Rupert of Deutz: That Love which is the Holy Spirit is the Life of the Holy Angels and of All Saintly Souls Tuesday, May 7 2013 

Rupert_von_Deutz_-_Federzeichnung_Codec_lat._11355The angel showed me a river of life-giving water, clear as crystal, issuing from the throne of God and of the Lamb, and flowing down the centre of the city street.

On both banks of the river grew the tree of life, bearing its fruit twelve times a year, one crop for each month. The leaves of that tree are destined for the healing of the nations.

The river here depicted is none other than the torrent of gladness and joy described in one of the psalms as the fast­-flowing river that gladdens the City of God, the river of which another psalm proclaims:

They shall be filled with the abundance of your house, O Lord, and you will give them water from the flowing stream of your delights.

The same figurative language was used by Isaiah to console the people of Jerusalem.

Thus says the Lord, he announced, I will make peace flow over her like a river; the wealth of the nations shall pour into her like a torrent in full spate.

The river of John’s vision, therefore, represents the Lord. More specifically, we can see in it an image of the Holy Spirit.

It is the Holy Spirit who is the river of peace, the torrent of wealth, the river of gladness, the flowing stream of delight, and the abundance of God’s house.

For he is himself the love that unites bride and Bridegroom in the city of glory and constitutes the entire happiness of all who live there.

That love which is the Holy Spirit is the life of the holy angels and of all saintly souls. Consequently the river shown to John by the angel is called a river of life-giving water.

Because its water imparts light and strength it is said to be clear as crystal. This is a beautiful comparison. Crystal is a substance which is translucent yet very durable, qualities which we ourselves shall possess in the life of glory.

Our minds will be wholly irradiated with the divine light, and our bodies will gain a crystalline strength through the gift of blessed immortality in that state of eternal happiness where there will be no more dying.

Now we know that in the Gospel of Saint John our Lord speaks of the procession of the Holy Spirit. When the Advocate comes whom I shall send you, he says, the Spirit of Truth who issues from the Father.

Nor does John neglect that teaching in the Apocalypse. In fact, he affirms it precisely in this very passage, where he tells us that the river issues from the throne of God and of the Lamb.

Rupert of Deutz (c.1075–1129): In Apoc. 22 (PL 169:1206); from the Monastic Office of Vigils for Friday of the 5th Week in Eastertide, Year 1.

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Rupert of Deutz: The Power of God and the Justice of the Eternal King Wednesday, Apr 24 2013 

Rupert_von_Deutz_-_Federzeichnung_Codec_lat._11355(On Revelation chapter 15)

Let us sing to the Lord, great is his renown! Horse and rider he has thrown into the sea.

It is common knowledge that the song of Moses recorded in the Book of Exodus can be understood in a spiritual sense as pointing forward to the Gospel teaching on regeneration.

[…] The author of the Apocalypse is therefore correct in describing the hymn sung by the saints in heaven as the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb.

By giving it this title, he is linking together a historical event and a spiritual reality.

The crossing of the sea under the leadership of Moses is seen as a foreshadowing of what Christ, the Lamb of God, does for us in the regenerating waters of Baptism.

‘Lamb of God’ is used here as a richly evocative designation for the son of God, into whose death we have been baptized.

When Moses first intoned his song, he did so in honour of an event that had begun with the slaying of a lamb.

God himself had ordained that on the evening of the fourteenth day of the first month a lamb should be sacrificed.

The slaughter of that lamb prefigured the death of Christ, the Son of God, who was destined to be slain in expiation of our sins.

[…] The saints, therefore, are described as singing the song of Moses because they resemble Moses both in their singing and in the subject matter of their song.

But while they too praise the Lord with joy and thanksgiving to the accompaniment of harps, their song consists of one short verse only.

This single verse contains none the less two all-important themes: the power of God and the justice of the Eternal King.

Great and wonderful are your deeds is a proclamation of God’s power. Just and true are your ways is an acknowledgement of his justice.

Of the two it is surely more meritorious to confess the second than the first. If we fear and praise God as the most powerful of spirits because we witness his marvellous deeds, our confession is certainly not lacking in merit.

But if we can discern the divine justice underlying these same deeds and strenuously uphold it in the face of every denial, we shall gain a far greater blessing.

And the same is true even when discernment fails us: we are blessed indeed if we still bow down in loving adoration of God’s justice, worshiping him in the words the Apostle Paul teaches each one of us to say:

O the depths of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How incomprehensible are his judgments, how unfathomable his designs!

