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Many thanks to Jessie Carty and her staff.
Baptism opens the door to the Eucharist. The Eucharist is the sacrament through which Jesus enters into an intimate, permanent communion with us. It is the sacrament of the table. It is the sacrament of food and drink. It is the sacrament of daily nurture. While baptism is a once-in-a-lifetime event, the Eucharist can be a monthly, weekly, or even daily occurrence. Jesus gave us the Eucharist as a constant memory of his life and death. Not a memory that simply makes us think of him but a memory that makes us members of his body. That is why Jesus on the evening before he died took bread saying, “This is my Body,” and took the cup saying, “This is my Blood.” By eating the Body and drinking the Blood of Christ, we become one with him.
The journey, this transition from the world to a new life, was like flying through some strange new element – as if I were in the stratosphere. And yet I was on the familiar earth and the cold winter rain streaked the windows of the train as we traveled through the dark hills….I was free. I had recovered my liberty. I belonged to God, not to myself…
Merton, Thomas. A Merton Reader, ed. by Thomas P. McDonnell, (New York: Image Books, 1989) 132.
Throughout this week, pause, take a breath, and listen with your heart. What brings you to liberty and unity with God?
I’ll be at Tate Street Coffeeshop in Greensboro, NC from 6-10 pm. Events everywhere.
How do we live in creation? Do we relate to it as a place full of “things” we can use for whatever need we want to fulfill and whatever goal we wish to accomplish? Or do we see creation first of all as a sacramental reality, a sacred space where God reveals to us the immense beauty of the Divine?
As long as we only use creation, we cannot recognise its sacredness because we are approaching it as if we are its owners. But when we relate to all that surrounds us as created by the same God who created us and as the place where God appears to us and calls us to worship and adoration, then we are able to recognise the sacred quality of all God’s handiwork.
“The poems in Seriously Dangerous are illuminated by their sense of place, by Losse’s respect for and deference to nature and the natural, and by the variety, mystery, and history of the American South. These are poems that beckon to a reader like a family member or an old friend; you will find yourself reading them again and again. ”
Many thanks to Addy McCulloch.
When God took on flesh in Jesus Christ, the uncreated and the created, the eternal and the temporal, the divine and the human became united. This unity meant that all that is mortal now points to the immortal, all that is finite now points to the infinite. In and through Jesus all creation has become like a splendid veil, through which the face of God is revealed to us.
This is called the sacramental quality of the created order. All that is is sacred because all that is speaks of God’s redeeming love. Seas and winds, mountains and trees, sun, moon, and stars, and all the animals and people have become sacred windows offering us glimpses of God.
The poem is from my book Seriously Dangerous (Main Street Rag Publishing Company, 2011).
“What I want to do here, instead of that kind of review [one of the overall book], is to spend some time with my favorite poem in Seriously Dangerous. It’s a poem I love for its strong imagery, its sensual and emotional content, but it’s not a poem that I think I ‘understand’ in a way that would let me paraphrase it. It is, in short, the very definition of a poem.” Read more
Many thanks to Sherry Chandler for offering this analysis.
Standing erect, holding our heads high, is the attitude of spiritually mature people in face of the calamities of our world. The facts of everyday life are a rich source for doomsday thinking and feeling. But it is possible for us to resist this temptation and to stand with self-confidence in this world, never losing our spiritual ground, always aware that “sky and earth will pass away” but the words of Jesus will never pass away (see Luke 21:33).
Let us be like Mary, the mother of Jesus, who stood under the cross, trusting in God’s faithfulness notwithstanding the death of his beloved Child.