Saturday, 4 February 2012

Deacon? (15) The Eucharist (3)

There is much in the following lines from among those I have gathered and noted, that leaves me disappointed that I cannot share more readily in what others around me believe. I am left sighing, and slowly shaking my head at the lack of any real emotion when reading them, but only until I switch back to the other face, the real face (for me) of my belief and appreciation of my faith.

Therein lies a greater disappointment for me: that I am unable to give to others what I have myself received.
We each have to make our journeys alone; not without support, encouragement, teaching, company, empathy, whatever may be needed from time to time in the external taking of steps and in the passage of what may run into many years, but in our minds and hearts. The transference of our central source of commitment, strength, trust and hope from the former, external supply to the latter is a subtle but defining change; one that can be influenced by others but brought about only by our own deep and very personal answering “Yes” to an invitation to step off the edge and into what may at first appear to be a limitless void. It is a moment of commitment to vulnerability and “to radical availability”, not, through ordination, to the Church as superficially perceived, nor to the hierarchy, but to Christ Himself. That this may later manifest itself as a form of commitment to His Church is a secondary form of “radical availability” which for some will become the required and fundamental presence of themselves at the core of their response to a vocation to the diaconate.

- ‘The basis and motivation of this formation “is the dynamism of the order itself”, while its nourishment is the Holy Eucharist, compendium of the entire Christian ministry and endless source of every spiritual energy.’

- ‘The centre of his spiritual itinerary must be the Holy Eucharist since it is
 the touchstone of the deacon's life and activity,
 the indispensable means of perseverance,
 the criterion of authentic renewal and of a balanced synthesis of life.’ 

- ‘The interior of the Church, the life of the Church within, centres on two things: the Word of God and on the Eucharist. These are the two aspects of the inner life of the Church from which all her other vision, all her activity flows.’ (Cardinal Hume)

Both my reasoning and my instincts find a welcome reminder of my too frequently buried understanding of the importance of the Eucharist to the Church in the following paragraphs from the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
They also provide a summary of the reasons for what could be taken as an unnecessary cause of my confusion between the Church’s teaching and my own certainties, which, at root, are fundamentally one and the same thing. At the centre of both is the all-pervading presence of Christ himself.
Finding Him and allowing Him access to our lives is the personal alpha and omega that opens up a whole new world and reveals His presence in all things.

CCC 1324   The Eucharist is "the source and summit of the Christian life."
"The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Pasch."

CCC 1327   In brief, the Eucharist is the sum and summary of our faith: "Our way of thinking is attuned to the Eucharist, and the Eucharist in turn confirms our way of thinking."

Hearing or reading, as an isolated phrase, that the Eucharist contains “the whole spiritual good of the Church” is experienced as being in conflict with “the whole spiritual good” which I sense as being at the heart of my conviction, but in the time it takes to read just three more words, “namely Christ himself,” all is made well and all rifts are healed. 
He is found, experienced and followed in different ways, and just as the variety of our sins and sinful tendencies does not alter the fact that we are all sinners and equals in our sinfulness, thus equally acceptable and welcomed in the Church, so our sharing in the same centrality of Jesus Christ in outwardly contradictory ways does not separate us from each other as equally faithful members of His Church.
‘To each his own’ sums up not only our weakness, but our individual needs and ways of accessing and receiving Truth, as well as the Spirit’s ability to satisfy those needs in ways that lead us to follow the individual paths laid out before us.

About Me

Who I am should be, and should remain, of little consequence to you. Who you are is what matters; who you are meant to be is what should matter most to you. In coming closer to my own true self, I have gradually been filled with the near inexpressible: I have simply become "brim full", and my words to you are drawn from those uttered within myself, as part of an undeniable overflowing that brings a smile to my every dusk, and to my every new dawn.
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