Living in Christ Our Head – John Eudes

St. John Eudes on living in Christ in intimate union, as body is united to head.  Jesus, who is the source of our life, wants to live in and through us.

I ask you to consider that our Lord Jesus Christ is your true head and that you are a member of his body. He belongs to you as the head belongs to the body. All that is his is yours: breath, heart, body, soul and all his faculties. All of these you must use as if they belonged to you, so that in serving him you may give him praise, love and glory.

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Christ, Our Head Longs to Be in You

You belong to him as a member belongs to the head. This is why he earnestly desires you to serve and glorify the Father by using all your faculties as if they were his. He belongs to you, but more than that, he longs to be in you, living and ruling in you, as the head lives and rules in the body. He desires that whatever is in him may live and rule in you: his breath in your breath, his heart in your heart, all the faculties of his soul in the faculties of your soul, so that these words may be fulfilled in you: Glorify God and bear him in your body, that the life of Jesus may be made manifest in you.

Christ our Head, source of True Life

You belong to the Son of God, but more than that, you ought to be in him as the members are in the head. All that is in you must be incorporated into him. You must receive life from him and be ruled by him. There will be no true life for you except in him, for he is the one source of true life. Apart from him you will find only death and destruction.

Let him be the only source of your movements, of the actions and the strength of your life. He must be both the source and the purpose of your life, so that you may fulfill these words: None of us lives as his own master and none of us dies as his own master. While we live, we are responsible to the Lord, and when we die, we die as his servants. Both in life and death we are the Lord’s. That is why Christ died and came to life again, that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living. [Romans 14:70\-8]

Living in Him through the Sacraments

Finally, you are one with Jesus as the body is one with the head. You must, then, have one breath with him, one soul, one life, one will, one mind, one heart. And he must be your breath, heart, love, life, your all. These great gifts in the follower of Christ originate from baptism. They are increased and strengthened through confirmation and by making good use of other graces that are given by God. Through the holy eucharist they are brought to perfection.

This post on living in Jesus Christ our Head is an excerpt from a treatise on the admirable Heart of Jesus by St. John Eudes (LIb 1, 5: Opera Omnia 6, 107, 113-115).  It appears in the Roman Office of Readings for the memorial of St. John Eudes on Aug 19.

For more on Christ, see the JESUS SECTION of the Crossroads Initiative Library.

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  • Elise Healy
    Posted at 17:18h, 30 January

    I had never heard of St John Eudes before. His writing is awfully clear, despite being from the 17th C. Thank you for posting this.

  • Marcellino D'Ambrosio
    Posted at 17:18h, 30 January

    You are most welcome, Elise. Glad to introduce you to him!

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