On the Word and the Cup

St. Ambrose of Milan ca. 338-397

Cleanse thoroughly, then, our ears, not with water of well, river, or rippling and purling brook, but with words cleansing like water, clearer than any water, and purer than any snow— even the words You have spoken— Though your sins be as scarlet, I will make them white as snow. (Isa. 1:18)

Moreover, there is a Cup, which You use to purify the hidden chambers of the soul, a Cup not of the old order,nor filled from a common Vine,— a new Cup, brought down from heaven to earth, filled with wine pressed from the wondrous cluster, which hung in fleshly form upon the tree of the Cross, even as the grape hangs upon the Vine. From this Cluster, then, is the Wine that makes glad the heart of man, (Jdgs. 9:13) uplifts the sorrowful, is fragrant with, pours into us, the ecstasy of faith, true devotion, and purity. (De Fide Bk. 1:134-135)

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