Behold, this have I found, saith the preacher, counting one by one, to find out the account: Which yet my soul seeketh, but I find not: one man among a thousand have I found; but a woman among all those have I not found. Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions. Ecclesiastes 7:27–29
Solomon prayed to God, inviting His Spirit to enter the temple that had been prepared for Him. He also wrote the Song of Songs in honor of Love—faithfulness—, epitomizing the mystery concerning Christ and the Church.
Why did Solomon die worshiping idols? How did he arrive at his end bowing down before false gods? What happened along the course of his path through life that he abandoned, left forgotten, the dream of the Shulamite, and perished in adulterous ruin?
I know there are no answers to these questions. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. There is only the bitter irony that remains, posed by the blatant contradiction that stands in light of them. But perfect love casts out fear. Solomon’s prayer is lacking in that it suffers no lack, in that it refuses to suffer any lack whatsoever.
In covering every base, in leaving no stone unturned, we find no place for faith and see only the empty spaces left us by our doubt. In constantly turning round, we can go only in circles, and encounter only that which we recognize ourselves to have been without the moment before.
Solomon knew this once. Standing in the Garden, he knew only her, saw only her. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine upon it, for the glory of God is its light. Solomon saw only her, and saw the rest of what was—the garden, the creatures, the sun and the sky—bathed in her light, and the glory that was was all as a result of her, as a result of the glory that was hers. But like Judas, Solomon heard a voice say to him: “What thou doest, do quickly.” And so, after receiving the morsel, he immediately went out; and it was night.
But the prayer of John, on the other hand, is simple and true, filled with unadulterated faith and near to the heart of Jesus: leaning on the Lord’s breast at the supper, Simon beckoning at his side, he looks up into the eyes of his master and asks plainly, “Who is it, Lord?”
This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you: that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.
This kind of faith can move mountains, and is capable of love.