A Eucharist Journey: Day 4 of 8

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Waking Up

-Joshua M. Casey

How often have you walked (or worse, driven!) somewhere, only to suddenly realize you have no memory of the trip?

Did I drive through any red lights? Did I signal for that lane change? And what was I even thinking about?

We are all of us sleepwalkers. Spiritual somnambulists shambling through life with only the appearance of consciousness; bumping into each other yet unable to acknowledge the world around. We speak of “life” as though we were living it, yet we pay as much attention to movements around us as we do our next breath.

Yet even our next breath is a gift: an inhalation of the continuously self-giving Divine in whom “all things hold together” (Col. 1:17), the Christ, the physicality of the invisible God, in whom we literally “live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28).[1]

Life. Breath. The veritable proof of our present and His Presence; that you, a mere collection of muscles, sinews, organs, tissues, and synapses are dry bones come to life with the rushing of the wind of the breath of God. And it keeps happening. Every breath. You, at this moment, are taking into your lungs the very Presence of the Lord Almighty. Take a moment to let that sink in. If God is immanent, inundating this world with the weight of Himself, then His Person saturates the very atoms of air being drawn into your chest.

Stop. Breathe. Notice that you are here now.

Perhaps it is because we don’t pay attention to our next breath that we forget, and our feckless flinging away of the Gift numbs our senses to the truth: God–and his Kingdom–are everywhere, even within (Luke 17:21). We forget that we can no more invite the presence of God into our lives than we can run it out of them. As Franciscan friar Richard Rohr says, “We cannot attain the presence of God because we're already in the presence of God. What's absent is awareness.”[2]

Perhaps this is why the primary act of the spiritual life is to wake up. Perhaps this is why we need things like Communion, things which have the power draw us back into the truth: not because they are in themselves special, but because they can be the vehicle of transport into awakening. And we need all the help we can get. May these elements awaken your soul to yourself, and especially to the Christ who dwells in you and in whom you live, move, and exist.

 

[1] All verses from NRSV.

[2] Rohr, Richard. "Loving the Presence in the Present." Center for Action and Contemplation. N.p., 22 Dec. 2015. Web. 27 Mar. 2017. <https://cac.org/loving-the-presence-in-the-present-2015-12-29/>.


About The Author

Joshua M. Casey worked as a campus pastor for eight years and is passionate about connecting the church of today to the practices of our past. He lives in Bloomington, IN with his family and writes regularly at joshuamcasey.wordpress.com and can be found on Twitter @thejmcasey and Facebook.com/jmcasey7.