By Amanda Pizzolatto (Rated G)
Once upon a time, a great king wanted to send his son to live among his people to save them from their wretched ways. First, he chose a woman to care for his child, and then he chose a man to take of them both. They were the poorest of the poor, but the purest to be found anywhere. The king’s son lived in great happiness with them for many years, despite a few close calls during his infancy when the king’s enemies attempted to kill him. One day, the prince received a messenger from his father; it was time to pave the way for their people. He left his mother and foster father to remind people of how the king wished for them to live. Many refused his teachings for it meant they would have to think of others rather than of themselves, but many more sought his guidance on their journey back to their king. Some left after realizing how hard a journey it would be, but most stayed, understanding that it would be worth it. It finally came time for the ultimate test, and the prince was willing to go first. He was be mocked, tortured, humiliated, and killed for his father. The king’s enemies had won, or so they thought. The prince came back from the dead, but only stayed a while longer before returning to his father. In that time, he gave many instructions on what the people who chose to belong to the king should do, and one of those was to eat the prince’s flesh and drink his blood. This confused many people, even those closest to him. He finally made it clear what he meant by it – that they were to take bread, bless it in his name, and his body would become one with the bread, though the bread’s outward appearances would not change. It was to be the same for his blood – take some wine, bless it in his name, and it would become one with his blood, though it would still look, feel, and taste like wine. To actually eat flesh and to drink blood is a rather nasty prospective, so the prince made it so that only the physicality of the bread and wine would remain the same, but that, once blessed, every other part of it would be changed into his body and blood.
Now, for another story, if you don’t mind, this one will be shorter. Joshua has two friends, David and Daniel. These two men make it a ritual to go to Joshua’s house every week. Once there, they tell Joshua how their weeks have been, and Joshua tells them how to make their next week better. However, only Daniel is truly listening. David persists in thinking of his own wisdom on how to make his week better, or what else he should have said to that idiot in the street. Joshua also talks little about himself; again, only Daniel is listening; David is too busy thinking about that pretty girl he met at the bar. The two men finally leave, both thinking they did quite well, though only one would advance in his life and in his relationship with Joshua. Imagine, if you were to meet these two men and, having heard about their weekly excursions to Joshua’s house, who you would go to as the authority on what Joshua is truly like – Daniel who paid attention to him, or David who was lost in his own thoughts? Are you the same way with God in His house?
This is why I veil in church, why I genuflect whenever I pass the tabernacle, why I sign myself with the of the cross, the sign of Christ, when I enter and leave His house: Christ is truly present in the tabernacle, He has made Himself known many times, like in Lanciano and Buenos Aires. He wants us to know Him when He presents Himself in the Eucharist in the tabernacle. I am not guiltless of thinking of myself or letting my thoughts wander to worldly things while in Mass, but when I let my mind linger on my Savior and my Creator, I realize that He just wants to be known, to be loved, to be understood, like we all do. So sometimes God does not answer your prayers because He just wants you with Him, to sit in silence, together, as friends, and enjoy all the beauty He has created, and just how unique you are to Him. I am not a perfect friend to Him, but maybe where I have failed, you may succeed. You be the one who puts a smile on His face when He becomes sad with the world; you make Him laugh when all others want Him to cry; you listen to His wisdom and concerns for the world when others claim they don’t need Him; you sit with Him in silence and get to know Him when others fill their heads with nonsense to shut Him out. Everyone needs a friend, and so does God. He has chosen us all, it is time for us to choose for ourselves and follow the way of the cross, which is still being acted out on the altar of the Mass. Don’t believe me, or even He who says it is He who is there? You can do one of two things to find out for sure. One is to open your heart and silence your mind to let Him speak to you of His presence. The second option is for you to go to Lanciano or Buenos Aires (or at least look up the miracles there) to see what He has shown us about His presence. If you love your God, your Savior, your Creator, stop hurting Him, pause in your crazy, busy life; be still, be silent, and let Him enter into your heart so you may know Him better. You will not regret it, for He always takes care of His own.