Friday, December 4, 2015

Everything else is as if finished

Dear Daughters of St. Philip Neri,

Fr. Tadeusz provides us once again with the most extraordinary insight into how God comes to us in the Eucharist.  The Lord gives himself, everything, to us now.  If we but had faith, what power the words of consecration would have - how they would strike the heart!  Yet, perhaps it is only in the darkest moments that the light and truth of these words can shine:  "I have nothing.  Only He is really important.  He is importance itself.  Everything else is as if finished."  When our world is shaken, when our hearts quake, and our lives seem to crumble into ruin around us - He is recreating us!

Love, Fr. Tadeusz tells us, gushes towards us from the altar.  We must look for it nowhere else.  "More than reading books, you will best learn about God by receiving the Eucharist.  God comes to you in Holy Communion, accepting you as if speaking: You are receiving everything.  Do you need anything else?"

On the night He was betrayed, He took bread and gave You thanks and praise - he is lowering his voice, he is focusing on the Lord in the Upper Room.  Suddenly he is aware of increasingly strange moments and restlessness in the congregation.  He tries not to think about it . . . He broke the bread, gave it to his disciples - our incomprehensible one is coming to the altar - and said: TAKE THIS, ALL OF YOU . . . the walls start to tremble - AND EAT IT.  He hears someone screaming out, "O my God, what is happening?"

He crouches as if to cling to the altar: THIS IS MY BODY . . . the congregation is obviously much disturbed.  Something is happening.  The wooden double doors creak and crack.  WHICH WILL BE GIVEN UP FOR YOU.  He raises the host.  A chunk of plaster falls nearby and covers one side of the altar.  With lightning speed he remembers that according the Greek Jesus says: which is being given up for you.  It is being given now!  He tries to avoid being aware of crumbling walls as he genuflects with increased adoration.  He feels glued to the floor.  The church empties.  He feels the tremor of the altar slab.  There is shouting coming from outside.  When supper was ended - maybe this is the last Mass - He took the cup - he is trying to speak slowly, adoring with deepest faith.  His unworthy hands are holding God himself.  He shows the chalice to an empty church.

Above, there is a raging gale.  There is another stronger tremor.  Plaster is falling on the altar.  He protects the sacred species by covering chalice and host.  He doesn't want them to be buried under the rubble.  May this sacrifice - saying the words, he is transfixed - advance the peace and salvation of the world.  The words strike with great force.  This is the sacrifice to the whole world.  What power is flowing from the altar!   Now he is alone, alone with God.  It is never been like this.

Hear the prayers of the family You have gathered her before You.  There is no congregation.  His throat painfully contracts.  He can't speak.  In a moment, the ceiling will collapse and crush him.  The left wall of the church is already cracking.  Debris covers everything with dust.  He has just enough time to cover the host.  Painfully, he utters the eucharistic prayer from memory.

"He was not in the earthquake," he told me half a year later.  "As with Elijah, God came in a silent breeze.  I found scared people huddled together in little groups.  I said to them, 'The Lord is with you.'  I showed them the corporal and consecrated elements.  They gathered around to receive."  I have brought you God.  He remembers the words.  May this sacrifice . . . advance the peace and salvation of all the world. What power flows from the eucharistic altar!  God has saved you.  I have a strange certainty that no one has died.

Everything comes from Him, the earthquake and the Elijah type silent breeze.  He is alive in these small hosts.

I experienced those moments of dread as though it were the end.  Perhaps you did, too.  But it was only the announcement.  At a certain moment when the darkness covered the inside of the collapsing church, I thought it was the end; yet it was also the beginning.  I have nothing.  Only He is really important.  He is importance itself.  Everything else is as if finished.

Everything Eucharist is the announcement of future life.  We should have all died.  Yet the sun is still there; the silent breeze is there too.  Yet more, He is giving himself to you.  Everyone of you is receiving God in your mouth.

It is a great grace to experience such "final" moments.  God can extract tremendous spiritual responses from them.  The power of experiencing that I am always alone before God, and everything else too, just like you, right now, today, is that He is always recreating and loving me.  He loves you and leads you through the narrow pathway He mentions, a pathway which certainly goes forever towards eternal life.

God's light is so strange; a collapsing church, a symbol of an ever transient world, the altar hardly scratched.  God is present there under the sacred species, the symbol of His endless power and love.  Love gushing from the altar.

More than reading books, you will best learn about God by receiving the Eucharist.  God comes to you in Holy Communion, accepting you as if speaking: You are receiving everything.  Do you need anything else?

I gave them God while their faces were strangely illuminated.  I looked back at the rubble and said: Everyone of us takes life for granted.  Let's live only for this One who through thick and thin, always creates and loves.  You give me everything.  God gives himself so that in himself there is the whole world and all creation, recreated.

Everything is given me from You.
You sin because you do not let Him you. 
When I am coming down steep stairs, You are present all the time.  You are present in every conversation, in every word that is uttered. 
My life is simplified to this: receive Your love whenever I can. 
You will never love Him.  You are to receive this love in things great and small. 
Live just to receive this love.

The Savior's love is the love of the eucharistic Christ.  In it you will find happiness and union with Him here and now, on earth.

The prayer, "Everything I am given comes from You," expresses the meeting of limitless love with your human love.  This limitless love is embracing you and your loving response.

You speak to me: "I have only you," which is why You give me everything.

Fr. Tadeusz Dajczer
The Mystery of Faith

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