In adoration tonight, I was meditating–Lectio Divina–on a scripture from Revelations. I did not want to meditate on this particular scripture because it’s not one that I felt comfortable with, as is the case with the entire book of Revelations: “He would rule with an iron rod.” It sounds too cruel for a loving God, an iron rod. “Spare the rod and spoil the child” popped into my mind. The rod implied punishment, a lack of freedom. But then, it occurred to me that the rod in “spare the rod” would not have been iron. One would not punish a child with an iron rod.
So what does an iron rod do? For one thing it deflects lightning and protects what otherwise would be damaged by the lightning bolt. I began praying the rosary, and as I meditated on the sorrowful mysteries, I looked up at the crucifix in the chapel and my eyes fell on the nails in Jesus’ hands. The iron nails. Ah. That is the iron rod with which he rules. It’s not a rod for force or coercion but one used for deflecting wrath. The rest of the scripture reads, “He will rule them with an iron rod, and he himself will tread out in the wine press the wine of the fury and wrath of God the almighty.”
I asked whether treading out “the wine of the fury of the wrath of God” referred to the sacrament of the Eucharist, specifically the blood of Christ. Moments later, by happy “coincidence” I began reading a book called Sober Intoxication of the Spirit, which talks about being drunk on the wine of that “mystical vine.” It is an “inebriation that comes from the Holy Spirit [and] thus purifies of sin, renews the heart in fervor and enlightens the mind by a special knowledge of God–not a rational but an intuitive, experiential knowledge, accompanied by inner joy…The Holy Spirit, when received in the Sacraments and especially in the Eucharist, gives the soul a kind of intoxication that has nothing disordered or superficial about it. Rather, this intoxication takes the soul beyond…its poverty and powerlessness, into a state of grace where there is no room for doubt, regrets or self-absorption, but only for joy and thanksgiving.”
Imagine. He deflected His wrath with an iron rod driven through his hands. Then He made wine of His own blood so that we may be inebriated with a special knowledge that doesn’t come from reason alone but from intuition and experience. I want to get into it. To experience it.