Fr. John Codis
March 31, 2013
With Burning Hearts
A Meditation on the Eucharistic Life
By Henri J. M. Nouwen
Opening thoughts and basis for discussion
Do you think about the meaning of this sacrament when you participate in it?
What does it mean to you?
Has its meaning evolved during your life?
How can all of my life be Eucharistic…? What does this mean?
The daily celebration of the Eucharist and our daily human experience are one in the same. What we celebrate i.e., The Eucharist, and what we are called to live i.e., the Eucharistic life, are one in the same.
Understanding our Losses
When have you felt like the two people on the Road to Emmaus?
When have you felt lost, that your life holds no purpose or that there is no ending in sight?
In many ways we are like the two on the Road to Emmaus. We are lost! We have forgotten the new reality that was reviled to us Christ through his Death and ultimate Resurrection. The reality of forgiveness, healing and love live within the very core of our humanity.
We have lost so much! Sometimes it even seems that life is just one long series of losses.
“Loss is a part of ordinary life. The losses that settle themselves deeply in our hearts and minds are the loss of intimacy, through separations, the loss of safety through violence, the loss of innocence through abuse, the loss of friends through betrayal…” and the list goes on. Pg. 25
No one can escape the agonizing losses that are part of our everyday lives. Beyond all of these losses there is the loss of faith – the loss of the conviction that our life has meaning.
What do we do with our losses?
Mourning our Losses
Our grief makes us experience the abyss of our own life in which nothing is settled, clear, or obvious, but everything constantly shifting and changing.
“Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.” Matt. 5:5
There is a blessing hidden in our grief!
Mourning our losses is the first step away from resentment and toward gratitude.
The Eucharist and Gratitude
“To celebrate the Eucharist and to live a Eucharistic life has everything to do with gratitude.” Pg. 34
“Ευχαρησία” is the act of thanksgiving. To celebrate the Eucharist and to live a Eucharistic life has everything to do with gratitude.
When we celebrate the Eucharist and live a Eucharistic life, we begin to mourn our losses and through this mourning we understand life as a gift.
The Eucharist begins with a cry for God’s mercy. “Lord have Mercy.”
Celebrating the Eucharist requires that we stand in this world accepting our co-responsibility for the evil that surrounds and pervades us. As long as we remain stuck in our complaints about the terrible times in which we live and the terrible situations we have to bear and the terrible fate we have to suffer, we can never come to contrition. And contrition can grow only out of a contrite heart. A contrite heart does not blame but acknowledges its own part in the sinfulness of the world and so has been made ready to receive God’s mercy.
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