The Incarnation and Passion as Dance


Another quote from Abbot John of Ford’s Commentary on the Song of Songs:

Among all the marvels of God, what marvel is equal to this, that the king of glory came as a servant to rescue his bride from the yoke of servitude? That from heaven he desired her beauty, though up to now she was black with Ethiopian ugliness? That having sold himself into slavery to serve more fittingly, he stripped off his beauty, stripped off his strength, girt himself with servile lowliness, and in every way made himself ready and apt to wash away her defects? Have you opened wide your mouth about him, daughter of Saul? Have you thrust out your tongue at him, daughter of Canaan and not of Judah? Have you reproached the king of glory for dancing naked before the ark? For you said, wagging your head at him: ‘How the king of Israel honored himself today, uncovering himself before the eyes of his servant’s maids, as one of the vulgar fellows shamelessly uncovers himself!’ Yes, inglorious in your eyes, blinded by the lowliness of that nakedness. But blessed are the eyes of the bride who in the total emptying of her Solomon, crowned with a crown of thorns, not only took no scandal, but all the more eagerly, all the more lovingly, ran to his embrace and threw herself into his arms! How fortunate you are, bride of God, how glorious, to be the reward of such a loving servitude, the fruit of such a long and lasting pilgrimage, the prize of such a difficult undertaking, in short, the price of his precious blood! (Sermon V; p. 128-129)

Quid inter omnia mirabilia Dei aeque mirabile huic, quod rex gloriae ut sponsam suam, euius eum adhuc Aethiopissae deformitate sorderet, decorem de coelo concupierat, a iugo seruitutis eriperet seruire uenit ; et ut seruituti congrueret in seruum uenumdatus decorem exuit, exuit fortitudinern, et seruili humilitate praecinctus ad maculas eius abluendas se omnimodis reddidit idoneum et expeditum? Super quem dilatasti os, filia Saul, super quem eiecisti linguam, filia Canaan et non Iuda, exprobrans regi gloriae quod nudus ante arcam Dei saltaret ? Dixisti enim mouens super eum caput tuum : Quam gloriosus fuit hodie rex Israel discooperiens se ante oculos ancillarum suarum uelut si nudetur unus ex scurris. Vere ante oculos tuos inglorius quos nuditatis istius humilitas excaecauit, sed sponsae oculi beati quae in tanta exinanitione sui Salomonis spinarum diademate coronati non solum nullum sustinet seandalum sed eo auidius eoque deuotius currit ad amplexus eius et in oscula ruit. Quam felix tu, et quam gloriosa, O sponsa Dei, quae tam piae seruitutis merces, tam longinquae tamque diuturnae peregrinationis fructus, tam laboriosae negotiationis acquisitio, tam pretiosi denique sanguinis pretium es.

(Sermo V, Corpus Christianorum, Continuatio Maediavalis, Vol. XVII, p 63)

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