Sunday, October 2, 2011

A Deeper Look into the Trinity and the Eucharist

Well I mentioned in my previous entry that I would write about the conference that we attended in Milwaukee on September 24th. It was pretty awesome. (By pretty awesome, I mean really awesome.) Fr. Bill, a Capuchin Franciscan Friar, gave a talk called Praying the Eucharist: A Franciscan Way.

In one of St. Francis' writings, A Letter to the Entire Order (1225-1226) he wrote:

"Let everyone be struck with fear,
let the whole world tremble,
and let the heavens exult
when Christ, the Son of the living God,
is present on the altar in the hands of a priest!

"O wonderful loftiness and stupendous dignity!
O sublime humility!
O humble sublimity!
The Lord of the universe,
God and the Son of God,
so humbles Himself
that for our salvation
He hides Himself
under an ordinary piece of bread!

"Brothers, look at the humility of God,

and pour out your hearts before Him!
Humble yourselves
that you may be exalted by Him!
Hold back nothing of yourselves for yourselves,
that He Who gives Himself totally to you
may receive you totally!"

Fr. Bill pointed out Franciscan life begins with the heart. What you just read is not theory. It is awe! The truth of the Eucharist is that through it God bends low to touch us! That’s how God loves us: not from a distance but from a touch, which can only happen at our level. That is God’s humility: God Who doesn’t need to, decides to. God loves us individually and allows us to experience this through the person of Jesus.

Note above that Francis wrote: "O sublime humility! O humble sublimity!" God is the epitome of humility.

Three examples of God's humility:
  1. The Word of God became human: The Incarnation.
  2. Allows Himself to be arrested and put to death. (Remember the Trinity: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were crucified through the person of the Son. This brings a whole new dimension to the humility of God.)
  3. The Eucharist. (Again, remember the Trinity: when we receive the Eucharist, we receive the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.)
Our response to this great love is in the last paragraph, including these words: "Hold back nothing of yourselves for yourselves." We are called to:
  • look at the various gifts we have and share them with others.
  • love our neighbors; that includes our enemies (“and who is my neighbor?” Luke 10:25-37)
The Theology of Transubstantiation, or the Real Presence:
  • The Real Presence is not physical (bones, tissues, etc.) It is beyond the physical.
  • The substance changes while the physical properties are maintained (still smells, tastes, feels and looks like bread and wine, except is it now our Lord). Remember again the Trinity: it is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit through the person of the Son.
 Fr. Bill also spoke about people who continue to dwell on the fact that they are not worthy. He said that God knows we are not worthy, that's the point. We need Him. If you want to be healthy you need to eat and drink regularly, not just when you want it; likewise with the Eucharist.

God's ways are not our ways because God IS love. God treats us as we need to be treated, not as we "deserve." (Matthew 20:1-16) We don't get rewarded for good deeds; God treats us as we need to be treated so that we can do good. That's why the sun shines on everyone.

In other news, the Detroit Lions are undefeated (4-0) and the Packers are also undefeated. (At this moment the Packers are playing the Broncos....but we are in the lead.)

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