07 June 2010

The Mystic Bee

This is the week that leads to the great celebration of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. The reflection below is from a sixteenth-century Carthusian named Dom Anton Volmar who was Prior of the Astheim Charterhouse in Franconia, Germany. This is a mystical writing to match its mystical title, surely the fruit of much contemplation.

. . . that he might suck honey out of the rock. ~ Deuteronomy 32:13
. . . and the rock was Christ. ~ 1 Corinthians 10:4

Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He is the Wisdom of the Father. If you thirst for the water of true wisdom, your soul may drink from the Saviour's Wounds. Saint John leaned upon the Heart of Jesus and reposed there sweetly. It was from the Saviour's Heart that he imbibed all his wisdom, which enabled him to understand better than others the hidden things of God, and to penetrate them because he understood them.

Meditate attentively and devoutly on the sufferings of our Saviour. While thus employed your senses will be closed to earthly things, and you will draw in divine wisdom, and drink of the doctrine of salvation. You will then be able to discover the secrets of heaven, feel them, and enter into them. The knowledge of much which is concealed from others will be revealed to you, because the source of life, of truth, and of wisdom will flow abundantly into your soul.

It is through Jesus crucified and by continual remembrance of His Passion that the Kingdom of heaven becomes established in our inmost hearts. God reveals Himself to us; sin takes flight, and the soul, entering into the Wounds of Jesus, like ice thrown into a fire, is melted and absorbed in its God. Lay down then your heart on the Wounds of Jesus, you who long for divine consolation; for there you will find in abundance all that you desire. The Wounds of Jesus our Saviour are full of sweetness, delight and joy. No truer, greater, better or more salutary joy is to be found than that which is found in the Passion of Jesus Christ.

Ascend often to the tree of the Cross; dwell under its shadow, and gather its saving fruits. The tree of the Cross is always loaded. It comforts and satisfies the soul that plucks its fruits, and one can never take all that it bears.

‘I am come to cast fire on the earth’ (Saint Luke 12:49). This fire is the ardent flame of the divine love hidden in the Heart of Jesus. He who approaches it, is all kindled with fervour; he who remains at a distance, is indifferent, dry and frozen. Happy the soul that is inflamed with the fire of the sorrowful Passion of the Redeemer!

The Passion of Jesus is the treasure mentioned in the Gospel, hidden in a field (cf. Saint Matthew 13:44). He who buys this mysterious field, will find there a stream of graces unceasingly flowing from the Saviour's Wounds. When once the soul has entered into this field, it will drink from the life-giving stream, and will not go away. It will sell everything in order to buy this hallowed land. Oh, if the treasure hidden in the field of the Passion, and the well-spring of graces enclosed therein, were generally known, all would come to buy the field, dig there, and find that treasure. How slothful and foolish are those who enter not into this field, and who do not seek anything there! The Wounds of Jesus are fountains of living water that are never exhausted, but from which life, joy, and salvation are always flowing abundantly. Do you desire everlasting happiness? If so, have recourse to the Wounds of Jesus; seek it in His Side, and you will find it. You will live free from danger, and will be able readily to draw near to God.

The bee flitting from flower to flower, examines them, now closely, now at a distance; and when it discovers a flower containing a sweet substance, it advances, sucks it out and bears it away; and thus, with wondrous skill, it makes its honey. In like manner does the pious and devout soul, by constant meditation, alight upon the Saviour's Wounds, and taste of the sweetness hidden in each of them. Gradually the soul becomes filled with heavenly consolations, and the hive of its understanding is replete with divine honey, which overflows and pours supernal sweetness into the soul.

The bee that flies further than the others and hovers over more flowers, collects their juices in greater abundance and makes more honey. Thus the soul that is frequently lifted up by mental prayer to this most beautiful Flower of the field, Jesus loaded with shame and covered with Wounds; the soul, I say, that extends the circle of its contemplation, and considers more attentively the sufferings of Jesus, better understands each of the Saviour's Wounds, and finds honey in the openings of the mystical rock, which is Christ Himself. I will turn then to Jesus all covered with Wounds. I will never cease my endeavours to reach Him, until my soul shall be united to His Soul, my spirit to His Spirit, and my heart to His Heart.

Jesus, the last End of all things, is Himself the Light and the Way that leads to Himself. Jesus is a light placed in a lantern. He will be my guide. The light of His divinity is placed in His humanity, open by many Wounds from whence the light streams out.

O Jesus, the true, infinite, uncreated, substantial and supersubstantial Light, the cause, beginning, and end of all good, vouchsafe of Your goodness to have mercy upon me. From all the Wounds You have received, as from so many fountains of living water, pour out a stream of charity and life, and of Your clemency and longanimity forgive me my sins, through Your Wounds, Your Blood, Your Tears, Your Sweat, Your labours, Your sorrows; through the pains of Your Head, Your Body, Your Hands, Your Feet, Your Side, and through the anguish of Your Soul and of Your Heart. Amen.