Brian’s Reflection: Monday, May 2, 2011
To bring the sublime into the mundane
is the greatest challenge there is.
Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan
I deeply deeply enter into the Holy Eucharist. I am in awe of it as a Sacred Mystery. It is the reason that I became an Anglican in Canada when I was 19, and one of the prime reasons I remain a Christian in the Episcopal/Eucharistic tradition despite my great frustration over its flip-flopping positions on the full inclusion of Gayfolk and its continuing refusal fully to commit theologically to the fact that there is nothing ontologically “wrong”, or as the Dalai Llama would have it “disordered”, about homosexuals.
I love receiving “mundane” things - bread and wine - into my hands and body, and knowing that I am “receiving God” into myself - that at least is the theological understanding. When I was a young monk, the devotion I most cherished was Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament – sitting in contemplation before the consecrated Host in its Monstrance on the altar. I was a “raging radical” about everything else ….. but no amount of taunting from my reformist brothers could change my mind. One brother would call it “The Nabisco Hour” to try and get at me ….. but I would just smile.
It did not take me long to understand that devotion to the Blessed Sacrament was a mighty metaphor. That, just as the Living God was “in” the holy bread and wine, God was in me, in my friends, in all human beings, in flower and animal, in every single piece of Creation. In my perceived enemies ….. though it took me longer to get there. That I should stand in awe and adoration before them, for they all were holy manifestations of the God of Compassion. That the whole World, seen and unseen, is a sacrament of the presence of the Holy One.
I am ashamed that still I do so little to honour the ubiquitous bearers of this Holiness. Tonight I learned that Osama ben Laden has been killed. Yet another extinguishing of a bodily tabernacle of God, however dim a tabernacle some may think him and however murderous his hate.
I wonder: is there any way that we all could learn to see the Holy in each other? It would change us.