Saturday, 26 September 2015

Alan of Lille, MARY the City of God

Mary in Saturday 26 September 2015
Night Office - Patristic Reading, 
Cistercian Fathers  Book 23
   (M) MARY; General Cistercian XII century
MARY the City of God:  on Alan of Lille

"Of you are told glorious things, O City of God”.

In order that the image of His Trinity might be found in all things, the King of Kings who rules the wind and sea and whose city is the true pole of the earth, has built for himself a three-fold city. The world is the first part, the Church is the second, and Mary, the Virgin of virgins is the third.

In a very fitting manner is the world termed a city. Any city-state is the organised assembly of various elements, among which some are in authority, others fulfil their tasks, and others are obedient. And so in the world, as in a great city, there is God who controls, angels who carry out his word, and man who is obedient. It is fitting, likewise, that the Church should be called a city for it has its hierarchy of authority. The wall of this city is the foundation of Christian faith, the mortar as the blood of the martyrs, the ramparts are the example of the saints, the fullness of charity forms its squares, while true humility is the fortification around it.

With very good reason is Mary the Virgin of all virgins spoken of as a city, for in her, reason gave commands which were put into practice by the senses and to which the flesh was obedient. In her as a city, steadfastness was the wall, self-control was the mortar, courage the rampart, and prudence the surrounding fortification. Faith formed the eastern gate through which the Sun of Justice shone on her; the southern gate was true love, open to the Holy Spirit who increased her love. Virginity was the northern gate, under control all desires; and the western gate was humility, rejecting all worldly pleasures. The river of God's grace flows so abundantly in Mary's heart and strengthens this city that it has no fear of hostile invasion. Truly can be applied to her the text, 'The waters of a river give joy to God's city.'

Within this city there is an enclosed and sealed garden, a garden well-watered, planted with trees and radiant with flowers: this is the heart of the Blessed Virgin. Here as in a garden of paradise, true virtue produces the fruit of good works; God-filled desires increase the ardour of a loving heart, and good deeds are the perfume of mutual encouragement.

Here, in this three-fold city, and in the heart of Mary, the King of Kings has made his dwelling place among the sons of men.

PL.210; col.200B - 201B

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia
Alanus ab Insulis (Alain de Lille).
Alain de Lille (or Alanus ab Insulis) (c. 1128 – 1202/1203) was a French theologian and poet. He was born in Lille, some time before 1128. His exact date of death remains unclear as well, with most research pointing toward it being between April 14, 1202, and April 5, 1203.[1]
 Alan of Lille, A Concise Explanation of the Song of Songs in Praise of the Virgin Mary, trans Denys Turner, in Denys Turner, Eros and Allegory: Medieval Exegesis of the Song of Songs, (Kalamazoo, MI: Cistercian Publications, 1995), 291–308

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