Monday, 28 July 2014

113: Christ's Yoke

As I mentioned in the previous post, in one of his letters, Saint Antony says that Christ's Yoke is the Holy Spirit. It is not difficult to accept this reading. The Jewish tradition – and St Paul is part of it – does talk about the “yoke of the Law” (“yoke of the Torah”) (see Galatians 5:1 and Acts 15:10). Our New Law is the Holy Spirit in our heart (see Jeremiah 31:33, Romans 8,...). So one can easily accept the reading St Antony advances of this image of the Yoke given by Christ.

If we look at a yoke we can see it is a piece of wood that binds together two animals. Normally one would spontaneously think that carrying Christ's yoke means that the yoke will surround Jesus' head and ours, so we would be walking together.
We need to understand who are the two persons put under the same yoke. One of them is Christ, who is the second? We find a couple of persons in the Song of Songs. The Jewish tradition says that if the Bible were to be compared to the Holy of the Temple [the room before the Holy of Holies], the Book of the Song of Songs should be considered as the Holy of the Holies. The Catholic interpretation of the Song of Songs offers at least three different levels of readings: the Groom in the book is of course always seen as Christ but the Bride is either the Church, or the Soul, or the Blessed Virgin Mary.

If we put things in order: we should put the Mother of the Church (Mary) first, the one who gives birth to the Church, then the Church and its members. The Church is Virgin and Mother like Mary and because of Mary. The Church sees in Mary its Archetype (its best and highest realisation). This is why we see in Mary the perfect Disciple of Jesus, and its embodiment. Therefore, theologically, we should see the Archetype of the Groom and the Bride in the Song of Songs, as being: Jesus and Mary.

The Marian Spiritual Catholic Tradition underlines the unique relationship that exists between Christ and his Mother, Mary. As we previously explained, in Baptism, God doesn't give us only the object of our belief, Jesus-God, He gives us, as well, the capacity and the means to Belief: Mary's. He gives us not only the Divine Seed, He gives us, as well, the “Good soil” in order to receive that Divine Seed and bear fruit. He doesn't give us only the New Wine, but the New Skin in order to contain it, otherwise, with our poor capacity for retention we will lose God's graces. Mary's capacity to believe is given to us. This teaching is the Holy of the Holies of Revelation, Scriptures and Theology. It sheds, in addition, an amazing light on the question of Christ's Yoke.

Christ's Yoke doesn't consist only of Christ (as one of the animals) and the Holy Spirit (the piece of wood). No. It encompasses much more: it has Christ, the physical Yoke (the Holy Spirit) and Mary, as being the embodiment of the Perfect Disciple.
In her and with her, one becomes the Perfect Disciple of Jesus.
This would imply that taking Jesus' Yoke means to enter into Mary, to receive Mary's capacity to know and love Jesus. This is why, if we go back to the diagram of the Sea, we see that when we receive Jesus' Yoke, in fact we are taking the place of Mary, or better said: we receive our New Being from her, in her image.

She is “flesh of Jesus' flesh”, the New Eve, the Woman, taken from the Man, Jesus. She is bone of his bones, she is capable of containing all of Christ, in fullness, without losing any grace. Christ dwells in His Fullness in Her... therefore, if we want Him in His fullness, we need to take Mary to ourselves, receive her, in other words: Receive Jesus' Yoke.

This is why, the fruitful Prayer of the Heart is indeed to receive Jesus' Yoke, taking the place of Mary, in the sense of being transformed in her, of being transformed by the Holy Spirit.

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