Sunday, June 14, 2020
Today is the Catholic feast of Corpus Christi -- the Body of Christ. I was lucky enough to be able to go to Mass. This feast celebrates the doctrine of transubstantiation, which is that the bread and wine at Mass actually become, literally, the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ, with only the external appearance of bread and wine remaining. It looks like bread and wine, and it tastes like bread and wine (actually, the bread doesn't taste like anything much), the wine smells like wine, but on a mystical level, in its inmost reality, it IS God incarnate. I can't really come up with a metaphor for this ... the closest that occurs to me is what happens sometimes in a dream, when someone looks and talks and acts like your Aunt Mabel, but you know, somehow, that it's really your late husband. You know?
Anyway, I wanted to riff on something from my last blog post a few days ago, and I'm going to keep this quick and try to post it before Compline tonight. I said something like, "seen with the eyes of faith and love, this world is my home." I mean my heavenly home. I mean, seen with the eyes of faith, not only is Jesus in "the least of these my brethren," and not only do I see all the power and glory and grace and divinity and love of God in the tasteless little wafer at Communion, but God is all around me. The Rule of St. Benedict says that we should treat all the tools and property of the monastery as if they were the sacred vessels of the altar. What would it be to treat the work of our hands, the work we do with those sacred tools, as if it were all sacramental? What if God incarnates every day, every moment, in the air we breathe, in the water we drink, in all "the fruit of the earth and the work of human hands," as the priest says it at the altar?
What if He were speaking to you, right now? Can you be quiet long enough to hear? The priest this morning said that when he was an 11-year-old altar boy, he heard his name spoken from the tabernacle behind the altar in church one morning, "Jimmy ... Jimmy ...." Do I believe it? Yeah, I do. I've heard too many similar crazy stories, and I have my own. Listen. See. Feel. Wait. Invite God in, and wait for Him to come. Make time and room enough for Him to move you. And the world will open up, this world will become magical, divine, glorious. It's so real, more real than the world we're used to seeing with our everyday vision. Open the eyes of faith, and rejoice!
Peace be with you.