Thursday, May 4, 2006

Being made clean

Nat (LurkyNat, of Interface fame), asked me to share my views on why I feel made clean after participating in the Mass.

What a great question!

I feel made clean because at the moment of taking communion I am one with not just Christ, but with the full body of the Church, both in my parish, around the world, in purgatory, and in heaven above. Angels, saints, and all the departed souls that make up the church are one with me and I with them. Heaven and earth collide in the divinity and humanity of Christ and I have the opportunity to take the complete Christ into my heart, soul, and body.

The Eucharist is the source and summit of my Catholic existence. All the sacraments and every prayer and religious teaching is orientated to the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ, in the real presence, during the Mass.

Purified of my venial sins, I have the chance to start over as I join the heavenly host in praising God. It's a glorious mystery and gift from Christ.

When I go to receive my Lord in the Eucharist, this is the passage from the New Testament that always comes to mind:

Revelation, 7: 9-17

After this I had a vision of a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation, race, people, and tongue. They stood before the throne and before the Lamb, wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands. They cried out in a loud voice: "Salvation comes from our God, who is seated on the throne, and from the Lamb." All the angels stood around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They prostrated themselves before the throne, worshiped God, and exclaimed: "Amen. Blessing and glory, wisdom and thanksgiving, honor, power, and might be to our God forever and ever. Amen." Then one of the elders spoke up and said to me, "Who are those wearing white robes and where did they come from?" I said to him, "My lord, you are the one who knows." He said to me, "These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. "For this reason they stand before God's throne and worship him day and night in his temple. The one who sits on the throne will shelter them. They will not hunger or thirst anymore, nor will the sun or any heat strike them. For the Lamb who is in the center of the throne will shepherd them and lead themto springs of life-giving water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."