by Ken Rolheiser
Our lives of Love and Eucharist

“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are Spiritual beings having a human experience. Infinite love is the only truth; everything else is illusion” (Pierre Tielhard de Jardin).

As long as I can remember I have always been in love with someone. My Grade one teacher, my Grade three to seven teachers. My Grade two teacher was a man - you get the picture.

As an adult in the workplace, there were, naturally, always some who attracted me in a special way. Maybe this is God’s way of perpetuating the race, but it is more than that. In “Blessing Others as the End Game of Sexuality” theologian Ron Rolheiser speaks of that attraction to others as a blessing.

“Perhaps its ultimate expression is that of admiration, of someone looking at another person or at the world with the sheer gaze of admiration, with everything inside of that person somehow saying: Wow! I delight in you! Your energy enriches this world! How can I help you?” Rolheiser says.

This is a mature love. “It is a grandparent looking at a grandchild with a love that is purer and more selfless than any love he or she has ever experienced before, a love without any self-interest, which is only admiration, selflessness, and delight. In that moment, this person is mirroring God looking at the initial creation and exclaiming: It is good; it is very good!”

The self examination of our lives and of our love asks: in my actions, my use of time and talents, am I serving my brothers and sisters or am I serving my own purposes?

Jesus left us with a wonderful gift of his love after his resurrection and ascension into heaven. Eucharist is from the Greek word gratitude. Eucharistos means grateful, and charizesthaito means to show favour.

Jesus left us the gift that makes us one with him and the Father and gives us life eternal. “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him…anyone who eats this bread will live forever” (John 6:56-58). 

Jesus looks at us with love, and he wants to share that love with all of us. Let me illustrate with a story about the miraculous cure of a paralyzed boy who received communion. At first the priest refused the boy communion because he could not speak and hence, could not confess.

The boy insisted he wished to receive Jesus in communion and continued to kneel. The priest finished distributing communion to others and finally yielded to the boy’s request.

“As soon as the host came into contact with Bertrand's mouth, he felt ‘shaken by a mysterious force. His whole body began to tremble. A powerful heat traversed his body from his feet to his head, as if it was coming back to life. Then he moved his hands, arms and legs, before his mother in tears. He was healed, suddenly and permanently’” (from A Eucharistic Miracle June 12, 2022).

Jesus gazes on all of us with love. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. And the Eucharist makes us one with our brothers and sisters.

Mature adult love focuses on blessing, on admiration, and on giving, so that others might have more. We can use our power to help others fulfill their dreams and hopes. To bless another is to say: I delight in your beauty and energy.

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