Two Transformations at Mass

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Two Transformations at Mass

Post by Admin on Mon Oct 30, 2017 10:12 pm


The Two Transformations at Mass

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Think of a map in your hands-- that unexpectedly erupts in miniature flowing rivers, frosts over with snow-capped mountains, and burns with deserts. Or think of a painting of a rose-- which startles you by gushing lush fragrance.

All of this happens at every Mass, as symbols become Reality, as metaphors of bread and wine suddenly cease to be merely figurative, to become at Consecration the “Living Bread”-- the Christ of Heaven, “Incarnate” here now, for our gaze, as it is even for our consumption.

The first transformation at the Mass, then, is the miraculous transubstantiation of earthly elements into the very Christ of Heaven.

Mary Josephine Ward (who co-founded, with her husband, the publishing house, Sheed & Ward) was especially devoted to this doctrine of the Real Presence. Her appreciation of the Eucharistic Christ was due in part to a story that had shocked her since youth. A woman had been attending a church of a Christian denomination which regarded the Eucharist as a symbol of Christ only. The bread and wine was said to remain just bread and wine before and after communion, which was held to be merely a memorial ceremony.

During such a communion, she accidentally spilled some wine on her dress. The minister quickly consoled her, “Never mind, my dear, the new cleaning methods will get it out completely”-- as if she had just got a bit of mustard on her outfit.

“Of course the woman became a Catholic immediately,” said Mary Ward.

The point of the story is not a naive Catholic one-upmanship, but a focus on the truest wonder on earth: the Eucharistic Christ.

The second transformation of the Mass is the Eucharist’s transforming effect on the soul. Thomas Merton wrote: “While we ‘eat’ the substance of the true Body of Christ under sacramental species, we are ourselves are eaten and absorbed by the Mystical Body of Christ.”

Our Creator continues to ‘create’ us in this most radical way-- with the aim of completing in us the full incarnation of Christ, nothing less.





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Re: Two Transformations at Mass

Post by wfobrien on Wed Nov 01, 2017 12:12 pm

Joe
What a great and inspiring message. I attend daily Mass and bring with it each day my understanding from The Real Christ. It truly brings a transformational magic to the Mass.
I am rereading The Real Christ. This time slowly and writing my take a ways. It is a remarkable and inspiring journey. The history of the development of Christology is interesting but the underlying theology is riveting and mind boggling...
Always
Thanks

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Re: Two Transformations at Mass

Post by Admin on Wed Nov 01, 2017 2:42 pm

Hi friend,
I like what you said about the Real Christ illuminating the Mass!

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