Catholic Contemplative Affiliation

Contemplative Notes

Contemplative Notes


Posted, June 2,   2018

It has struck me as strange that in our Church-speak, we say that we go to Holy Communion; or we receive Holy Communion.
Really, what we approach is the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. Briefly, the Holy Eucharist is the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ, offered in the Church Liturgy and then received in the form of food and drink. It is Christ in the fullness of his mystery, truly, really, substantially, sacramentally present.
In receiving the Holy Eucharist, eating and drinking, we enter into Holy Communion with the substantially present Lord Christ, and receive the concomitant grace of union and transformation.
We should say we approach the Holy Eucharist for worship and reception as food and drink so that we can enter more fully into a holy communion with Christ through the Sacrament.
It has become more clear to me: that in the eating and drinking, in that very moment of reception, in the act of eating and drinking, the sacrament is actualized, union is consummated. My response is surrender, total, simple, mindful, surrender to that Action which is the Sacrament, the “Mysteries,” of which the Liturgy of the Mass prays about in several places.

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In our liturgical celebration, the Rule of St. Benedict states:
Mens concordet voci. (The mind should be in accord with the voice.)
Which means that in our exercise of celebrating the words of the Liturgy, the depths and understanding of the soul, of the heart—i.e. the mens—surrenders to the words of the sacred Liturgy. The workings of the understanding, memory, and the movements of love and surrender are led by words and actions of the Liturgy into the mystery of Christ being celebrated and in its affecting us in transforming grace.

Usually it is the mind that directs the voice to enunciate the thoughts.

Or in contemplative prayer practice, the word surrenders to the silent depths of divine union within the soul (“mens) which is “unutterable.”

Out of love, the mind surrenders the words to the lips from deep meanings and memory; the words are celebrated; and thus the Liturgy and Sacrament are effected into ontological transformation, as the body and mind of our humility are transformed into the glory of the risen Lord.







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William Fredrickson