Sunday, June 22, 2014
Damn! I'm Glad to Be a Catholic!
There are days when I pray to God and its between me and Him--most days are like that. Me, desperate, begging, or offering some kind of deal, Him, font of mercy, saving my soul in ways I'm not at all aware of . But as time goes on, I am aware of something invading my own private religious universe--call it an awareness that I am not the only one involved in my salvation. That there is a "we" that I am part of, and we are all looking in the same direction with hope and joy and love.
Today is one of those days. The Feast of Corpus Christi--it doesn't matter if you're charismatic, traditional, frustrated, or even a fallen away Catholic. You take one look at that monstrance and Who is inside it, and the divisions, the arguments, the guilt, the fear, all seem to disappear and you are just many suddenly become one, in adoration of a God who is so loving and humble that he has come down to us to be our food. What unites us as Catholics is not a set of beliefs, as beautiful as they are--it is not the Gospel, as wonderful and world-saving as it is--what unites us all as Catholics, is that little wafer inside that shiny golden monstrance. We are miracles praying to a miracle.
We may look a little odd, walking down the street in a procession behind the Eucharist. Especially in America where such things are relatively new. A crowd of regular folks walking behind a priest holding up what is to all apearances a flour and water wafer in a golden holder. People must think we are completely insane. But maybe it will make them pause for a moment and try to figure out why a group of seemingly sane people would follow after and even pray to a little round wafer held up by a priest.
If nothing else is a testament to the supernatural power of the Eucharist, we are. We regular people, walking with a kind of clumsy gait, looking a little embarrassed but defiant, walking behind our Lord. The word "witness" in the New Testament is, in Greek, "marturia"--which is where the word "martyr" came from. It's original meaning is a witness as in a witness testifying in court. In court all you need are the facts as you remember them. And that's all we need, that one fact, the one fact the world will not be able to comprehend, analyze, or dismiss, instantly accessible to a child.