Rupert of Deutz (c.1075–1129): In Apoc. 9.15 (PL 169:1109-1110); from the Monastic Office of Vigils for Wednesday of the 4th Week in Eastertide, Year 1.

Rupert of Deutz: We shall now Look at the Book of Daniel… Wednesday, Nov 14 2012 

We shall now look at the book of Daniel….

There, in the lan­guage of imagery, is described the single combat between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan, revealed under several different aspects to the captives in Babylon for the consolation of the citizens of God’s kingdom.

First, there is the single stone, hurtling from the mountain, which smote and shattered, without the aid of human hands, the mighty and frightening statue.

Then, the fire which neither touched nor distressed the three children in the fiery furnace.

Then, the strong and mighty king, marvelling at the Babylon he had built, who became demented by the voice which fell from heaven, was driven from among men and ate grass like an ox.

It was after this experience that he acknowledged the most high God, who lives forever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion.

Then, the kingdom of Babylon itself is conquered by God our king and given to the Medes and Persians.

There is Daniel himself, a man of prayer, who got the better of the calumnious men who criticized him to the king.

Then there are the four competing winds of heaven and the four great beasts coming up out of the sea, and after that, there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him.

And to him was given dominion and glory and kingship, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him.

Finally, that the kingdom of sin is to be destroyed and to be succeeded by the reign of the kingdom of God is very clearly shown by this prophecy:

Seventy weeks of years are decreed concern­ing your people and your holy city to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and Prophet and to anoint the Holy One.

But let us now remember Daniel. Daniel loved God, so he had to take a stand against the kingdom opposed to God – against sinful men who are the enemies of God’s kingdom.

Born into the world, he knew that because of original sin, he was an exile; he heard the Gentiles say to the captive people of God, because of their actual sins, Where is your God?

On the one hand, the tyranny of the evil; on the other, human arrogance. Daniel shunned intimacy with either, desirous as he was of the true glory of the one God.

And he won his consolation in proportion to his zeal, for as the psalmist says, You will hear the desires of the meek.

Rupert of Deutz (c.1075–1129): De Trinitate et Operibus Eius, 42 (PL 167:1499-1502); from the Monastic Office of Vigils for Thursday of the 33rd Week in Ordinary Time, Year 2.

Rupert of Deutz: “We will Offer the Fruit of Our Lips” Friday, Sep 16 2011 

Israel, come back to the Lord your God, for you have fallen headlong in your sin.

It is Christ himself who speaks thus at the end of the book of the Prophet Hosea – Christ, the goal of all achievement, who when sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel began his preaching with the words: Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Some may reply with those who were filled with compunc­tion and said to Peter and the other Apostles: What shall we do, brethren?

To these or suchlike words from frightened, contrite people aware of their sinfulness his answer will come at once:

Take words with you, return to the Lord and say to him: Take away all our iniquity, accept what is good, and we will offer the fruit of our lips.

You who are returning to the Lord, he says, take words with you.

Why words rather than gifts? Precisely to show that God is not one to make difficulties.

He does not require for the redemption of your souls things you might find it hard to come by.

So I do not say: Take gold with you, take silver, take a great many goats or calves, or things like that, not within the means of all, but words which cost you nothing material, words of confession and supplication;

take them with you and they will help you at once, for in God’s eyes they suffice to save you and atone for your sins.

Provided with these return to the Lord God who has no need of your goods, and as I have already said, do not worry if you have no rich gifts of precious gold or silver to honour and propitiate such a great and powerful Lord;

just say to him: Take away all our iniquity, and accept what is good.

Do not say: ‘We have no iniquity’, for that would be a lie and you would be deceiving yourselves, but say to him: Take away all our iniquity for our sins are many.

Say with confidence, Accept what is good, knowing what sort of good he desires, and with this in mind add: and we will offer not the offspring of cattle, but the fruit of our lips.

For you are entirely self-sufficient and have no need to eat the flesh of bulls or drink the blood of goats; all you desire is that we offer you the fruit of our lips, that is to say a sacrifice of praise.

This will please you more, for it is evidence of a good will.

Rupert of Deutz (c.1075–1129): Commentary on the Hosea, 22 (PL 168:198-199); from the Monastic Office of Vigils for Friday of the 24th Week in Ordinary Time, Year 1.

