Ave verum corpus

Ave verum corpus, natum [Hail, true body, Born]

De Maria Virgine, [of the Virgin Mary,]

Vere passum, immolatum [Truly suffered, sacrificed]

In cruce pro homine, [On the Cross for mankind,]

Cujus latus perforatum [Whose pierced side]

Unda fluxit et sanguine, [Flowed with water and blood,]

Esto nobis praegustatum [Be for us a foretaste]

In mortis examine. [In the trial of death.]

I heard this for the first time on Tuesday. It is a song that is used as the Host is elevated during the consecration during the Eucharistic Feast. This is a beautiful piece that evoked in me a sense of wonder and awe. I literally went to another place as I heard this piece.

I have been thinking about it a lot. I went on line and found the words for the corpus. Imagine you are in worship and the Eucharistic Feast is being celebrated. The presider holds up the Host (The Body of Christ) and proclaims “Hail, true body, Born of the Virgin Mary, Truly suffered, sacrificed on the cross for [creation], Whose pierced side flowed with water and blood, be us a foretaste in the trial of death. What is your reaction? What is your hunger for the sacrifice of Jesus Christ? Are you stirred or moved?

I have meditated upon this scene a few times. I am trying to understand what happened to me as I listened to this corpus, absent of the meaning. Something stirred inside me. At the very depths of my conciseness I moved to a divine place. I was at rest. I was intimately involved with God. For a moment in time I was truly reconciled unto God. Sin was not a barrier to God’s revelation in my heart. I cannot understand it beyond an awareness that something changed in me.

I move to a deeper analysis of this encounter. Why was this experience absent the feast so moving? I have never encountered such a thing in partaking of the Host. I was transformed. This folks was the “nuni dei”! I did not want for a thing. I required only this moment. It has peeked my hunger for another encounter.

Was it the truly suffered and sacrificed? Was I feeling a release for the guilt and shame of my sin and my inability to do what is required of me? Perhaps, it was the recognition of Gods utter ownership of grace and forgiveness. There is no need to earn this. I freely receive. So in that moment I received the collective imbuing of the Host at once. All that stored up frustration in action. All of that built up anger and false action in playing the part of a Christian. All of this was removed in a single moment that coincided with the engagement of this corpus. The corpus itself is not the vehicle. Rather, it is the inaction of my estrangement and the transformative/restorative power of the Host that I encountered in its most potent and natural state. I encountered a euphoric, savage, primal, desperate place to which only my Creator has access.

I hunger more today for that divine encounter than I have in recent years. I am starving, not for grain or meat. I hunger for truth and access to God. This encounter with the corpus has sent me on a journey to which I have discovered a reason and purpose to endeavor onward. I am not satisfied with pat answers. I want the challenge. I need the challenge of my finite condition to engage God. It is not about my abilities or skills. I stand not just on the shoulder of the giants that have preceded me. I stand upon the Godly shoulders of my Creator. This allows for a vantage point that reveals transformation, reconciliation, and peace to me in any condition. Esto nobis praegustatum in mortis examine.” Let this wrinkle in time be that taste of divine that carries me to the trial of death. As I lie awake may my mind wander to the delight of this encounter. There is more to come. This morsel of food has seeded in me passion and hunger. I have faith it will not be the last.

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