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Post by Admin on Tue Sep 12, 2017 2:29 pm

The other day I posted the photo of an Eucharistic host, elevated by a priest at Mass, with the playful question, “What is the ‘optical illusion’ in this photo, in terms of the the Mystery of Christ?”

The answer I had in mind is: Though the Eucharist appears spatially to be a small object, one of many, in the Sanctuary of a Catholic Church, in truth the Eucharist we see elevated by the priest is ALL THAT IS.

The whole created order, seen and unseen, including the Church, the planet it is on, the galaxy it is in, the cosmos-- all are inside that Eucharist, as the Eucharist is ALL THAT IS.

All Uncreated Existence (God) and the whole created existence is IN what looks like a little round Host, in the photo.

That is because the Holy Eucharist is the Eternal Christ Itself, the Heavenly Christ. It is not a symbol of Christ, affirms mystical theology (and hosts of Christian mystics) but the Eternal Christ, made present on the altar.

Two masterpieces of mystical insight, I believe, point to the reality of Eucharist as All there Is.
The Council of Chalcedon’s (451) classic definition of Christ
St. Irenaeus’ theme of cosmic recapitulation in Christ

Chalcedon famously affirms Christ is--

“...truly God and truly man....consubstantial [same essence] with the Father in Godhead, and the same consubstantial [same essence] with us in manhood...”

As the Eucharist is really Christ, the Whole Christ of Heaven,
it must be “truly God”.
God is Absolute Existence, the Source and Support of every level of created existence.
God is Absolute Uncreated Reality.
The Divine Eucharist is That Uncreated Reality.

Importantly, Chalcedon adds that Christ is not a mixture of the two natures, Divine and human. The Eternal Christ is not a hybrid, or “confusion” of the natures, but the Mystery of Christ is the natures are absolutely One, but unmixed.
The disparate natures of Christ, Divine and human, are not
“confused” “separated” “divided” or “separated”.

(You might try this. Think of any two objects. Try to imagine them as absolutely one, but in no way merged into each other, so either one is changed ....and not mixed together.... but they as one, one not different from the other!That is the feintest clue to the true Mystery of Christ, which is the eternal Oneness of the Essence of divinity and the essence of humanity.)

The humanity of Christ, affirmed the Council of Chalcedon, is common human nature-- the very human nature that Jesus, you, and I equally share. Jesus didn’t have any more human nature (some kind of “uber” human nature) because human nature is universal, not individual.

It is this essence of humanity (says Chalcedon) that God has united Itself to AS Christ, actually divinizing it, so that the universal essence of humanity lives no longer its own life, but God’s Life AS the One Heavenly Christ.

One of the most inspiring themes of St. Irenaeus work (his thesis of “recapitulation”) elaborates the Incarnation’s divinizing effect on human nature --indeed, the Incarnation’s divinizing effect on the whole of creation, which is being progressively realized.

Miraculously conceived by God and Mary, the life in Mary’s womb grows and passes through all levels of existence --elemental, vegetative, animal, finally human-- each level thereby united to the Logos, by the Power of the Spirit, united the whole created order of existence, of Nature, (not just humanity) to God Itself.

In this way, perhaps it could be said Irenaeus’s thesis of recapitulation augments the Chalcedons’ definition of Christ in this way:

The Eternal Christ is “truly human” “truly divine”, the eternal Oneness of Uncreated Existence (God) and not just universal humanity, but the whole of created existence, seen and unseen.

This Eternal Christ is the Eucharist in the photo-- exactly the same.

So, contrary to appearances, the raised Eucharistic Host is not an object among objects-- it is not an object at all, but the ALL that exists including the priest elevating the Eucharist, the church, the planet, and creation itself-- because All exist in God, the Eucharist.

Glorious Lord Christ...
you who gather into your exuberant unity
every beauty, every affinity, every energy,
every mode of existence;
it is you to whom my being cried out
with a desire as vast as the universe,
‘In truth you are my Lord and my God.
-Teilhard de Chardin, from Hymn of the Universe


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