Here is what the poet P. Claudel read into the priest’s imploring look as he turned to the people and recited the words Dominus vobiscum (The Lord be with you):
|(Image source: Wikimedia Commons)|
The Lord is with you, my brothers! My brothers,
did you hear me?
My little flock, it is not only the paten, it is not only
the chalice with the wine,
it is you—the whole of you—that I would like to hold
and raise in my hands...
See, the collection plate is coming round. Have you nothing else to give,
except that miserable farthing?
Nothing other than your purse to open?
Is there no one here suffering?
No one afflicted among you? Really? No sin and
No mother who has lost her child? Has no one here
failed without it being their fault?
[Father Cantalamessa ads: No priest, no man or woman religious who
has failed through no fault of their own, or even
through their own fault?]
No young girl abandoned by her fiancé because her
brother has squandered her dowry?
No sick person who has been diagnosed by his doctor
and who knows there is no hope?•
Why then deprive your God of that which is his own?
Your tears and your faith, your blood with his in
Like the wine and bread, this is the material of his
This is what ransoms the world; this is what he
thirsts and hungers for,
these tears, like coins thrown into the fountain, oh my
God, so many sufferings in vain!
Have pity on him who had only thirty-three years
Unite your passion to his, as one can only die once!
(From This Is My Body-Eucharistic Reflections Inspired by Adoro te Devote and Ave Verum by Father Raniero Cantalamessa, O.F.M. )