|Seven Sacraments, Rogier van der Weyden|
In this chapter Ms. Houselander begins by talking about one of my favorite subjects, the unity of body and soul. She writes:
It seems very difficult for people to realize that the Word is made flesh. first of all, the flesh is a stumbling block. There are two schools of thought: one thinks (or feels) that the flesh is wholly bad' the other, that it is absolutely good.After giving examples of the two schools, she writes:
The first reason why there is a flaw in all the several attitudes to "the flesh" which I have mentioned is that so many people think of soul and body as two separate things necessarily in conflict.And then after discussing how it is true that in the battle between good and evil, the flesh has a proclivity to side with evil, she says:
That the Word was made flesh does mean, however, that the word became human, and a human being is a unity of soul and body in which the Spirit abides and which He wants to change from the weak thing it is to the glorious thing which he intended it to be from the beginning of creation.After this there is a discussion of the culmination of this unity in the body of the Lord and in sacrament and Sacrament: in the Eucharist and in Marriage in particular. As in the passage about the Fugue in the last chapter, it would be wonderful to listen to this as a meditation, especially the passage about marriage.
As I was thinking about writing this post, I began to realize something about Sacraments. We know from the catechism that a Sacrament is "an outward sign, instituted by Christ to give grace," but it is also, I think the perfect unity between the material and the spiritual--between body and soul. They are in some way a pledge of the day when we will no longer need, but in this way will be sacraments.
Thanks to my friend, Paul, for reminding me of the above picture.
All of the posts in this series can be found by clicking HERE.
Unfortunately they are in reverse order, so you have to scroll down to get to the beginning.