Sunday 9-27-15 The Eucharist

Happy Sunday!
“The body of Christ gives the body of Christ to the body of Christ.” ~ St. Augustine
This past week I made my way to Chapter 28 of the 30 day Sacred Heart retreat with David Richo.  I felt uncomfortable with the chapter when I opened it – the title was ‘The Eucharist’.  What could be more Catholic then the Eucharist? my mind asked and wondered where this was going.
I feel gratitude for the lessons of the Sacred Heart that this website has taught me.  I have learned much and accepted the new ideas and connection they offer me to Jesus and humanity.  With this new chapter I feared the course was about to lose me if it veered off into traditional Catholic doctrine.  I found patience and am pleased that I gave the lesson the time it was due.
That first morning with the lesson I read half the chapter but put it aside due to lack of focus and my discomfort.  I read the chapter through that evening and then again the next.  I recognized that the message was profound but that I was not fully getting it – it tickled at my understanding but did not fully enter my psyche or heart.
After reading the lesson fully the second time, and feeling unsure of the message, I then turned to the book I am currently reading, Henri Nouwen, ‘Life of the Beloved’.  The premise of this book is a letter to a friend attempting to write a secular explanation about our connection to God.
Nouwen structured the chapters based on what he says is his role as a Christian “I am called to become bread for the world: bread that is taken, blessed, broken, and given.”
Nouwen said that to be taken means that we need to accept that we are chosen and are beloved of God. Next, to believe we are beloved of God we need to come to acceptance that we are chosen and blessed.
Nouwen next spoke of our brokenness, how it makes us human and unique; he said we must learn to bless the brokenness.
Lastly Nouwen spoke of the next stage, to be given out to the world, only then can we understand our being chosen, blessed, and broken.
As I put these thoughts together the prayer of St. Francis entered my mind, “It is in giving that we receive.”
I understood! We become the Eucharist to the world.  We are chosen by God, blessed, and then broken open to be sent out to give to others the gifts that have come from being chosen.  Our lives become gifts of communion to others.
In the chapter on being given, Nouwen expanded on the idea of our lives becoming the gift when he said we are broken to be given then our greatest brokenness in death becomes the opportunity for our greatest gift .  He said we choose how to die; we decide to let it be a gift to those we love.  He spoke of St. Francis who 800 years after death is still giving his gift to us. Pope Francis is such an example of the gift moving and expanding through time as well as my own thoughts that have returned throughout my life to my favorite prayer.
That night I dreamt of receiving the Eucharist.  I was in a church, perhaps St. Ambrose, during communion service.  I was unsure if I wanted to receive communion still I moved myself toward the front of the church, a few row back and to the side as I always preferred.  The crowd got very thick as communion service began.  I noticed to my right that the pews were more open so I moved over to that side to get away from the crowd near the center altar.
I sat down in the empty pew.  A few people were standing in the far right aisle near me. They moved and I saw a female minister with a chalice standing alone; she was serene waiting for the next person wanting to receive communion from her.  I stood and walked the two steps I needed to accept the communion offering.  I returned to the pew and knelt to reflect on the gift.  Before my knees made it to the ground a door opened behind me and out came the pastor.  He was dressed in his regular black suit with white collar.  He asked me how the communion was.  I paused a moment and then answered, “Beautiful”.  My thoughts stayed with the beauty of the gift of the Eucharist as the pastor spoke to me of how he had been working on selecting the right bread and wine to best please everyone.  I let myself fade out of the dream holding onto the sense of a true receiving of communion in my dream.
This dream tells me a couple of things.  First, there is still a lot of judgement within me regarding the church patrons and officials.  Second, that I can move through the chaos and distractions to remain focused on the sacred.
My writing has been put on a back burner the last few weeks as I have been reading mostly.  This path of the Sacred Heart has opened up a new water course that has many new ideas flowing to me.  Right now I see the path flowing toward service and surrender.
I am working on getting comfortable with the prayer of ‘use me Lord’.  I turn again to St. Francis and say “make me a channel of you peace”.
I know I am not finished with understanding the lesson of Eucharist.  This morning I read the word Eucharist means ‘thanksgiving’.  I desire to fully understand the relationship of my belief of physical Eucharist with all the new ideas being shown to me.
Jesus, I wish to understand what you are showing me.
Also, I don’t think I fully understand yet the message of the chapter David Richo provided on Eucharist.  There is a cosmic, transcendent message being taught from Pierre Tielhard de Chardin who theorized that Jesus having said “This is my body” as the moment that began the transcendence of matter into the body of Christ.
I sense that a greater lesson is just hovering above my understanding.  I will allow the Universe to provide the stepping stones I need to move in the direction of this new lesson.
I surrender.
“Over every living thing which is to spring up, to grow, to flower, to ripen during this day, say again the words: “This is my Body.” Over every death force which is waiting to corrode, wither, or cut down, speak again your command: “This is my Blood.”” ~ Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

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