Choosing the better part

Choosing the better part

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Mysterium Tremendum et Fascinans


How often do we really think about what is really happening as we receive Communion?  What is taking place not only in our minds and hearts but what is the experience of Our Lord in every Communion?  What is the nature of the sorrow and pain He experiences in our weakness, sin, our hesitation, our withdrawal?  Where are we taken in that Communion, to what place in the Lord?  What is the joy that the Lord experiences and what is it that we receive in His Eucharistic surrender?  Again, von Speyr shares with us her insights into and experience of the Mysterium Tremendum et Fascinans.


"Only a few grasp that there are things in the Lord's life and in their life with him that are unique even when they are repeated.  Every communion with the Lord is the only one.  Every Communion is given in the shadow of the Cross to which the Lord makes his way from the Upper Room.  Most of them think: The Cross will come later, just now the Lord is still here.  He sees and feels all this.  And these thoughts of the disciples awaken in him now a certain impotence of his own.  A weakness, a sense of incapacity.  Not a localized pain as later on the Cross, but something general, diffuse, reaching to his whole bodily sensitivity.  It is an uncertainty, not of the mind, but experienced in his body, an effect, so to speak, rebounding back to him from the recipients.  He feels their failure as personally directed against his body.  There is no anonymity here, only the immediate impact of their person on his embodied person.


Formerly, in his public life, for example, he felt compassion with their hesitation, their shortcomings, their withdrawal, limited as they were by their weak human nature.  Now it is different - and this belongs essentially to his mission: he has to feel each one's failure in his body.  Everything in them that is directed against God is now directed against his body.  In him lies the strength to overcome their failure; the effort comes from his innermost center.  In every Communion, he does not enter into a peripheral relationship with them, but rather, he is engaged with what is most intimate and central to him, there where his most central and intimate relationship with the Father is located.  It is there he allows them to communicate; it is there he admits the restlessness of human sin.


And yet is also joy for him that through him men enter into communion with the Father, that the Father allows him to open his inner being and let them participate in eucharistic communion with the Father: he gives to human beings, not only 'the little finger' or a hand or an arm, but the whole and the best.  He shares with them the best he has by giving away the best of himself.



Something of the spent energy of the eucharistic body is also retained by the risen body of the Lord.  But the surrendered state of his body before the Passion is more easily understood by men than the surrendered state of the risen body.  The situation of the Last Supper will better equip them to receive Communion later than the situation of the Resurrection.  The Lord's eucharistic surrender is the beginning of his Fiat on the Cross.  The eucharistic state endures as experience for the risen Lord.  It is something he knows, something belonging to him.  It cannot be said that he suffers from it - the Passion ends at Easter - but there is a quality of sensation that remains.  And, after all, we continue to offend God through our sins.  But the Father is ready to bear with us and forgive us by reason of the Son's perfect surrender."


(Adrienne von Speyr)

1 comment:

  1. very perceptive - in the Holy Spirit's charisms of knowledge, understanding, wisdom, and counsel - looking forward to hear more from her writings...

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