Real Presence

“The Presence of God is an applying of our spirit to God, or a realization of God as present, which is borne home to us either by the imagination or by the understanding.” ― Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God

It’s already very late on Easter Sunday and so, happy Easter! Today I have been reflecting on the real presence of persons and the real presence of Christ. May the physical distance between persons from one another and from the sacraments startle us to greater awe and reverence for them both.

Many people are realizing that they long for presence. 

This drives home our nature as embodied spirits, not merely transactional avatars. 

This Holy Week I have been thinking especially of the Incarnation in connection with the Passion. Normally we meditate on the Incarnation at Christmas, but of course the Passion is part of God’s incarnation through which He enters profoundly into the human condition. And today, in his homily, Bishop Barron spoke about how we could spend the whole Easter season and indeed our whole lives reflecting on these lines from the Book of Acts: 

This man God raised on the third day and granted that he be visible,
not to all the people, but to us,
the witnesses chosen by God in advance,
who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.

Bishop Barron spoke about the realism and the particularism of the disciples’ testimony. 

Our faith and our relationships are not purely spiritual, nor purely virtual; they are incarnate. 

Again reflecting on Bishop Barron’s homily, the New Testament is not a collection of serene, abstract, detached spiritual musings, but rather gritty, concrete, involved, tactile accounts of actual happenings. 

So much are we, by our very nature, made for ‘physical presencing’ that God became present to us in the flesh and then, after rising from the dead, became present again to many witnesses and then, after ascending to heaven, becomes present to us again and again in the real presence of the Blessed Sacrament. 

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