This weekend is the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, also known as Corpus Christi. The readings can be found here.
Teilhard de Chardin believed that the Eucharist was not only the central component of the Liturgy but that all of creation was divinized by the presence of God. The most mystical description of this concept is described in Teilhard’s Mass on the World but he also discussed it frequently in his other writings.
This week’s reflections come from Teilhard de Chardin and Pope Benedict XVI who both beautifully point to this cosmic description of the Eucharist. The first quote below is from Teilhard de Chardin:
“The greatest change, however, comes with mass and communion, when we realize the full depth and universality of their mystery. We now understand that when Christ descends sacramentally into each one of his faithful it is not simply in order to commune with him; it is in order to join him, physically, a little more closely to himself and to all the rest of the faithful in the growing unity of the world. When, through the priest, Christ says,’Hoc est corpus meum, ‘This is my body’, the words reach out infinitely far beyond the morsel of bread over which they are pronounced: they bring the entire mystical body into being. The priestly act extends beyond the transubstantiated Host to the cosmos itself, which, century after century, is gradually being transformed by the Incarnation, itself never complete. From age to age, there is but one single mass in the world: the true Host, the total Host, is the universe which is continually being more intimately penetrated and vivified by Christ. From the most distant origin of things until their unforeseeable consummation, through the countless convulsions of boundless space, the whole of nature is slowly and irresistibly undergoing the supreme consecration. Fundamentally—since all time and for ever-but one single thing is being made in creation: the body of Christ.”
Teilhard de Chardin, Pierre (2002-11-18). Christianity and Evolution (Harvest Book, Hb 276) (Kindle Locations 915-924). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition.
The second quote below is from Pope Benedict XVI in 2009 in which he further elaborates on Teilhard’s vision:
Pope Benedict XVI said, “We ourselves, with our whole being, must be adoration and sacrifice, and by transforming our world, give it back to God. The role of the priesthood is to consecrate the world so that it may become a living host, a liturgy: so that the liturgy may not be something alongside the reality of the world, but that the world itself shall become a living host, a liturgy. This is also the great vision of Teilhard de Chardin: in the end we shall achieve a true cosmic liturgy, where the cosmos becomes a living host. And let us pray the Lord to help us become priests in this sense, to aid in the transformation of the world, in adoration of God, beginning with ourselves. That our lives may speak of God, that our lives may be a true liturgy, an announcement of God, a door through which the distant God may become the present God, and a true giving of ourselves to God.” (Homily, July 24, 2009).
From my blog, “Woods Walking #12: Substantial Lineage: Back to the Roots of Being”
“We all share the common roots of this moment of “creation” of our temporal reality. And just as the tree, discussed at the beginning of this entry, emerged from a single seed, so did the primal substance of our universe, inflating in space, time and in complexity; flowering into the diverse set of chemical elements that yielded the potential for life.”
Thank you. I absolutely treasure morsels such as these two quotes which express so eloquently our connection to the entire universe, the cosmos, through the love and presence of God in all things.
Today after mass, I thought of the millions of people around the world who had swallowed a bit of Christ today. I prayed to be more aware of the fact that we have been fed God, made holy, and that the light goes outward and grows onward and the darkness has not overcome it. I’m more thankful than ever for this Bread–more in tune with my tiny role as a part of something much larger. Thank you for sharing your ideas and Teilhard’s ‘Mass.’