Continued from here….
What do we have still in common with perishable things, we to whom so much is promised in Heaven?
What could we enjoy on earth in the company of sinners, we who are called to the court of the heavenly host?
What are the pleasures of the flesh to us who ought to bear the image of the celestial?
What do we have to do with the concupiscence of the eyes, we who long to gaze upon the spectacle which is pleasing to the angels?
With worldly ambition, we to whom is promised the possession of Heaven ?
Thus, while like all our fathers, we are guests and strangers, while our days pass by like a shadow over the earth and there is no respite, while the avenging angel, the blinding cloud, the wind of the tempest, and the enveloping fire pass over the earth, let us flee from the darkness of Egypt to the shadow of the wings of God, and stay there until iniquity has passed away, until the day breathes and the shadows bow low, in order to merit being placed in Abraham’s bosom.
There are the true riches, there are the treasures of wisdom, length and joy of life.
There is full force where nothing is weakness, where nothing courageous is lacking.
There is full wisdom where there is no ignorance, where no true understanding is lacking.
There is utmost felicity where there is no adversity, where no goodness is lacking.
There is full health because there is full charity, there is full beatitude because there is full vision of God.
Vision, I say, is in knowledge, knowledge is found in love, love is with praise, and praise finds security and ail this is without end.
Who will give us wings like the dove, and we shall fly across all the kingdoms of this world, and we shall penetrate the depths of the eastern sky?
Who then will conduct us to the city of the great King in order that what we now read in these pages and see only as in a glass, darkly, we may then look upon the face of God present before us, and so rejoice?
City of God! What glorious things have they not said of thee!
In thee is the home of those who are joyous, in thee is the light, and the life of all.
Thy foundation is a single stone, a living cornerstone, uniquely precious.
Thy gates will shine with splendid diamonds. They will be opened wide.
Thy walls will be of precious stones, thy towers gleaming with jewels.
Anonymous Monk of the Benedictine Abbey of Bèze (early 12th century?): Elevations on the Glories of Jerusalem (quoted in Jean Leclercq OSB, The Love of Learning and the Desire for God; A Study of Monastic Culture, ch 45).