Hugh of St Victor: If We have Prepared a Place for Him, Jesus will Gladly Come to Us that He might Dwell in Us Wednesday, Dec 19 2012 

Hugh_of_St_VictorMaybe you are asking where this house of God is to be sought, and where it may be found.

God’s house is the whole world; God’s house is the Catholic Church; God’s house is also every faithful soul.

But God inhabits the world in one way, the Church in another, and every faithful soul in yet a third.

He is in the world as ruler of His kingdom; He is in the Church as head of the family in His own home; He is in the soul as the bridegroom in the wedding-chamber.

The heathen and the unbelievers are all of them in His house that is, in His kingdom; for through the power of His Godhead He maintains and governs all that He has made.

False believers are in His house that is, in the Church; for He entrusts participation in His mysteries to all whom He has called to faith.

But the truly faithful are in His house, or rather I should say they are His house, because by dwelling in them through love He owns and rules them.

We are all in His house by our very created condition. We are in His house through the faith whereby He called us. We are in His house through the love whereby He justified us.

If you are in the house of God by your origin only, the devil is there too along with you.

If you are in the house of God by faith, there is still chaff on your threshing-floor together with the wheat.

But if you are in the house of God through love, blessed are you, for not only are you in the house of God, but you yourself have begun to be His house, to the intent that He who made you may also dwell in you.

This is the abode of health, these are the dwellings of the righteous through which the voice of joy and exultation [Cf. Ps. 118, 15] ever rings, wherein the blessed dwell.

Of this, the prophet longed to see the beauty, in it he yearned to dwell, he was on fire with desire for it [Cf. Ps. 84, 2].

If then this dwelling has begun to be in us, let us go in and abide with Him. There, where He ‘whose place is in peace’ [Ps. 76, 2] deigns to make His dwelling, we shall find peace and rest.

But if it has not yet begun to be in us, then let us build it; for, if we have prepared a place for Him, He will gladly come to us who made us that He might dwell in us, even Jesus Christ our Lord.

Hugh of St Victor (c.1096-1141): On the Moral Interpretation of the Ark of Noah, 3 Fr Luke Dysinger, OSB.

Hugh of St Victor: The Repentant Sinner Begins to Trust God’s Mercy when he Feels his Heart Cheered by the Consolation of the Holy Spirit Thursday, Nov 29 2012 

Continued from here…

We have shown you these stages of the disease itself – a wavering heart, unstable and restless;

the cause of the disease – which is clearly love of the world;

and the remedy of the disease – which is the love of God.

And to these must be added a fourth, namely, the application of the remedy, that is, the way in which we may attain to the love of God.

[…] The difference between the love of God and the love of the world is this:

the love of this world seems at the outset sweet, but has a bitter end;

the love of God, by contrast, is bitter to begin with, but is full of sweetness in its end.

This, in a most beautiful allegorical sense, was uttered of our Bridegroom’s wedding.

This is shown by the Gospel when it says: ‘Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine, and only after men have drunk well that which is inferior; but thou hast kept the good wine until now’ [cf John 2:10].

Every man, that is, carnal man, does indeed set forth good wine at the beginning, for he finds a certain spurious sweetness in his pleasure.

But once the rage of his evil longing has saturated his mind, then he provides inferior wine to drink, because a sudden pricking of conscience assails his thought, which till now had enjoyed a spurious delight, and grievously torments him.

Our Bridegroom, on the other hand, offers the good wine last when He allows the heart, which He intends to fill with the sweetness of His love, first to pass beneath the bitter harrow of afflictions.

He does this, so that, having tasted bitterness, the heart may quaff with greater eagerness the most sweet cup of charity.

And this is ‘the first sign’ [cf John 2:11] which Jesus made in His disciples’ presence; and they believed in Him.

For the repentant sinner first begins to trust God’s mercy when he feels his heart cheered by the consolation of the Holy Spirit after long weariness of grief.

Let us then see what we can do to attain the love of God, for He will integrate and stabilize our hearts, He will restore our peace and give us ceaseless joy.

But nobody can love that which he does not know; and so, if we desire to love God, we must first make it our business to know Him, and this especially since He cannot be known without being loved.

For so great is the beauty of His loveliness that no one who sees Him can fail to love Him.

Hugh of St Victor (c.1096-1141): On the Moral Interpretation of the Ark of Noah, 1,2 Fr Luke Dysinger, OSB.

Hugh of St Victor: The Restlessness of the Human Heart Friday, Nov 23 2012 

When I was one day sitting with the assembled brethren…, we began with one accord to marvel at the instability and restlessness of the human heart, and to sigh over it.

The brethren earnestly entreated that they might be shown the cause of these unstable movements in man’s heart, and…begged to be taught if such a serious evil as this could be countered by any skill or by the practice of some discipline.

[…] It is the property of divine grace to bring about this work, and that possession of such grace comes about not so much by man’s activity as by the gift of God and the inbreathing of the Holy Spirit.

Nevertheless, I know that God would have us work along with Him, and that He so offers the gifts of His loving-kindness to the thankful, and that from the thankless He often takes away the very things that formerly He gave.

[…] The first man [Adam], then, was made in such a way that, if he had not sinned, the power of contemplation would have kept him always in his Maker’s presence.

By always seeing Him he would thus always have loved Him, by always loving Him he would always have cleaved to Him, and, by always cleaving to Him who is immortal, he too would have possessed in Him life without end.

[…] But he was banished from the face of the Lord when, smitten with the blindness of ignorance through his sin, he came forth from the inward light of contemplation.

And the more he forgot the sweetness of supernal things, for which he had already lost the taste, the more did he bend his spirit down to earthly desires.

[…] Every temptation that assails it overthrows the soul that is bereft of the divine assistance….

The human heart, which had hitherto kept its stability in cleaving to divine love and remained one in the love of the One, was as it were divided into as many channels as there were objects that it craved….

And that is how it happens that the soul, not knowing how to love its true good, is never able to maintain its stability.

Failing to find what it longs for in those things which it has, its desire is always reaching out in pursuit of the unattainable; and so it never has rest.

Therefore, from movement without stability is born toil without rest, travel without arrival; so that our heart is always restless till such time as it begins to cleave to Him, in whom it may both rejoice that its desire lacks nothing, and be assured that what it loves will last eternally.

Hugh of St Victor (c.1096-1141): On the Moral Interpretation of the Ark of Noah, 1,1 Fr Luke Dysinger, OSB.