We are He, since we are His body and since He was made man in order to be our Head.
Since He is the Mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus has been made Head of the Church, and the faithful are His members. Wherefore He says: "For them I hallow Myself" (John 17:19). But when He says, "For them I hallow Myself," what else can He mean but this: "I sanctify them in Myself, since truly they are Myself"? For, as I have remarked, they of whom He speaks are His members, and the Head of the body are one Christ. ... That He signifies this unity is certain from the remainder of the same verse. For having said, "For them I hallow Myself," He immediately adds, "in order that they too may be hallowed in truth," to show that He refers to the holiness that we are to receive in Him. Now the words "in truth" can only mean "in Me," since Truth is the Word who in the beginning was God.
The Son of man was Himself sanctified in the Word as the moment of His creation, when the Word was made flesh, for Word and man became one Person. It was therefore in that instant that He hallowed Himself in Himself; that is, He hallowed Himself as man, in Himself as the Word. For there is but one Christ, Word and man, sanctifying the man in the Word.
But now it is on behalf of His members that He adds: "and for them I hallow Myself." That is to say, that since they too are Myself, so they too may profit by this sanctification just as I profited by it as man without them. "And for them I hallow Myself"; that is, I sanctify them in Myself as Myself, since in Me they too are Myself. "In order that they too may be hallowed in truth." What do the words "they too" mean, if not that thy may be sanctified as I am sanctified; that is to say, "in truth," which is I Myself? [Quia et ipsi sunt ego. "Since they too are myself"]
Therefore let every Christian, yea, let the whole body of Christ everywhere cry out, despite the tribulations it endures, despite temptations and countless scandals, saying: "Preserve my soul, for I am holy; save Thy servant, O my God, that trusteth in thee" (Ps. 85:2) No, this holy one is not proud, for he trusts in God.
"For I am holy." When I hear these words I recognize the voice of the Saviour. But shall I take away my own? Certainly when He speaks thus He speaks in inseparable union with His body. But can I say, "I am holy"? If I mean a holiness that I have not received, I should be proud and a liar; but if I mean a holiness that I have received - as it is written: "Be ye holy because I the Lord your God am holy" (Lev. 19:2) - then let the body of Christ say these words. And let this one man, who cries from the ends of the earth, say with his Head and united with his Head: "I am holy." ... That is not foolish pride, but an expression of gratitude. If you were to say that you are holy of yourselves, that would be pride; but if, as one of Christ's faithful and as a member of Christ, you say that you are not holy, you are ungrateful. ...
When the Head and members are despised, then the whole Christ is despised, for the whole Christ, Head and body, is that just man against whom deceitful lips speak iniquity.
What does the Scripture mean when it tells us of the body of one man so extended in space that all can kill him? We must understand these words of ourselves, of our Church, or the body of Christ. For Jesus Christ is one man, having a Head and a body. The Saviour of the body and the members of the body are two in one flesh, and in one voice, and in one passion, and, when iniquity shall have passed away, in one repose.
And so the passion of Christ is not in Christ alone; and yet the passion of Christ is in Christ alone. For if in Christ you consider both the Head and the body, the Christs passion is in Christ alone; but if by Christ you mean only the Head, then Christs passion is not in Christ alone.... Hence if you are in the members of Christ, all you who hear me, and even you who hear me not (though you do hear, if you are united with the members of Christ), whatever you suffer at the hands of those who are no among the members of Christ, was lacking to the sufferings of Christ. It is added precisely because it was lacking. You fill up the measure; you do not cause it to overflow. You will suffer just so much as must be added of your sufferings to the complete passion of Christ, who suffered as our Head and who continues to suffer in His members, that is, in us. Into this common treasury each pays what he owes, and according to each ones ability we all contribute our share of suffering. The full measure of the Passion will not be attained until the end of the world.
Christs whole body groans in pain. Until the end of the world, when pain will pass away, this man groans and cries to God. And each one of us has part in the cry of that whole body. Thou didst cry out in thy day, and thy days have passed away; another took thy place and cried out in his day. Thou here, he there, and another there. The body of Christ ceases not to cry out all the day, one member replacing the other whose voice is hushed. Thus there is but one man who reaches unto the end of time, and those that cry are always His members.
No greater gift could God bestow on men than to give them as their Head His Word, by whom He made all things, and to unite them as members to that Head. Thus the Word became both Son of God and Son of man: one God with the Father, one Man with men. Hence, when we offer our petitions to God, let it not detach itself from its Head. Let it be He, the sole Saviour of His body, our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who prays for us, who prays in us, and who is prayed to by us. He prays for us as our Priest; He prays in us as our Head; He is prayed to by us as our God. Let us therefore hear both our words in Him and His words in us.... We pray to Him in the form of God; He prays in the form of the slave. There He is the Creator; here He is in the creature. He changes not, but takes the creature and transforms it into Himself, making us one man, head and body, with Himself.
We pray therefore to Him, and through Him, and in Him. We pray with Him, and He with us; we recite this prayer of the Psalm in Him, and He recites it in us.
