Ambrose on Christ and the Church

The Church is beautiful in them [the baptized faithful]. So that God the Word says to her: "You are all fair, My love, and there is no blemish in you," for guilt has been washed away. "Come hither from Lebanon, My spouse, come hither from Lebanon, from the beginning of faith will you pass through and pass on," (Song of Songs 4:7-8) because, renouncing the world, she passed through things temporal and passed on to Christ. And again, God the Word says to her: "How beautiful and sweet are you made, O love, in your delights! Your stature is become like that of a palm-tree, and your breasts like bunches of grapes." (Song of Songs 7:6-7)

And the Church answers Him, "Who will give You to me, my Brother, that sucked the breasts of my mother? If I find You without, I will kiss You, and indeed they will not despise me. I will take You, and bring You into the house of my mother; and into the secret chamber of her that conceived me. You shall teach me." (Song of Songs 8:1-2) You see how, delighted with the gifts of grace, she longs to attain to the innermost mysteries, and to consecrate all her affections to Christ. She still seeks, she still stirs up His love, and asks of the daughters of Jerusalem to stir it up for her, and desires that by their beauty, which is that of faithful souls, her spouse may be incited to ever richer love for her.

Saint Ambrose
On the Mysteries


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