April 13, 2012

The Eucharist and Life to the Full - Heaven in Faith Episode #10

The saints and mystics approach the Eucharist with an expansive vision of the possibilities this sacrament opens before the heart.  For Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity, fully partaking of the Eucharist paradoxically feeds the hunger of God, "He wants to enter the very marrow of our bones and when we allow Him to do so, the more fully we savor Him... He wants to consume our life in order to change it into His own; ours, full of vices, His, full of grace and glory and all prepared for us, if only we renounce ourselves."

Those who want to enter deep into the Eucharistic mystery must renounce themselves out of love for Him.  The more they renounce, the more they give Him space in their hearts to rule.  This Eucharistic vision stands against all forms of spirituality rooted in the merely gratifying.  How many spiritual fads are aimed at merely validating agendas and ideologies with which we are too comfortable?  The way of the Cross is to go against what is popular and to refuse to be driven by anything that is merely gratifying.  This can be so difficult!  God knows this because He knows us better than we know ourselves.  To help us travel this road, the Risen Lord feeds us with Himself.  

Nourished with His humanity, our own humanity discovers possibilities and opportunities which go beyond the power of sin and death.  No longer limited by the fear of anything in this world; letting go, surrender, abandonment to the will of God, and trust in Him begins to replace our own anxiety driven efforts to control or escape the realities of life.   Trusting in God, this is to trust in love, because God is love.  To trust in love, this allows us to live by love - not as a sentimental wish, but as a moment to moment decision with all those God has given to us.  To say "Amen" to the Body and Blood of Christ is to say "yes" to this kind of trust in our lives - and with such trust, nothing holds us back from living life to the full.

For further reflections on Blessed Elisabeth's Eucharistic vision of union with God, here is episode #10 of my reflections on her retreat Heaven in Faith.