Therefore, on hearing His words let no one say either: "These are not Christ's words," or "These are not my words." On the contrary, if he knows that he is in the body of Christ, let him say: "These are both Christ's words and my words." Say nothing without Him, and He will say nothing without thee. We must not consider ourselves as strangers to Christ, or look upon ourselves as other than Himself.
Certainly He says this for me, for thee, for this other man, since He bears His body, the Church. Unless you imagine, brethren, that when He said: My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass away from Me (Matt. 26:39), it was the Lord that feared to die. . . . But Paul longed to die, that he might be with Christ. What? The Apostle desires to die, and Christ Himself should fear death? What can this mean, except that He bore our infirmity in Himself, and uttered these words for those who are in His body and still fear death? It is from these that the voice came; it was the voice of His members, not of the Head. When He said, My soul is sorrowful unto death (Matt. 26:38), He manifested Himself in thee, and thee in Himself. And when He said, My God, my God, why has Thou forsaken Me? (Matt. 27:46), the words He uttered on the cross were not His own, but ours.
Though absent from our eyes, Christ our Head is bound to us by love. Since the whole Christ is Head and body, let us so listen to the voice of the Head that we may also hear the body speak.
What has the Church done to thee, that thou shouldst wish to decapitate her? Thou wouldst take away her Head, and believe in the Head alone, despising the body. Vain is thy service, and false thy devotion to the Head. For to sever it from the body is an injury to both Head and body.
Christ Himself has said: They are no longer two, but they are one flesh (Matt. 19:6). Is it strange then, if they are one flesh, that they should have one tongue and should say the same words, since they are one flesh, Head and body? Let us therefore hear them as one. But let us listen to the Head speaking as Head, and to the body speaking as the body. We do not separate the two realities, but two different dignities; for the Head saves, and the body is saved.
In order to understand the Scriptures, it is absolutely necessary to know the whole, complete Christ, that is, Head and members. For sometimes Christ speaks in the name of the Head alone ... sometimes in the name of His body, which is the holy Church spread over the entire earth. And we are in His body ... and we hear ourselves speaking in it, for the Apostle tells us: We are members of His body (Eph. 5:30). In many places does the Apostle tell us this.
Let us rejoice and give thanks. Not only are we become Christians, but we are become Christ. My brothers, do you understand the grace of God that is given us? Wonder, rejoice, for we are made Christ! If He is the Head, and we the members, then together He and we are the whole man.... This would be foolish pride on our part, were it not a gift of his bounty. But this is what He promised by the mouth of the Apostle: You are the body of Christ, and severally His members
Now, justification in this life is given to us according to these three things: first by the laver of regeneration by which all sins are forgiven; then, by a struggle with the faults from whose guilt we have been absolved; the third, when our prayer is heard, in which we say: Forgive us our debts, because however bravely we fight against our faults, we are men; but the grace of God so aids as we fight in this corruptible body that there is reason for His hearing us as we ask forgiveness.
But the inner part is the better part; for to it, as both ruler and judge, all these messengers of the senses report the answers of heaven and earth and all the things therein, who said, "We are not God, but he made us." My inner man knew these things through the ministry of the outer man, and I, the inner man, knew all this I, the soul, through the senses of my body. I asked the whole frame of earth about my God, and it answered, "I am not he, but he made me."
When I consider others I can easily believe that their bodies express their personalities and that the two are inseparable. But it is impossible for me not to feel that my body is other than I, that I inhabit it like a house, and that my face is a mask which, with or without my consent, conceals my real nature from others.
By mourning tongues
The death of the poet was kept from his poems.
But for him it was his last afternoon as himself,
An afternoon of nurses and rumours;
The provinces of his body revolted,
The squares of his mind were empty,
Silence invaded the suburbs.
The current of his feeling failed: he became his admirers.
Now he is scattered over a hundred cities
And wholly given over to unfamiliar affections;
To find his happiness in another kind of wood
And be punished under a foreign code of conscience.
The words of a dead man
are modified in the guts of the living.
We tend to think of Freud as a great innovator, but the truth is that he himself rested, like a ship on an iceberg, on a huge body of theory and knowledge which had accumulated before his time. Even the famous Unconscious had made its appearance at least seven decades earlier. As for such supposedly modern phenomena as multiple personalities, the vogue for them began in the first half of the nineteenth century; and the first case in which the perpetrator of a murder pleaded amnesia, and got off, was in the eighteen eighties.
Canst thou see God as the bodiless Infinite and yet love Him as a man loves his mistress? Then has the highest truth of the Infinite been revealed to thee. Canst thou also clothe the Infinite in one secret embraceable body and see Him seated in each and all of these bodies that are visible and sensible? Then has its widest and profoundest truth come also into thy possession.
To thy lover, O Lord, the railing of the world is wild honey and the pelting of stones by the mob is summer rain on the body. For is it not Thou that railest and peltest, and is it not Thou in the stones that strikest and hurtest me?
What is the use of only knowing? I say to thee, Act and be, for therefore God sent thee into this human body.
Live according to Nature, runs the maxim of the West; but according to what nature, the nature of the body or the nature which exceeds the body ? This first we ought to determine.
The mind commands the body and it obeys. The mind orders itself and meets resistance.