Spiritual Reading 30

30. Quotations for Meditation: 2

When Christ comes to one of his faithful it is not simply in order to commune with him as an individual…. When, through the mouth of the priest, he says “Hoc est corpus meum,” these words extend beyond the morsel of bread over which they are said: they give birth to the whole mystical body of Christ. The effect of the priestly act extends beyond the consecrated host to the cosmos itself…. The entire realm of matter is slowly but irresistibly affected by this great consecration.

The Host is like a blazing hearth from which flames spread their radiance, just as the spark that falls into the heather is soon surrounded by a wide circle of fire. So the sacramental Host of bread is continually being encircled more closely by another infinitely larger Host, which is nothing less than the universe itself. The world is the final and the real Host into which Christ gradually descends until his time is fulfilled…. We work actively, extending our energies to the utmost and we are also acted upon, drawn into the processes of the world, and therefore the processes of God. We receive the gracious pull of God through the push of our own actions. We take the bread and the wine in the sacrament and we consume them, but we do so within the larger rhythm in which we ourselves are consumed by the blazing flames of the Host itself, which is the world and which is Christ.

—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

If we agree with Augustine that there is only one Christ loving himself, then cannot we also say that for the deluded, Christ is an individual being, and for the awakened, an individual being is Christ. The risen Christ is not another being somewhere else, but rather the being right here in front of me, the same Christ that I am.

—Robert Kennedy: Zen Spirit, Christian Spirit

When God decided to realize His Incarnation before our eyes, He had first of all to raise up in the world a virtue capable of drawing Him as far as ourselves. He needed a mother who would engender Him in the human sphere. What did he do? He created the Virgin Mary, that is to say He called forth on earth a purity so great that, within this transparency, He would concentrate Himself to the point of becoming a little child. There, expressed in its strength and reality, is the power of purity to bring the divine to birth among us…. “Blessed are you who have believed”…. It is in faith that purity finds the fulfillment of its fertility.

—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin: The Divine Milieu

After earth’s exile, I hope to go and enjoy you in the fatherland, but I do not want to lay up merits for heaven. I want to work for your love alone…In the evening of this life, I shall appear before you with empty hands, for I do not ask you, Lord, to count my works…..I wish to be clothed in your own justice and to receive from your love the eternal possession of yourself…. I will spend my heaven doing good on earth.

—St. Therese of Lisieux

All the saints intended that whatever they did or suffered for God’s sake should be of value not only themselves but to the whole Church.

—St. Thomas Aquinas

To be “in Christ” is to enter the revolutionary events of Holy Thursday by experiencing the archetypal death and resurrection, letting go of an old modality of consciousness ready to die and seeing a new one rise to life. Creativity, emanating from the divine impulse of evolution, may come to be seen as the real interior meaning of the act of faith—faith in the future.

—Beatrice Bruteau: The Grand Option

How strange, my God, are the processes your Spirit initiates! When, two centuries ago, your Church began to feel the particular power of your heart, it might have seemed that what was captivating men’s souls was the fact of their finding in you an element even more determinate, more circumscribed, than your humanity as a whole. But now on the contrary a swift reversal is making us aware that your main purpose in this revealing to us of your heart was to enable our love to escape from the constrictions of the too narrow, too precise, too limited image of you which we had fashioned for ourselves. What I discern in your breast is simply a furnace of fire; and the more I fix my gaze on its ardency the more it seems to me that all around it the contours of your body melt away and become enlarged beyond all measure, till the only features I can distinguish in you are those of the face of a world which has burst into flame.

—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin: The Mass on the World

I am in Jesus’ heart and Jesus is in my heart.

—Mother Theresa

When God makes Himself the guide of a person He exacts from her an absolute confidence in Him, and a freedom from any sort of disquietude as to the way in which He conducts her. The soul, therefore, is urged on without perceiving the path traced out before it.

—Jean Pierre de Caussade: Abandonment to Divine Providence

The Crucified One is God’s standing solidarity with the suffering , the tragedy, and the disaster of all time, and God’s promise that it will not have the final word.

The Risen One is God’s final word about the universe and what God plans to do with all suffering.

—Richard Rohr: Immortal Diamond

He has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature.

—Peter 1:4

The energy of grace is the power of spiritual fire that fills the heart with joy.

—St. Gregory of Sinai, Orthodox saint

I gladly consent to spend my life in this underground darkness to which God has led me; my only wish is that my gloom will bring light to sinners [others].

—St. Therese: “Letter”

What more could he still do for us, that he had not done? He has opened his very Heart to us, as the most secret chamber wherein to lead our soul, his chosen spouse. For it is his joy to be with us in silent stillness, and in peaceful silence to rest there with us.... He gives us his heart entirely, that it may be our home. He desires our hearts in return that they may be his dwelling place.

—Johann Tauler

Jesus is not the creator of another religion, but the victor over religion. He is not the maker of another law but the conqueror of law...He is the end of religion, above Christianity and non-Christianity.

—Paul Tillich

What happens in the experience of resurrection is that the close followers of Jesus begin to rediscover his presence with them, and they experience this presence with an intensity and a reassurance that transcends the quality of his earthly/human presence among them.

—Diarmuid O’ Murchu

We are fully transformed and converted into God in the same way as in the sacrament the bread is converted into the body of Christ, so am I converted into him, so that he converts me into his being as one, not as like. By the living God it is true that there is no difference.

—Meister Eckhart

For the deluded, Christ is another being, and for the awakened, an individual being is Christ. The risen Christ is not another being somewhere else, but rather the risen Christ is the being here in front of me, the same Christ that I am.

—Robert Kennedy, S.J.