Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Transfiguration, Real Presence and Reparation

Yesterday was the first I had heard of the recent rash of Eucharistic sacrileges being promoted, as it seems, by a professor of the [University of Wisconsin (Madison)] [CORRECTION: University of Minnesota: sorry about that, U Wis]. It seems that the man is asking folks to send him consecrated hosts so he can desecrate them with aplomb, publishing the manner in which he carries this out (so as to assure himself the greatest possible attention). I understand he is an equal opportunity offender, having simultaneously desecrated the Eucharist and the Koran. Clearly, there is some sort of personality disorder at work here: a kind of exhibitionism.
Rather than dismiss this ("What a loser!"), we are called to two responses. The first of these is, clearly, reparation, not only for the professor, but for those who are collaborating with his deranged project. Our reparation can take the form of the opposite of sacrilege: praise and adoration of the Eucharist and reverence toward the members of the Body of Christ. Our second response, one that has already been taken up by many, is to pray for this person. I am praying especially to St. Paul for his healing and conversion, because if such a person as this were to be converted, he could become an Apostle of the Eucharist, much the way Paul became the most unlikely Apostle of the Gentiles.
The Lord's presence in the Eucharist is almost the opposite of what today's feast of the Transfiguration celebrates. Until that moment on the mountain, our Lord's divinity was utterly hidden: only his human nature was apparent. Then, the glory he had with the Father before the world began manifested itself in that transcendent experience. But in the Eucharist, as Thomas Aquinas sings in "Adoro Te," both divine and human natures are hidden. All we see is a passive piece of bread (or a "cracker," as the sacrilegious professor insists on saying). But perception is not reality--certainly not in this case, nor was it during our Lord's earthly life!
And now, down to the studio.

6 comments:

Joan said...

Just a quick comment as this post was sent to me vial email from a friend.

I will join my prayer with yours for the conversion of all concerned. It is sometimes those who doubt the most or who initiate the most outrageous attacks on people of faith and their beliefs who have the potential for the most profound transformation through God's love. And our respect and love and forgiveness in response may be the channel of God's loving mercy. What a mystery.

Also, thank you for helping me to see and remember the link between reverence for the Eucharist and loving respect for the members of the Body of Christ. There is no duality here. We are all one, even in our brokenness. Another mystery too profound for my little mind to grasp...

Anonymous said...

Re desecration of the Blessed Sacrament. Thanks for telling me. I have just prayed for the professor as people like him need prayers.

Anonymous said...

It makes one wonder the relevance of previous encounters with the Eucharist; why would desecrating the Blessed Sacrament publicly mean anything to him, if it didn't mean something significant before? No one in their right mind does something to insult others just for the heck of it. My prayers go out for him and all those that attempt to annihilate the best of life.

Anonymous said...

I feel very sorry for this man. He sounds lost and angry. He really needs prayers.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sister, that "professor" is at the University of Minnesota at Morris, not at U Wisconsin Madison.

Horrible thing he's done and a disgraceful response by the University's chancellor who has swept it under the rug citing academic freedom.
Maureen

xaipe said...

Thanks Maureen; that's what I get from blogging on memory.