a word from Thomas (Aquinas)

While I haven't read terribly much written by the good church father, he has influenced a huge chunk of what I've read both on natural law + ethics and the sacrament of Communion. I'm not entirely sure about this natural law thing and all the stuff about reason....but I do wholeheartedly agree with his sentiments about Communion. And several of my favorite hymns are translations of his work- including one we sang in church yesterday.

Now, my tongue, the mystery telling
of the glorious Body sing,
and the Blood, all price excelling,
which the gentiles' Lord and King,
in a Virgin's womb once dwelling,
shed for this world's ransoming.

Given for us, and condescending,
to be born for us below,
he, with men in converse blending,
dwelt the seed of truth to sow,
till he closed with wondrous ending
his most patient life of woe.

That last night, at supper lying,
'mid the twelve, his chosen band,
Jesus, with the law complying,
keeps the feast its rites demand;
then, more precious food supplying,
gives himself with his own hand.

Word-made-flesh true bread he maketh
by his word his Flesh to be;
wine his Blood; which whoso taketh
must from carnal thoughts be free;
faith alone, though sight forsaketh,
shows true hearts the mystery.

Therefore we, before him bending,
this great Sacrament revere;
types and shadows have their ending,
for the newer rite is here;
faith, our outward sense befriending,
makes our inward vision clear.

Glory let us give, and blessing
to the Father, and the Son,
honor, might and praise addressing,
while eternal ages run;
ever too his love confessing,
who from both with both is one.

My favorite verse is the fifth and due to whim of choral director, priest, or organist, church stopped with the fourth verse. Thus this post- a quick reminder to myself that the Old Testament blood sacrifices were fulfilled and replaced by Christ's oblation and that our own rites are merely a shadow of something greater. In heaven, the intimacy I have with Christ for a few moments in the Eucharist will be perpetual and unending. Praise God!

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