Rupert of Deutz: That Love which is the Holy Spirit is the Life of the Holy Angels and of All Saintly Souls Sunday, May 29 2011 

The angel showed me a river of life-giving water, clear as crystal, issuing from the throne of God and of the Lamb, and flowing down the centre of the city street.

On both banks of the river grew the tree of life, bearing its fruit twelve times a year, one crop for each month. The leaves of that tree are destined for the healing of the nations (Apoc. 22:1-2).

The river here depicted is none other than the torrent of gladness and joy described in one of the psalms as the fast­-flowing river that gladdens the City of God.

Of this  river of another psalm proclaims: They shall be filled with the abundance of your house, O Lord, and you will give them water from the flowing stream of your delights.

The same figurative language was used by Isaiah to console the people of Jerusalem: Thus says the LordI will make peace flow over her like a river; the wealth of the nations shall pour into her like a torrent in full spate.

The river of John’s vision, therefore, represents the Lord. More specifically, we can see in it an image of the Holy Spirit.

It is the Holy Spirit who is the river of peace, the torrent of wealth, the river of gladness, the flowing stream of delight, and the abundance of God’s house.

For he is himself the love that unites bride and Bridegroom in the city of glory and constitutes the entire happiness of all who live there.

That love which is the Holy Spirit is the life of the holy angels and of all saintly souls.

Consequently the river shown to John by the angel is called a river of life-giving water. Because its water imparts light and strength it is said to be clear as crystal.

This is a beautiful comparison. Crystal is a substance which is translucent yet very durable, qualities which we ourselves shall possess in the life of glory.

Our minds will be wholly irradiated with the divine light, and our bodies will gain a crystalline strength through the gift of blessed immortality in that state of eternal happiness where there will be no more dying.

Now we know that in the Gospel of Saint John our Lord speaks of the procession of the Holy Spirit.

When the Advocate comes whom I shall send you, he says, the Spirit of Truth who issues from the Father.

Nor does John neglect that teaching in the Apocalypse. In fact, he affirms it precisely in this very passage, where he tells us that the river issues from the throne of God and of the Lamb.

Rupert of Deutz (c.1075–1129): Commentary on the Apocalypse, 22 (PL 169:1206); from the Monastic Office of Vigils for Friday of the Fifth Week in Eastertide, Year 1.

Rupert of Deutz: “He has Made Us a Royal Race of Priests to the Honour of God His Father” Thursday, May 5 2011 

He has made us a royal race of priests to the honour of God, his Father.

In this text Scripture shows us Christ’s marvellous kindness and condescension.

[…] When Christ bought us at such great cost to himself – at the cost indeed of his most precious blood – it was not with the intention of making us his slaves.

His purpose was to create a royal race of priests to the honour of God his Father.

We were to be his Father’s kingdom, and priests in the service of God.

He alone was King and Priest in his own right, yet he resolved to make kings of the slaves of sin and priests of the ­children of death.

To that end he shed his blood.

O Lord our God, how wonderful is your name, how wonderful the ­majesty and honour with which you have crowned the Lord Jesus as King of kings!

You have set on his head the crowns of all those ­kings who form your kingdom, for yours is a kingdom of kings, resplendent in their regalia, each consecrated to you by the blood of Christ.

We are also told that he has made us priests who share in that sacrifice by which Christ himself triumphed over the devil and so destroyed the dominion of sin.

We do not all possess the fullness of the priesthood here on earth, with the power to bring about the real presence of our Lord’s body and blood by pronouncing the words of consecration.

But all of us are called to exercise a priestly function by offering ourselves to God according to that exhortation of the Apostle Paul:

I beseech you to present your bodies to God as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to him, since this is the service required of rational beings.

In no other way shall we be permitted to enter into the celestial Holy of Holies, by which I mean heaven itself.

In heaven the sacramental species of bread and wine, which constitute our present sacrifice, will find no place.

None of us, however, will ever lack matter for sacrifice there.

Our lips will always be able to offer a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, a hymn of rejoicing and the proclamation of God’s mighty works.

Indeed the next verse from the Apocalypse supplies us with a model for such a heavenly sacrifice in the acclamation: Glory and power to him for ever and ever! Amen.

And this is certainly what the law of justice requires of us, namely, that creatures should return thanks and praise to their creator for all the benefits they have received.

Rupert of Deutz (c.1075–1129): Commentary on the Apocalypse, (PL 169:841-842); from the Monastic Office of Vigils for Monday of the Second Week in Eastertide, Year 1.

