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bread

breadI love the stuff that sneaks up on you when you commit to sitting in a spiritual stew. We like to graze and keep moving, spinning (at least that’s what I like), but sitting with a single thought or idea over an extended period of time is like licking a Tootsie Pop—a methodical, resistant, yet rich flavor that eventually gives way to the stuff you can chew on.

This past week, I’ve sat on a reading from an author I’m not too familiar with. I did a little research, and I really like what Brother Carlo has to say. I’m fond this passage I’m about to share. I hope it ministers to you too! –MDP-

“This vital realization that the sign of bread concealed and pointed out for me the uninterrupted presence of Jesus beside me was a unique grace in my life.”

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst” (John 6:35, NASB).

I realized that HE had died in order that I might stop turning to him with questions about justice, and believe instead, deep within myself, that the scales had come down overflowing on the side of love, and that even though all, through unbelief or madness, had offended him, he had conquered forever, and drawn all things everlastingly to himself.

Then later, so that I should never forget that Friday and abandon the Cross, as one forgets a postcard on the table or a picture in the worn-out book that has been feeding one’s devotion, he led me on to discover that in order to be with me continually, not simply as an affectionate remembrance but as a living presence, he had devised the Eucharist.

What a discovery that was!

Under the sacramental sign of bread, Jesus was there each morning to renew the sacrifice of the Cross and make of it the living sacrifice of his bride, the Church, a pure offering to the Divine Majesty.

And still that was not all.

He led me on to understand that the sign of bread testified to his hidden presence, not only during the Great Sacrifice, but at all times, since the Eucharist was not an isolated moment in my day, but a line which stretched over twenty-four hours: he is God-with-us, the realization of what had been foretold by the cloud that went before the people of God during their journey through the desert, and the darkness which filled the tabernacle in the temple of Jerusalem.

I must emphasize that this vital realization that the sign of bread concealed and pointed out for me the uninterrupted presence of Jesus beside me was a unique grace in my life. From that moment he led me along the path to intimacy, and friendship with himself.

I understood that he longed to be present like this beside each one of us.

Jesus was not only bread, he was a friend.

 A home without bread is not a home, but a home without friendship is nothing.

That is why Jesus became a friend, concealed under the sign of bread. I learned to stay with him for hours on end, listening to the mysterious voices that welled up from the abysses of Being and to receive the rays of that light whose source was the uncreated light of God.

I have experienced such sweetness in the Eucharistic presence of Christ.

I have learned to appreciate why the saints remain in contemplation before this bread to beseech, to adore and to love.

How I wish that everyone might take the Eucharist home, and having made a little oratory in some quiet corner, might find joy in sitting quietly before it, in order to make his dialogue with God easier and more immediate, an intimate union with Christ.

From In Search of the Beyond, by Carlo Carretto

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