Here another of Eckhart's early Latin texts with my own English translation which , to my knowledge, had not yet been translated yet into English:
Sermo paschalis a. 1294 Parisius habitus
Easter Homily from the year 1294, given at Paris
fr. Ekhardus lector Sententiarum.
In die Resurrectionis
'Pascha nostrum immolatus est Christus. Itaque epulemur', ad Cor. 'Epulari autem et gaudere oportebat, quia frater tuus mortuus fuerat et revixit', in Luca.
◊1◊ Prothema hoc directe, ut videtur, themati et praesenti sollemnitati correspondet. Cum enim Marcus Tullius, quem Augustinus commendat praecipue inter omnes rhetores, tam in veteri quam nova Rhetorica scribat quod inter alia quattuor sunt quae cum aviditate audiuntur, scilicet quando ea quae proponuntur sunt pertinentia ad singulos, et sunt incredibilia quia mirabilia, et sunt nova quia insolita, et <LW5:137> magna quia supernaturalia, haec quattuor tanguntur in his verbis secundo positis quia haec, de quibus hodie agit ecclesia, tangunt singulos - hoc notatur, cum dicit: 'frater tuus', scilicet Christus -; item sunt incredibilia, cum summe sint mirabilia, quia »deus«, qui est »sphaera intelligibilis« et incomprehensibilis, »cuius centrum ubique et circumferentia nusquam«, sub specie panis sumendus proponitur - unde 'epulari et gaudere oportebat' -; item sunt nova, scilicet quod vita moritur - unde 'mortuus fuerat' -, et magna - 'et revixit' -, quia mortuus vitae restituitur, propria scilicet virtute, in aeternum victurus.
◊2◊ De primo: de tua enim re agitur. Unde in Gen.: 'frater enim noster et caro est'. Item: 'hoc nunc os ex ossibus meis' etc. Hic quia sub specie panis proponitur, et haec incredibilia. Unde Is., et ponitur in Epistula ad Romanos: 'domine, quis credidit auditui nostro?', quasi dicens: incredibilia sunt. Dicitur autem: 'auditui nostro', forte quia 'fides ex auditu', vel forte quia in sacramento altaris intellectus evacuatur, visus, gustus et alii sensus captivantur, sed <LW5:138> solus auditus illigatus evadit et verum nobis nuntiat. Unde potest dicere illud Iob: 'ego evasi solus, ut nuntiarem tibi'. Sunt etiam nova, quia vita moritur, scilicet Christus. Unde in Ioh.: 'ego sum via, veritas et vita'. Item: 'quod factum est in ipso vita erat'. Item magnum, quia 'revixit'. Quod enim mortuus reviviscat quandoque visum est, sed quod se ipsum suscitet semper victurus, magnum prorsus et insolitum est. Unde in Apoc.: 'ego sum primus et novissimus [et vivus], et mortuus fui et ecce sum vivens in saecula saeculorum'. Et Augustinus in II Epistula ad Volusianum: »non oportebat ut deus faceret novum mundum, fecit autem nova in mundo. Homo enim ex virgine procreatus a morte in aeternam vitam resuscitatus in caelis forte potentius opus est, quam mundus«. Nec est mirandum quod illud quod ad litteram de filio prodigo dictum est et iniquo, de Christo exponimus, cum scriptum sit de Christo: 'et cum iniquis deputatus est'. Unde etiam Is.: 'deus posuit iniquitates omnium nostrum in eo'. <LW5:139>
◊3◊ Ut autem quae primo coepimus congruentius exponamus, primo oremus. Augustinus autem docet in libro Soliloquiorum circa principium modum orandi dicens: »deus universitatis conditor, praesta mihi primum ut bene te rogem, deinde ut me agas dignum, quem audias, postremo ut me exaudias«. Bene enim orare est multum impetrare.
'Pascha nostrum' etc.
