Rev. Charles Hoffacker
"How sweet are your words to my taste!
They are sweeter than honey to my mouth."
While commenting on this psalm verse in one of his letters, Ambrose, Bishop of Milan in the fourth century, raises a question. What else can a soul desire when it has once tasted the sweetness of the divine Word, when it has once seen its brightness? What indeed? For nothing can compare with this light and sweetness.
He goes on to cite the examples of Moses and Elijah from the Old Testament and Peter from the New Testament. Moses spent forty days on the mountain, but needed no food. Elijah sought refuge under a broom tree until an angel brought him food and water. After Christ’s Transfiguration, Peter did not wish to leave, but was content to remain, declaring “Lord, it is good for us to be here.”
Each of these three in his own way tasted the honey of the divine Word and enjoyed the brightness of heavenly light. Thus they became content. Fasting presented no obstacle. Waiting did not make them impatient.
Spiritual disciplines help us welcome God’s Word.
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The Rev. Charles Hoffacker is a retired priest of the Diocese of Washington