“In the use of incense we make a varied appeal to human consciousness. We appeal to the imagination through the familiar medium of symbolism, for the world without and the world within are intimately connected. The smoke of the incense as it rises upward before the altar is beautifully associated by our holy mother the church with the prayers of the saints rising before the throne of God. The offering of incense is to us an outward expression of the sacrifice of ourselves, our souls and bodies, a sacrifice offered in union with that of the whole church past and present, militant, expectant and triumphant, and with that One Great Sacrifice – the great offering of the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity – by which the world is nourished and sustained. This appeal to the imagination through the sense of sight is heightened by the rhythmic movement of the servers which satisfies our sense of order, by the perfume which makes its own appeal through the appropriate sense, and even by the clanking of the chains which through a third sense marks certain points of the rhythm. Besides all this, the incense serves another purpose; it is an instrument as well as a symbol. The scent which it diffuses has in itself an influence which is normally beneficent and tends to devotion and purity of feeling; and the incense spreads this abroad wherever its perfume may pass, as well as the spiritual power poured into it at the blessing by the priest.”
Bishop Wedgwood, on Incense
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This blog is simply a selection of quotes, some long some short, from various spiritual authors. Our Journal "In Hoc Signo Vinces" may be found on the Holy Cross Benedictines page.