◊4◊ Videmus, quando mater infantem vult provocare ad comedendum et medicus infirmum ad sumendum medicinam, uterque utrumque commendat, quia opinio bona de his ut plurimum proficit, et talis imaginatio prima boni plus quandoque confert quam medicus per instrumenta. Unde visum est, ut ipsi referunt, quod gallina ex sola imaginatione quantum ad exteriorem dispositionem se transfiguravit in gallum. Unde volens nos provocare ad manducandum pascha, primo proponit eius excellentiam dicens: 'pascha nostrum' etc. Secundo recto ordine hortatur nos ad dignam receptionem tanti sacramenti: 'itaque epulemur', ut haec dictio 'itaque' teneatur adverbialiter, id est 'epulemur' secundum tanti sacramenti convenientiam. <LW5:140>
◊5◊ Primo ergo commendat hoc pascha, quia hoc tam corpus reficit quam animam. Unde in Ioh.: 'ingredietur', scilicet ad animae refectionem, 'et egredietur, et pascua inveniet'. De excellentia huius dicitur in libro Sapientiae quod habet 'in se omne delectamentum et omnis saporis suavitatem', 'deserviens uniuscuiusque voluntati'. Unde Augustinus in Sententiis Prosperi c. 3: »omnis perfectio ex Christo et in Christo est, ultra quem non habet spes quo se extendat. Finis fidelium Christus est, ad quem cum pervenerit currentis intentio, non habet quo amplius possit venire, sed habet in quo debeat permanere«. Sic de primo.
◊6◊ Nunc de secundo: 'itaque epulemur,' scilicet secundum convenientiam. Ut autem habeamus sacramenti excellentiam et commendationem et digne recipientium dispositionem, videamus quoad praesens tria circa ipsum, scilicet quibus hoc pascha paretur, secundo ubi, et tertio quid operetur.
◊7◊ De primo sciendum quod paratur pauperibus et mundas conscientias habentibus et mundum contemnentibus. <LW5:141> De primo Ps.: 'parasti in dulcedine tua pauperi, deus', et illud: 'edent pauperes' etc. - Glossa: pauperibus, id est mundi contemptoribus et humilibus - 'in dulcedine tua' - Glossa: »non saeculi, quae amara est«-. Unde Augustinus in epistula quadam ad Armentarium et Paulinam: »ibi labor, ubi multa quaeruntur et diliguntur, quibus adipiscendis et retinendis voluntas satis non est, iuxta te esse vero vita est, ipsa vero velle iustitia est. Vide: ubi labor est, ibi voluntas satis [non] est. Propter quod divinitus dictum est: 'in terra pax hominibus bonae voluntatis'. Ubi pax, ibi requies; ubi requies, ibi finis appetendi et nulla causa laborandi«.
◊8◊ Videtur autem quantum ad praesens duplex causa posse assignari cur Deus det 'humilibus gratiam', sicut scriptum est in canonica Iacobi et alibi. Si autem deus dat gratiam per partes, multo fortius in hoc sacramento, in quo latet fons gratiae. Et in <LW5:142> aliis litteris dicitur satis probabiliter quod omne continens quanto est bassius et inferius, tanto capacius. Unde anima quae debet capere hoc sacramentum, quanto est per humilitatem bassior, tanto dei capacior. Unde Augustinus: »Deus totus oculus est, totus manus est, totus pes«, quoad primum quia omnia speculatur, quoad secundum quia omnia operatur, quoad tertium quia ubique ens nusquam locatur. Unde si vult ipsum anima fidelis capere, oportet ut per humilitatem se aptet.
◊9◊ Item paratur secundo mundi contemptoribus propter duo. Unum quia secundum Augustinum omne metallum ex [at]tactu ignobilioris obfuscatur vel debilitatur, ut <LW5:143> aurum ex contactu argenti. Ergo videtur iniuria fieri deo, si ipsum aliquis recipiat amans mundum, quia ipsum ignobilitare quantum in ipso est videtur.
