faith conceals shall be revealed and made manifest, that is the perfection of God, as St. Paul says, “When that which is perfect is come,”32 then shall be revealed to the soul the substance and mysteries of these secrets.
|The world's most expensive bed at 4 million pounds sterling|
John of the Cross knew that one must give up everything for this mystery of love. Do not be afraid....