Bernard of Clairvaux on the Beauty of the Church (1090-1153)
God placed all things under Christ\'s feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who filleth all in all (Ephesians 1:22-23).
“Yet there is one who truthfully and unhesitatingly can glory in this praise. She is the Church, whose fulness is a never-ceasing fount of intoxicating joy, perpetually fragrant. For what she lacks in one member, she possesses in another according to the measure of Christ’s gift and the plan of the Spirit who distributes to each one just as he chooses… although none of us will dare arrogate for his own soul the title of bride of the Lord, nevertheless we are members of the Church which rightly boasts of this title and of the reality which it signifies, and hence may justifiably assume a share in her honor. For what all of us simultaneously possess in a full and perfect manner, that each one of us undoubtedly possesses by participation. Thank you, Lord Jesus, for your kindness in uniting us to the Church you so dearly love, not merely that we may be endowed with the gift of faith, but that like brides we may be one with you in an embrace that is sweet, chaste, and eternal, beholding with unveiled faces that glory which is yours in union with the Father and the Holy Spirit for ever and ever. Amen.” (Conclusion of Sermon 12, Sermons on the Song of Songs)
h/t: Theology of the Body.