Monday, March 24, 2014

With eyes wide open

This is nothing at all that I wrote, but rather thoughts that I think, intimations that I feel, and here they are in written form. The author is Fr Stephen, and I have borrowed them to post here, just a few passages that mean a lot to me. Click here to read his entire testimony, titled The Sacrament of the Heart.

In the hands of Christ, bread always becomes His body: all things become what they truly are. In Christ the Kingdom of God is revealed and made manifest. Thus where Christ goes, “the blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them” (Matthew 11:5). The sacramental life is not a special instance in which Christ initiates an ecclesiastical ceremony. What the Church may experience as “ceremony” is nothing other than the revelation of the Kingdom of God. Any claim which is less than that is a denial of the ministry of Christ.

The mystery of existence, any existence, is only made clear when seen in the light of Christ. It is this mystery of existence that we properly call sacrament. Things are revealed to be what they truly are when they are brought into proper relation to Christ. It is because the truth of all things is sacramental that we can say this.

The quiet life of the heart generally perceives intuitively, dwells in the present, accepts the reality that God gives in the moment. It does not distance or dominate or label. It is not governed by fear or desire and has no need to defend or justify.

If the heart does not perceive the sacramentality of all bread, then it will likely be blind to the true mystery of the bread of the Eucharist. In the same manner, those who do not perceive the true mystery found in the saints and the Mother of God, will not be able to see the true life of the people around them. The saints are not of note because they are unusual: they are of note because they reveal our true humanity.

It took centuries for those who claimed the name “Christian” to forget the truth of every meal. They would blindly seek to restrict the sacraments and give the land of the Kingdom over to meaninglessness and amnesia. But the Kingdom of God has come in Christ and the whole world is a sacrament. Christians are called to take, bless, break and give with eyes wide-open. Then the wonder of God’s mystery will unfold before us: every morsel of bread revealed to be His Body; every tree His Cross; and every human being a saint. Then we can begin to love as we are loved and become what we already are.

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