The Window in the Wall
A collection of sermons on the Holy Eucharist (R. Knox)
"And now he is standing on the other side of this very wall; now he is looking through each window in turn, peering through every chink. I can hear my true love calling to me, Rise up, rise up quickly, dear heart, so gentle, so beautiful, rise up and come with me." Canticles 2
Set in the middle of the Old Testament, in striking contrast to those collections of dry aphorisms which come before and after it, the Canticle of Canticles occupies a position unique in Sacred Literature.
...And that book, as we all know, is a kind of palimset, in which the saints of every age have read between the lines, and found there the appropriate language in which to express their love for God, God's love for them.
No part of the Old Testament gives rise more easily to outraged astonishment, to Pharisaical scandal, when it comes into the hands of the profane: that this should be reckoned as Sacred Scripture!
No part of the Old Testament, I suppose, has more endeared itself to the greatest friends of Christ; they would have spared all the rest to save this.
In the passage from which I have just taken my text....the voice of the Beloved is understood of Christ speaking to the faithful soul. And that voice at the window brings to my own mind a fancy which I have often had, which I suppose many of us have had before now, in looking at the Sacred Host enthroned in the monstrance...that the glittering Disc of whiteness which we see occupying that round opening is not reflecting the light of the candles in front of it, but is penetrated with a light of its Own; a light not of this world, shining through it from behind, as if through a window.
..Is it an illusion? Is it not rather the truth, but a truth hidden from our eyes, that the Host in the monstrance...or rather those accidents of it...are a kind of window through which a heavenly light streams into our world; a window giving access on a spiritual world outside our human experience?
Behold, He stands behind "our wall"; the wall of our corrupt nature, which shuts us off from breathing ..the airs of heaven; the wall of sense which cheats us when we try to imagine eternity; the wall of unmortified affection which shuts us in with creatures and allows them to dominate our desires; the wall of pride, which makes us feel ...so independent and self-sufficient
Our wall- we raised it against God...when Adam sinned...and through that wall the Incarnation and Passion of Jesus Christ have made a great window....He Himself, in His glorified Body is the window between the two worlds.
As the window belongs both to the room inside and to the open air outside, so His glorified Body belongs at once to time and to eternity.
....And now that He reigns in heaven, He will make Himself manifest, but His glory will be veiled....that white Disc...hiding the ineffable light of glory which shines in and through the substance of Christ's ascended Body.
A veil is what you look at; a curtain drawn over the window, as you may curtain the windows of a sick room, because the patient's eyes are not strong enough to face the full glare of daylight. But behind that curtain...is the window which lets our world communicate with the world of the supernatural.
And at the window, behind the wall of partition..., stands the Beloved Himself, calling us out into the open; calling us away from the ointments and the spikenard of Solomon's court...to the gardens and vineyards...to the pure airs of eternity.
Arise (He says), make haste and come.
Come away from the blind pursuit of creatures,... from all the plans your busy brain revolves...from the frivolous distractions it clings to.
Come away from the pettiness and meanness of your everyday life.
Come away from the cares and solicitudes...your heavy anxieties about the world's future and your own, so short and so uncertain.
Come away into the wilderness of prayer, where My love will follow you and My hand will hold you.
Learn to live, with the innermost part of your soul, with all your secret aspirations...in that supernatural world which can be yours nowwhich must be yours hereafter.