Saturday Lent Week 4

So there was a division among the people over him… They went each to his own house.
When people come up to receive communion at Mass their way of doing so often illustrates the nature of the church they belong to as well as expressing their individual character in a few revealing moments.

Younger people tend to make eye contact and often smile, looking for a personal connection. Then there are other usually older communicants who come as if they have a gun in their back or that God will be striking them dead for receiving communion

 when they are not in as pure a state of grace as Mother Teresa and St Francis combined. They there are those who are too cool or masculine to show reverence and grab the host and run. Or those who are more pious may approach on their knees and insist on you placing the host on their tongue.

The diversity of people and their apparent reasons for coming to communion might make you wonder where the unity is supposed to be. But all true relationship does that – polarizing similarity and difference but never giving up on the potential for union. Such diversity is a sign of just how broadly the invitation of Jesus to ‘come to me’ has been distributed. No one is refused even if they don’t understand at first what they are accepting.

Every time we meditate it is because we basically believe and acknowledge that - at the deep core of my being - there is the very thing I believe in and hope for even though I can’t see, touch or imagine it.  I know and I don’t know. This means I may at times feel ridiculous. I may fail to see the reason behind things or that they exist only in order to help me get closer to that elusive centre.

Similarly, I may come to meditation anywhere along the spectrum on any given day. What matters is not the superficial appearance or even the level of feeling but the deep-level unity that exists already and is the great attractive force.

We say the mantra simply so that we can leave all self-conscious analysis behind. Only when we have once breathed the pure air of the spirit during this quest can we see ourselves for what we are.

Laurence Freeman OSB