Thursday, April 22, 2010

Daily - 4/22/2010

John 6:44-51

44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draw him, and I will raise him on the last day.

45 It is written in the prophets: 'They shall all be taught by God.' Everyone who listens to my Father and learns from him comes to me.

46 Not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God; he has seen the Father.

47 Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life.

48 I am the bread of life.

49 Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died;

50 this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die.

51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world."

Today's meditation in Magnificat magazine is outstanding, and far better than anything I can write. It was written by Caryll Houselander, a British mystic, poet, and spiritual teacher.

Link: Caryll Houselander: The Host-Life - this is a blog from a Benedictine Monk. It has all of Chapter 10 of Caryll Houselander's book, "The Passion of the Infant Christ". Below is a piece of that chapter.


In the offering of the bread and wine we give material things, as Our Lady gave her humanity, to be changed into Christ. At the words of Consecration the bread and wine are not there any more; they simply are not any more but, instead, Christ is there.

In that which looks and tastes and feels like unleavened bread, Christ comes closer to us even than the infant could come, even than the child in the womb. He is our food, our life.

We give ourselves up to Him. He gives Himself up to us. He is lifted up in the priest's hands, sacrificed. God accepts the sacrifice and gives Christ back to us. He is lowered onto the altar; He who was taken down from the Cross is given to us in Communion; buried, laid to rest in our hearts.

It is His will to rise from the dead in our lives and to come back to the world in His risen Host-life.

In His risen life on earth Christ often made Himself recog­nized only by the characteristic of His unmistakable love; by showing His wounds, by His infinite courtesy, by the breaking of Bread. He would not allow the sensible beauty and dearness of His human personality, His familiar appearance, to hide the essential Self that He had come back to give.

Wholly consistent with this is Christ's return to us in the Host. We know that in It He is wholly present, Body, Blood, Soul, Divinity. But all this is hidden, even His human appearance is hidden. He insists, because this is the way of absolute love, on coming to us stripped of everything but Himself.

For this Self-giving Christ in the Host is poor, poorer than He was when, stripped of everything, He was naked on the Cross. He has given up even the appearance of His body, the sound of His voice, His power of mobility. He has divested Himself of colour and weight and taste. He has made Himself as close to nothing as He could be, while still being accessible to us.