◊10◊ 'Parasti, deus'. Sic videtur a quo paratur, scilicet a deo. Nec mirum, quia videmus quia natura tota corrupta et infirma et limitata in tempore modico educit aliquod magnum et vivum ex humore attracto. Longe possibilius est ex virtute divina brevi tempore hoc sacramentum confici, cum quanto agens est fortius, tanto actus sit brevior, quemadmodum dicitur in aliis litteris. Unde dicit signanter: 'parasti, deus'.
◊11◊ Tertio paratur mundas conscientias habentibus. Unde in libro Num. dicitur Moysi quod qui immundi erant 'in secundo mense' celebrent Phase. Et in 1 Reg. David volenti sumere propter necessitatem 'panes propositionis': 'si pueri sint mundi'. Et in Matth. quod 'Ioseph accepto corpore' domini 'involvit illud in sindone munda'. Ergo mundis tantum paratur. Unde Dionysius in Ecclesiastica hierarchia c. 3 alludit themati nostro 'pascha nostrum immolatus est Christus': »ad sanctissimam venientes <LW5:144> immolationem purgari oportet ab extremis animae phantasiis et in similitudine ipsi, quantum possibile, advenire«. In signum huius etiam Christus lavit et mundavit pedes discipulorum, ut etiam contagia minima docerentur auferenda.
◊12◊ Ubi autem paretur, in Ezechiele ostensum est, utcumque 'in montibus excelsis Israel': 'ibi requiescunt', 'in locis pinguibus', 'in herbis virentibus' 'erunt pascua eorum' et[c.]
◊13◊ Nusquam melius [lacuna] a quibus nisi si videamus quid de hac praeparatione requisitus dicebat: ubi 'vis eamus' parare 'pascha'? Marcus dicit quod 'misit duos de discipulis' etc. Lucas dicit quod 'Petrum et Iohannem' etc. usque: 'et ibi parate'. Petrus interpretatur »agnoscens«, ergo agnitio sui ipsius et infirmitatis propriae est unum quod praemittitur ad parandum. Unde ad Cor.: 'probet autem se ipsum homo' etc. Unde Augustinus De trinitate l. IV in principio: »scientiam terrestrium atque <LW5:145> caelestium rerum magni aestimare solet genus humanum, in quo profecto meliores sunt qui huic scientiae proponunt nosse semet ipsos. Unde probabilior laudabiliorque est animus cui infirmitas propria nota est quam qui ea non respecta vias siderum scrutatur, etiam cogniturus«. Unde Adam volebat multam rapere scientiam et perdidit eam. Et Albertus saepe dicebat: »hoc scio sicut scimus, nam omnes parum scimus«. Unde reprehendendi sunt qui praesumunt de scientia talium et suam conscientiam negligunt. Unde Augustinus in libello De disciplina christiana convincit ex hoc quod multi plus diligunt tunicam quam animam et mortem quam vitam, quia probatio est ab anima. Unde dicit: »amas tunicam bonam, eam vis, amas domum bonam, eam vis« etc. »Denique etiam ipsam mortem bonam vis et exoptas. Ergo si non amas bonam vitam vel animam, eam non vis. Times male mori, time male vivere. Non potest male mori, qui bene vixerit. Iterum confirmo, audacter et securus dico: non potest« etc. <LW5:146>
◊14◊ Praemisit etiam Iohannem, qui interpretatur »in quo est gratia«, quia ex cognitione propriae infirmitatis consurgit humilitas et gratia. Quicumque vero est superbus, non est sciens. Unde in proverbiis Ptolemaei: »qui inter sapientes est humilior, inter eos est sapientior«. 'Humiliatio tui in medio tui' dicitur in Michaea. Si te intus cognoscas, te humiliabis frequenter.
