(Photo from Father Lawrence Lew, O.P. - God’s Excessive Love - Used With Permission)
" "You must speak to Jesus, not only with your lips, but also with your heart; actually, on certain occasions, you should speak with only your heart." — St. Padre Pio

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Eucharistic Reflection

In a post last June, I shared an excerpt from The Little Book of Eternal Wisdom, written by Dominican priest and mystic, Blessed Henry Suso, O.P. (1295-1366). The book sets forth an on-going dialogue between God (Eternal Wisdom) and a man (The Servant) who is searching for Wisdom and Truth. What follows is another excerpt from Chapter XXIII (How We Ought Lovingly To Receive God).

Eternal Wisdom. -- Answer Me now a question. What is that of all lovely things which is most agreeable to a loving heart?

The Servant.-- Lord, to my understanding nothing is so agreeable to a loving heart as the beloved Himself and His sweet presence.

Eternal Wisdom. -- Even so. See, and on this account, that nothing which belongs to true love might be wanting to those who love Me, did My unfathomable love, as soon as I had resolved to depart by death out of this world to My Father, compel Me to give Myself and My loving presence at the table of the last supper to My dear disciples, and in all future times to My elect, because I knew beforehand the misery which many a languishing heart would suffer for My sake.

The Servant.-- Oh, dearest Lord, and art You Yourself, Your very Self, really here?

Eternal Wisdom.—You have Me in the sacrament, before you and with you, as truly and really God and Man, according to soul and body, with flesh and blood, as truly as My pure Mother carried Me in her arms, and as truly as I am in heaven in My perfect glory.

The Servant.-- Ah, gentle Wisdom, there is yet something in My heart, may I be allowed to utter it to You? Lord, it does not proceed from unbelief, I believe that what You will You can do; but, tender Lord, it is a marvel to me (if I may venture to say so) how the beautiful, the delightful and glorified body of my Lord in all its greatness, in all its divinity, can thus essentially conceal itself under the little shape of the bread which, relatively considered, is so out of all relation. Gentle Lord, be nor angry with me on this account, for, as You art my Wisdom elect, I should be glad by Your favor to hear something on this head out of Your sweet mouth.

Eternal Wisdom.-- In what manner My glorified body and My soul, according to the whole truth, are in the Sacrament, this can no tongue express, nor any mind conceive, for it is a work of My omnipotence. Therefore ought you to believe it in all simplicity, and not pry much into it. And yet I must say a little to you about it. I will thrust this wonder aside for you with another wonder. Tell Me how it can be in nature that a great house should shape itself in a small mirror, or in every fragment of a mirror, when the mirror is broken? Or, how can this be, that the vast heavens should compress themselves into so small a space as your small eye, the two being so very unequal to each other in greatness?

The Servant.--Truly, Lord, I cannot tell, it is a strange thing, for my eye is to the heavens but as a small point.

Eternal Wisdom. -- Behold, though neither your eye nor anything else in nature is equal to the heavens, yet nature can do this thing, why should not I, the Lord of nature, be able to do many more things above nature? But now, tell me further, is it not just as great a miracle to create heaven and earth, and all creatures out of nothing, as to change bread invisibly into My body?


The Servant.-- Lord, it is just as possible for You, so far as I can understand, to change something into something, as to create something out of nothing.

Eternal Wisdom. -- Do you wonder then at that, and not at this? Tell Me further, you believe that I fed five thousand persons with five loaves, where was the hidden matter which obeyed My words?

The Servant. -- Lord, I know not.

Eternal Wisdom. -- Or do you believe you have a soul?

The Servant .-- This I do not believe, because I know it, for otherwise I should not be alive.

Eternal Wisdom. -- And yet you can not see your soul with your bodily eyes.

The Servant. -- Lord, I know that there are many more beings invisible to human eyes than such as we can see.

Eternal Wisdom. -- Now listen: many a person there is of senses so gross as hardly to believe that anything which he cannot perceive with his senses really exists, concerning which the learned know that it is false. In like manner does the human understanding stand related to divine knowledge. Had I asked you how the portals of the abyss are constructed, or how the waters in the firmament are held together, you would perhaps have answered thus: It is a question too deep for me, I cannot go into it: I never descended into the abyss, nor ever mounted up to the firmament. Well, I have only asked you about earthly things which you see and hear, and understand not. Why should you wish, then, to understand what surpasses all the earth, all the heavens, and all the senses? Or why will you need inquire into it? Behold, all such wondering and prying thoughts proceed alone from grossness of sense, which takes divine and supernatural things after the likeness of things earthly and natural, and such is not the case…

(Image credit to  Saints SQPN. The Little Book of Eternal Wisdom can be found at The Library of Christian Classics.)



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