"In verbo veritatis" (2 Cor 6:7)

February 24, 2012

Drunk in God’s house

Filed under: Lent 2012 — komonchak @ 8:42 am

“They shall be drunk with the abundance of your house, and you shall make them drink of the torrent of your pleasure” (Ps 35[36]:9)

Spiritual refreshment consists of two things: the gifts of God and his sweetness. With reference to the first, it says: “they shall be drunk with the abundance of your house.” The house is the Church (1 Tim 3:15: “so you may know how to behave in the house of God that is the church of the living God”). And this house, which is now on the earth, one day will be transferred to the heavens (Ps 121[122]:1: “Rejoicing we shall go into the house of the Lord”). In both houses there is an abundance of God’s gifts, but in this Church it is imperfect, while in the other there is an utterly perfect abundance of all good things, and by it spiritual people are filled (Ps 64[65]:5: “We shall be filled with the good things of your house”). And even more: “they shall be drunk” insofar as desires are fulfilled beyond all measure of merit, for drunkenness is a kind of excess (Is 64:4: “Eye has not seen, O God, what things you have prepared for those who wait for you”; Cant 5:1: “Eat, o friends, and drink, and get drunk, my dearly beloved”). People who are drunk are not inside but outside themselves. Thus those filled with spiritual gifts have all their attention on God (Ph 3:20: “Our conversation is in heaven”).
And they are refreshed not only by these gifts but also by love of God (Job 22:26: “Then shall you abound in delights in the Almighty and shall lift up your face to God”). And so it says, with regard to the second point: “And you shall make them drink of the torrent of your pleasure.” This is the love of the Holy Spirit which causes a force in the soul like a torrent (Is 59:19: “Like a violent stream which the spirit of the Lord drives on”). And it is a torrent of pleasure because it causes pleasure and sweetness in the soul (Wis 12:1: “O how good and sweet is your spirit, O Lord, in us”). And good people drink from it (1 Cor 10:4: “They drank the same spiritual drink”).
Or “the torrent of your pleasure” could mean God’s pleasure, which is called a torrent (Prov 18:4: “The fountain of wisdom is like an overflowing stream”), because his will is so efficacious that, like a torrent, it cannot be resisted (Rom 9:19: “For who resists his will?”)
Such refreshment is a matter of being joined to the source, and as those who keep their mouths at a source of wine will become drunk, so those who keep their mouths, that is, their desire, at the source of life and sweetness are made drunk (1 Cor 11:21: “Another is drunk”). (Thomas Aquinas on Ps 35[36]:9)

[JAK:  I post this, first, to show Aquinas’ appreciation of the delights of life in God and, second, to illustrate his method of exegeting the Scriptures by the Scriptures.]

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