Ergo ibant simul Petrus et Iohannes. Unde in Ioh.: 'currebant duo simul' etc. Petrus ergo primus exivit, sed Iohannes praecucurrit, quia illic elevat gratia, ubi non attingit natura. Petrus ergo et Iohannes praeparant. Unde Augustinus in libro De gratia et libero arbitrio dicit: »deus cooperando in nobis perficit quod operando incipit. Operatur in nobis incipiens ut velimus, cooperatur volentibus perficiens, operatur ut homo velit, cooperatur ut frustra non velit«.
◊15◊ Misit ergo duo dicens: 'ite in civitatem', quia in hac sacra[menti] perceptione debet esse collectio desideriorum unitorum in deum. Unde civitas dicitur »quasi <LW5:147> civium unitas« in qua paratur pascha. Unde Dionysius ubi supra, cur dicatur hoc sacra[mentum] communio vel synaxis, dicit: »unaquaeque sacra perfectiva actio partitas nostras vitas in uniformem deificationem colligit et divisarum deiformem complicationem et communionem donat«. Unde si hoc facit quaevis sacra actio, longe facit hoc sacra[mentum]. Unde nomen 'communionis' merito datur huic sacramento. Civitas importat nomen munitorum. Unde Ps.: 'Quis deducet me in civitatem munitam?' Quia ibi stillat fons omnium gratiarum.
◊16◊ Cum ergo paretur hoc pascha humilibus, mundi contemptoribus et mundis, non est mirum si febricitantibus ardore mundialium non sapit, quia est 'grande'. Unde: 'cenaculum grande, stratum; ibi parate'. Unde Augustinus in libro Confessionum VII: »quid autem sacramenti haberet 'verbum caro factum est', nec suspicari <LW5:147> poteram«, dixit de se ipso, nec mecum portabam nisi memoriam plenam mundanis. Post invenit »non esse mirum quod oculis aegris odiosa est lux quae sanis est amabilis et infirmo palato gravis est cibus qui sano est dulcis«. Et sequitur: »inveni me esse longe a te tamquam audirem vocem tuam de excelso: 'cibus sum grandium; cresce et manducabis me'. Non tu mutabis me in te sicut cibum carnis tuae, sed tu mutaberis in me«. Unde inter corporalia haec est differentia et spiritualia, quia corporalia sustinent in se contenta; non sic spiritualia, immo anima contenta in corpore ipsum continet. Et sicut cibus quanto purior, tanto citius et melius trahitur ad intima membrorum, sic quanto homo est purior, per hoc pascha incorporatur Christo. Et dicit post Augustinus ibidem: »audivi, sicut auditur in corde, ita ut prorsus non esset unde dubitarem faciliusque me dubitarem vivere quam hoc audire«. Unde in Ioh.: 'qui manducat carnem meam etc. in me manet'; et: 'qui manet in me, et ego in eo, hic fert fructum multum'. Quem ipse nobis dominus concedat. Amen.
Br. Eckhart, lector of the Sentences.
On the day of the Resurrection.
Our Passover lamb has been sacrificed, Christ. Let us therefore celebrate, so Cor. [5:7-8]. Yet, it was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive, in Luke [15:32]
◊1◊ This pre-subject corresponds, as it seems, directly with the main topic and today’s feast. Namely, as Marcus Tullius [Cicero] whom Augustine praised amongst all rhetoricians, writes both in the old as in the new rhetoric, that amongst others there are four things that are most eagerly listened to, namely those which of the proposed things are directed towards individuals, are incredible because they are astonishing, are new because they are unfamiliar and great because they are supernatural. These four things are touched upon in those words which are placed second and which today the church is dealing with, because they touch upon individuals – this is noted when he, namely Christ, says ‘your brother’; moreover they are incredible, because they are most astonishing, as it is proposed that ‘God’ who is ‘an intelligible’ and an incomprehensible ‘sphere, who’s centre is everywhere and the circumference nowhere’, is consumed in the form of bread – that is why ‘it was fitting to celebrate and be glad’; moreover, they are new, namely that life dies – that is why [it is said he] ‘was dead’; and great – ‘and is alive’ –, because the dead has been restituted to life, namely by his own power, so that he will live in eternity.
