Reflection on Taste and See

Holy Eucharist

 

Taste and see how gracious the Lord is: happy are those who find refuge in the Most High (Psalm 34:8. The New Zealand Prayer Book, p.234).

I remember the first time I became convinced in faith of the Real Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist.  It was that moment for me when I experienced for myself that I received all the Goodness of God when I receive The Holy Communion.  Since then, it is for me the ultimate source of spiritual nourishment.  God meets me where I am, whatever is going on, where ever it is happening; in the appearance of bread and wine.  It is both very simple and very profound.

The more I venture into a more contemplative way of prayer and spirituality,  the more I like to stay away from doctrines and dogmas.  By themselves, they are good; when they lead me to a deeper relationship with God and my neighbors.  However, I can also use them to become very self-centered.  I can put God into a box that is defined by my very limited understanding of God.  A relationship with God that bears fruit, leaves the door of faith open to discover the Presence of God anew in whatever way God comes to us, beckoning us to  search for union with God.  This is exactly what the Eucharist is.  It is opportunity to see and taste the goodness of God; to seek refuge in God in the midst of the sweet, the bitter, the simple and the complex.

To taste and see the graciousness of God and find refuge in the Most High, is to let the Holy Spirit expand our spiritual taste buds.  It means putting into practice though very hard it may be; those two words that are way too easy to read and write.  Let go. Let go of what we think things should be by our own standards.  Let go of wanting what we do not have; instead of being thankful and searching for union with God in whatever is in front of us in the here and now.

It means following the admonition of Saint Benedict to receive Christ in the guest in radical hospitality in chapter 53 of The Rule.  The Eucharist and the guest are two wonderful ways to taste and see the graciousness of God.

How are you opening yourself up to taste and see God’s graciousness, and find refuge in God?

Amen.

Brother Anselm Philip King-Lowe, OSB

 

Contemplation: Here and Now

Stormy Lake Ontario

 

“To become a contemplative, a daily schedule of religious events and practices is not enough.  We must begin to do life, to be with people, to accept circumstances, to bring good to evil in ways that speak of the presence of God in every moment.”  (Sr. Joan Chittister, OSB, Illuminated Life: Monastic Wisdom for Seekers of Light p.535).

All of us are in circumstances of one kind or another that we would love to change.  We want more money.  We want what the world tries to sell us; and all too often succeeds.  Something bigger, better, faster, something more efficient.  We want to solve our most urgent of problems by changing events of the past.  Some of us go about living in a state in which accepting what is in our past is something we try to avoid.

A very wise person gave me what I believe is a paraphrase of something said by Buddhists.  “Much of our suffering is because of our refusal to accept what is.”  Jesus Himself has something to say that is comparable.  “Today has enough problems of its own; tomorrow can look after itself” (read Matthew 6:31-34).

Contemplative prayer and the mystical experience at its best, brings us face to face with what is, as it is.  Contemplative prayer invites us to see God in the midst of joy and sadness.  Peace and calamity.  In moments when every thing seems to make sense.  In moments when everything we thought made sense; suddenly becomes something we cannot begin to make sense of.

God is here.  God is there.  God is moving on us.  God is calling us to a renewal of relationship with God in the here and now.  The contemplative vision and experience waits patiently to show us the way towards a conversion of heart and life; from God’s point of view.  Not our own.

How are you contemplating and seeking the presence of God in your own life today?

Amen.

Brother Anselm Philip King-Lowe, OSB