Rupert of Deutz: The True Solomon, Christ the King, Stood Before the Altar of the Lord Saturday, Mar 5 2011 

Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in the sight of the assembly of Israel, and raising his hands to heaven he said: “Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you.”

The true Solomon, Christ the King, at the dedication of his Temple, which he consecrated by his physical suffering, stood before the altar of the Lord, before the eyes of the Father, before the sacrificial table of the Cross, and prayed.

Indeed, he even cried out in a loud voice: During his earthly life, the Apostle says, he offered prayers and petitions, with a loud cry and tears, to him who could save him, and he was heard because of his reverence.

And there is indeed no doubt that when he was actually hanging on the Cross he uttered a loud cry.

But since the cry of the heart is audible to God alone, he had a short time before expressed in words what his cry would be and why he who was both Priest and saving Victim would ascend the Cross.

For having raised his eyes to heaven, he said: Holy Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you.

There is one passage in this prayer of Solomon that I cannot pass over. He says among other things:

When foreigners, who are not of your people Israel, come from a distant land because of your name

(for they will hear of your great name and your mighty hand and your arm that reaches everywhere)

– when they come and pray in this place, hear in heaven your dwelling-place, and do everything the foreigners ask of you.

In their inner meaning these are the words of our Lord, for in the prayer already quoted he says:

Holy Father, keep in your name ­those whom you have given to me. I do not pray for them alone but for all who will believe in me because of their words.

He knew that because of his Passion people everywhere would hear of the ­Father’s great name and mighty hand and arm that reaches everywhere.

And he knew that when we foreigners (who did not belong to the people of Israel) had heard, we would come to him from a distant land and bow down to worship him, the holy Temple, professing our faith in his name.

Rupert of Deutz (c.1075–1129): De Sancta Trinitate et Operibus Eius, 24 (CCCM 22:1331-2); from the Monastic Office of Vigils for Sunday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time, Year 1.

Rupert of Deutz: Irrigated, Enlivened, Healed, and Refreshed – a Torrent of Delights Sunday, Nov 14 2010 

And it shall come to pass in that day, that the mountains shall drop down sweetness, and the hills shall flow with milk: and waters shall flow through all the rivers of Juda: and a fountain shall come forth of the house of the Lord, and shall water the torrent of thorns (Joel 3:18).

In those days, Scripture says, the mountains will give forth fragrance and the hills flow with milk, and water ­shall run through all the rivers of Judah.

The mountains of that country are the Prophets and the Apostles; the hills are the other Saints, whose teaching ordinary people have humbly taken in and for that reason received a share of their glory…, and on which indeed they draw by their daily contact.

For they will behold God’s glory more fully in those people from whom they have come to know God’s teach­ing.

[…] The mountains shall exude fragrance and the hills flow with milk; and through all the rivers of Judah – that is to say, through the hearts of the faithful confessing Christ – shall waters gush to life eternal.

Yet of the same fragrance, of the same milk, of the same waters the one spring shall lead forth through the mountains and the hills, and through all the rivers from the Lord’s house….

The house is rightly understood to be Christ’s body: for that in itself is the house which wisdom has built for itself, or for herself.

And so we read that: the spring shall lead forth from the Lord’s house, and shall water a bed thick with thorns:

the source of all life and the torrent of joy welling up and leading forth from the Lord’s house shall indeed swell a river, a torrent running over thorns: that really means, the realm of God’s chosen ones.

There shall be what before there was not, from East to West amongst the thorns of tribulation and sin; what is now a torrent of delights, abounding with the plenty of eternal good cheer.

Of this, we read in the Apocalypse: And he showed me a river of running water, clear as crystal, flowing from the seat of God and the Lamb, amidst a city plain.

And from both sides of the river the tree of life, bearing twelve fruits, each month yielding its own.

We should note that this is the spring, the river, of the Holy Spirit, who says, speaking through the Prophet:

Behold, I flow down and run through them like a river of peace and tranquillity, like a gushing torrent, for the glory of the people.

This river of peace, I say, this torrent of glory, this river of rejoicing, this torrent of pleasure, this abundance of God’s house – this is the Holy Spirit.

For he is the love of bride and groom, whereby what was a mass of thorns is irrigated, enlivened, healed, and refreshed, to become a torrent of delights.

That is our human condition: mortal and wretched as it was, now become immortal and blessed.

Rupert of Deutz (c.1075–1129): Commentary on Joel, from the Monastic Office of Vigils for Thursday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time, Year 2.