◊2◊ On the first [topic]: It is about you! Therefore [we read] in Gen. [37:27]: Our brother, namely, is also flesh and also This now is bone of my bones etc. This is proposed in the form of bread, and it is incredible. Therefore [we read] in Isa. [53:1], and it is been placed into the Letter to the Romans [10:16]: Lord who has believed what he has heard from us? As if he were saying: these are incredible things. It is, however, said: heard from us, because, indeed, faith comes from hearing [Rom. 10:17], or rather because the intellect is emptied out in the sacrament of the altar, while vision, taste and other senses are captivated, and unbound hearing alone escapes and tells us the truth. Therefore one can say that [verse] from Job [1:15]: I have alone escaped to tell you. They are also new, because life dies, namely Christ. Therefore, [we read] in Jn. [14:6]: I am the way, the truth and life. And also: That was made, in him was life. [It is] also great, because it is alive. Namely that the dead has come alive has sometimes been seen, but that he raised himself to live for ever, is absolutely great and unfamiliar. Therefore [we read] in Rev. [1:17-8]: I am the first and the newest [and the living one], I died, and behold I am alive forevermore. And Augustine [writes] in the Second Letter to Volusian: ‘There was no need for God to create a new world, but he made new things in the world. Namely the human being who was procreated out of the virgin, resuscitated from death to eternal life in heaven, is probably a more powerful work than the world’. And is it not astonishing that what is literally said of the prodigal and unfavourable son [see Luke 15:11-32] we refer in our exposition to Christ, when it is written of Christ: And he was numbered with the transgressors [Luke 22:37]? And also in Isa. [53:6]: God has laid on him the iniquity of all of us.
◊3◊ In order, however, for us to explain more consistently with what we first began with, let us first pray. Augustinus, however, teaches in the book of the Soliloquies on the principle of how to pray: ‘God, the founder of the universe, first grant me that I ask you in the right way, then that you make me worthy, the one you listen to, so that finally you hear me’. To pray in a good way, namely, means to ask for a lot.
Our Passover lamb etc.
◊4◊ We see, how much a mother wants to call forth a child to eat and a doctor the patient to take the medicine, and both make their respective commendation, because a good opinion of these things are most useful, and such a first intimation confers often more benefit than the doctor through his instruments. From which one can see, as they [the doctors] relate that a chicken through intimation alone changed itself from the outside look into a coq. As he [Paul] wants to make us eat the Paschal lamb, he first sets in front of us its excellence: Our Paschal lamb etc. According to right order, he secondly exhorts us to a worthy reception of such a sacrament: Let us therefore celebrate, whereby the term therefore is taken as an adverb, i.e. let us celebrate according to the convention of such a sacrament.
◊5◊ First, therefore, he commends this Paschal lamb, because this renewes the body as much as the soul. Therefore [we read] in Jn. [10:9]: He will go in, namely to the renewal of the soul, and go out and find pasture. On the excellence of this it is said in the book of Wisdom [10:20-1] that he has ‘in himself all delights and sweetness of taste’, ‘pleasing each individual likes’. Therefore, Augustine [writes] on the Sentences of Prosper, ch. 3: ‘All perfection is from Christ and in Christ, above which hope has nothing to go for. The end of the believer is Christ, to whom, when the one who with intent is running to him and has reached him has nothing more to which he can come, but he has where he needs to remain’. So far about the first topic.
◊6◊ Now about the second: Let us therefore celebrate, namely according to convention. So that we may have the excellency, the commendation and the disposition of the worthy recipent of the sacrament, let us look at present at three topics concerning it, namely for whom this Paschal lamb is been prepared, second where and third who acts.
