Taking our faith for granted
The emptiness of My churches apart from the hours of the liturgical offices is an indictment, first of all, of My priests, and then, of My faithful. My Eucharistic presence meets with coldness, with indifference, and with a chilling ingratitude, even on the part of My priests and of consecrated souls. They fail to recognize in the mystery of the Most Holy Eucharist the pearl of great price, the treasure once
hidden in the field but now offered freely to all who would partake of its inexhaustible riches.1 I am left alone in a world
A Benedictine Monk. In Sinu Jesu: When Heart Speaks to Heart--
The Journal of a Priest at Prayer (Kindle Locations 3984-3988). Angelico Press. Kindle Edition.
I have learned that one’s faith is important, not to be taken for granted. We live in a world, at least in the 1st world, where faith is mocked and those who believe are seen as weak, irrational, and filled with the fear of facing reality. It is of course nonsense, but we all have prejudicial ideas about others who believe in a different way. It is built into our DNA I believe. Christians can be just as ‘silly’ as some atheist, or other Non-Catholic Christians, who actually hate the church I belong to, the Catholic Church.
In the Catholic Church, as well as all of the older branches of Christianity, place a great deal of importance on the Eucharist, at least it is in our theology books, and often by the writings of our mystics, and doctors of the church. Yet, in reality, more often than not, this sacrament, is not really thought about much by Catholic’s in general. It is a great gift, the Eucharist, yet often downplayed because it is taken for granted.
My mother was not a Catholic. One day when I was a teenager, she said something to me. “If I really believed that Jesus is present in His full divinity in the Eucharist, I would spend every free moment in one of your churches. Yet she continued, they are empty, except when some sort of liturgical service is going on, even then, most seemed bored or distracted”. My mother, I believe, was a mystic, and took the life of the spirit seriously, just not Christians for the most part.
The Eucharist points to the deep love and intimacy that Christ Jesus wishes for all of mankind, without regard to one’s past. For we are shown the depth of the mercy of God when we read about how he suffered, yet forgave all. Yet, faith is necessary for most of us, for me for sure, and it is not always easy. There are some who have had experiences so great, that faith is not really needed since they have seen. Yet, subjective experiences cannot be proven, except by the one who has them.
The Eucharist is a healing sacrament, and the deeper one's feelings of inner fragmentation, and alienation from God, and others, the more profoundly important it is for them to seek Christ Jesus in this sacrament if they are Catholic.
I have learned to respect all faiths, for those on any path towards God, are seekers, and seekers rejoice when the truth is found out. I do know that many mock my faith, and have only contempt for me because of that. So what? Those who have faith, need to study what they believe and seek to go deeper into the reality of the call of grace, that is offered to all. It is free of charge, all one needs is to seek the Lord, or to seek the truth, and grace will do the rest. All that is needed is a small flame of love, it will increase by the love of God that rushes in when we call on his name. Those who seek, even if at the very beginning, love God to their full capacity, which increases for eternity, a journey that never ends. We are filled and arrive, and are empty and just beginning our journey, all at the same time. Love is never old, nor can it be taken for granted once this love is tasted, it increases our thirst for God, and slowly we grow.
There is nothing that can separate us from the love of God, except our own will. Once we understand that we do choose, it can give us great freedom and a feeling of dignity. God’s love only wishes us to become freer and filled with trust. We are called to incarnate Christ Jesus in this life, we are all called to become food for others, to allow our hearts to grow, and not to fear the suffering that comes with loving others. In the meantime, those who are on the path towards God can forget that we are never to judge the worth of another human being but to pray for all. Actions can be judged, and perhaps wrongdoers have to be dealt with, but their true worth is not for us to weigh, not even our own.—Br.MD