The talk came at a prayer meeting in the afternoon from one of the most analytical, left-brained God-loving men you'll ever meet. An overview:
When you read the verses, you will see many references to aroma, fragrance, perfume, spices, nard, liquid myrrh, incense, honey, aloes . . . you can practically feel the heavy breeze wafting off the pages. What does that aroma signify? Well, in each Gospel we find a story of a woman pouring out perfume on Jesus as a measure of her devotion to Him. He doesn't allow her to be stopped, seeing in that demonstration of her love an appropriateness that his disciples' concrete minds miss completely. The aroma that draws the Groom to his Bride in Songs is that devotion, that love, that beauty that only Christ's transformation of his Bride can inspire and enable. God loves us, not because of anything we have done, but because he has bathed and anointed us, and now we carry the fragrance of the Holy Spirit. He longs for us, he causes us to long for him, and when we find him we are supremely satisfied.
Then I went directly on to my weekly appointment in the Adoration Chapel where I came excerpts from St. Alphonsus Liguori's writings on the Holy Eucharist:
"'The voice of my Beloved knocking: Open to Me, My sister, My love, My dove, My undefiled' (Song 5:2). Open to me, he says, O soul, thy heart, and there I will come to unite myself to thee; so that, being one with me, thou mayst become my sister by resemblance, my friend by participation in my riches, my dove by the gift of simplicity, my undefiled by the gift of purity, which I shall communicate to thee.
And then he goes on to say, "Open to me, for my head is full of dew and my locks the drops of the night." As if he said: Consider, my beloved, that I have waited for thee all the night of the bad life thou has led in the midst of darkness and error. Behold, now, instead of bringing scourges to chastise thee, I come in the Blessed Sacrament, with my hair full of heavenly dew, to extinguish in thee all impure desires towards creatures, and to kindle in thee the happy fire of my love. Come, then, O my beloved Jesus, and work in me what Thou wilt."
What I love about this is the reminder of the overwheming gift-ness of oneness with him. It's truly Christmas - lavish gifts of riches, simplicity, purity, love - with nothing for us to supply but a willingness to open the door.
All I could do in response was pray to hear the knock when he comes, for him to show me what it means to open my heart and give me eagerness to do it.