◊7◊ On the first one has to know that it is prepared for the poor, for those who have a clean conscience and who contempt the world. On the first [we read in] the Ps. [67:11; 21:27]: You prepared in your sweetness for the poor, God, and the other [verse]: The poor ate etc. The Glosse [has]: For the poor, i.e. for those who contempt the world and are humble. In your sweetness, the Gloss [has]: not in this saeculum, as it is bitter. Therefore, Augustine [writes] in a certain Letter to Armentarius and Paulina: ‘There is labor, were many things are wished and loved, which to achieve or retain, there is not enough will, while true life is to be with you, to wish for this, indeed, is justice’. See: where labor is, there is [not] enough will. For this reason the divine is said [Luke 2:14]: On earth peace among those human beings of good will. Where peace is, there you rest; where you rest, there is the end of longing and there is no reason to labor.
◊8◊ It seems, however, that, at present, one can assign to reasons to why God gives grace to the humble, as it is written in the canonical Letter of James [4:6] and elsewhere [1Peter 5:5; see Prov. 3:34]. If, however, God gives grace in parts, so much more in this sacrament, in which the source of grace is hidden. And in other writings it is even more made more probable that the deeper and lower any container is, the more it can contain. Therefore, the more the soul which should hold this sacrament is deeper through humility, the more she can contain of God. Therefore, Augustine [writes]: ‘God is all ye, all hand, all feet’, the first, because he sees everything, the second, because he acts everything, the third, because he is everywhere, but has no location. Hence, if the believing soul wants to contain him, it needs to adapt to him through humility.
◊9◊ And it is prepared for those who contempt the world for two reasons. The first, because according to Augustine any metal through mixture with a less noble metal is obfuscated or reduced in value, such as gold mixed with silver. Therefore, God sems to be injured, if someone receives him who loves the world, because he obscures him, to the extent he is in him [God].
◊10◊ You prepared […] God [Ps. 67:11; 21:27]. Here one can see by whom it is prepared, namely by God. It is not astonishing, because we observe that nature which is totally corrupt, weak and limited, in moderate time brings forth, pulled from the ground, something great and alive. By far it is more likely that out of divine power in short time this sacrament can achieve it, as the more powerful the agent is, the quicker the action is, on which there is more said in other writings. Therefore, he says more clearly: You prepared […] God [Ps. 67:11; 21:27].
◊11◊ Third, it is prepared for those who have a clean conscience. Therefore, it is said by Mose in the book of Num. [9:10-1] that those who are in the world should celebrate Passover in the second month. And in 1Kgs. [21:6.4] when David out of necessity wanted to take the showbreads [he was told]: if the children are clean. And in Matth. [27:59] [it is written] that Joseph took the body of the Lord [and] wrapped it in a clean linen shroud. Hence, it is only prepared for the clean. Therefore, Dionysius alludes to our theme Our Passover lamb has been sacrificed, Christ in ch. 3 of the Church Hierarchy: ‘It is necessary for those who come to the most holy sacrifice to be cleansed from the last phantasies of the soul and to arrive, as much as possible, as a similitude of it. As a sign of this, also Christ washed and cleansed the feet of the disciples [see John 13:5], in order to teach that also the slightest existing taint should be removed.
◊12◊ Where, however, it is been prepared, is shown in Ezechiel [34:14]: whenever, in the highest mountains of Israel, there they will rest, in fat places, amongst green grass their pasture will be etc.
◊13◊ Nowhere better [lacuna], of whom, if we do not see what he said when asked about that preparation: where do you want us that we go to prepare the Passover lamb? Mark [14:12-3] says that he sent two of the disciples etc. Luke says that it was Peter and John etc. to and there prepared. Peter can be interpreted as the one who knows. Hence, knowing oneself and ones weakness is the property of the one who is sent to do the preparation. Therefore [it is said] in Cor. [11:28]: Let a person examen himself etc. Therefore, Augustine [writes] in the beginning of book 4 of On the Trinity: ‘The species of human beings do esteem the knowledge of earthly and heavenly things, in which those are more advanced who prefer to know themselves to this knowledge. Therefore, the soul is more commendable and laudible to whom its own weakness is is known than the one which ignores it and explores the moves of the stars, even if they will know them’. Thus, Adam wanted to grab great knowledge and lost it. And Albert [the Great] often said: ‘This I know, as we know, because we all know very little’. Hence, those are to be reprehended who presume great knowledge and neglect their conscience. Therefore, Augustine in the booklet On Christian Discipline is persuasive by the argument that many prefer the tunic to the soul, and death to life, because the probation derives from the soul. Therefore, he says: ‘You love a good tunic, you wish for it, you love a nice house, and you wish for it’ etc. ‘At last, you even wish and hope for a good death. Hence, if you do not wish for a good life or soul, you do not wish for it [a good death]. The one who lived well, cannot die badly. And again, I confirm and say more audaciously and strongly: He cannot’ etc.
◊14◊ He also sends forth John who can be interpreted as ‘in whom is grace’, because out of cognition of one’s own weakness co-emerges humility and grace. Who, indeed, is arrogant, does not know. Therefore [it is written] in the Proverbs of Ptolemee: ‘Who amongst the wise is more humble, is amongst them the more wise’. Your humiliation will be in your midst, is said in Micha [6:14]. If you know your inside, you humiliate yourself more frequently.
Hence, Peter and John went together. Therefore [it is written] in Jn. [20:4]: Both of them were running etc. Peter, therefore, went out first, but John came first, because grace elevates in that place, where nature cannot reach to. Hence, both Peter and John prepare. Therefore, Augustine says in the book On Grace and Free Will: ‘God brings about in us through cooperation what he initiated through operation’. It was operated in us to begin with, so that we wished for, but there was cooperation with those who wished for in the bringing about, it was operated, so that the human being wished for, it was cooperated, so that one does not wish for in vain’.
◊15◊ Hence, he sends two, saying: Go into the city, because in this perception of the sacrament, there needs to be a collection of the united wishes in God. Therefore city means as much as the one citizenship in which the Paschal lamb is prepared. Thus, Dionysius says at the place, mentioned above, why this sacrament is called a communion or gathering: ‘Each one holy perfecting action brings our divided lifes together into a uniform deification and gives godlike coherence and communion to what is divided’. Hence, if this is the result of any holy action, so much more is done by this sacrament. For right, therefore is the name of ‘communion’ given to this sacrament. Citiy also implies the idea of ‘fortifications’. Supported by Ps. [59:11]: Who leads me into the fortified city. Because, there, the fountain of all grace flows.
◊16◊ As, then, this Paschal lamb is prepared to the humble, those who contempt the world and those who are clean, it is not astonishing, if it is not esteemed by those who ardently fever for worldly things, because it is great. Therefore [it is written in Mark 14:15]: A great furnished upper room; there prepared. Hence, Augustine in book 7 of the Confessions says of himself: ‘I could, however, not suspect what sacrament the [verse] would carry “the word was made flesh”, and so I could not take it with me, except in an entirely worldly memory’. Later, he found it ‘not astonishing that light is hated by weak eyes, which is likeable for the healthy ones, and food which for the the poorly is heavy, is sweet for the healthy’. And it follows: ‘I found myself far away from you, as if I heard your voice from above: “I am food of the great ones; grow and you will eat me.” You will not transform me into you, like food into your flesh, but you will be transformed into me’. Hence, there is this difference between corporeal and spiritual things, because corporeal ones have the content in them; this is not so with the spiritual ones, on the contrary, the soul that is contained in the body, itself contains him. And just as the purer food is, the quicker and better it is taken into the body parts so also the purer a human being is, it will be incorporated into Christ through this Paschal lamb. And Augustine says at the same place a bit later: ‘I hear, as it is heard in the heart, so that there was therefore not the slightest doubt, and it would have been easier for me to doubt that I am alive than to hear this’. Hence, [it is written] in Jn. [6:57]: Whoever eats my flesh etc. will remain in me, and [John 15:5] who will remain in me, and I in him, this one will bear much fruit. That the Lord himself may concede this to us. Amen.