Some time ago, I was introduced to the activity of geocaching. One of the Sisters with whom I lived was an avid geocacher and adventurer. What is it? “Geocaching is a type of global treasure hunt of people looking for caches, or hidden stashes of objects. Geocaching may also be described as a series of hide-and-seek games, where hiders provide online clues for seekers. Seekers use global positioning system (GPS) devices to find hidden caches.”1 In other words, to find something that is not obvious, an explorer needs to use a GPS (a device that points to a certain location) as well as some intelligence. Geocachers often leave clues as to where the hidden treasure actually lies.
When accompanying Sister on her excursions, I was amazed that so much of this was “hidden in plain sight.” It really made me ponder what other things are hidden in plain sight.
As I reflected on that thought, it came to me that the amazing gift of the Eucharist is truly “hidden” in mystery and Trinitarian life. In the book “7 Secrets of the Eucharist,” Vinny Flynn describes an aspect of the Eucharist that is a truly hidden reality.
To echo St. Theresa of Calcutta, “The Eucharist involves more than just receiving; it also involves satisfying the hunger of Christ.”2 Flynn goes on to explain that receiving Communion is not just a passive experience. Rather, when one “receives” Communion, one enters into communion. You might be thinking, “What does that mean?” Flynn explains: “In Communion I enter into the Lord, who is communicating himself to me. … When I receive Communion properly, I am not receiving something into me; I am actively involved in the process, fully present to the One who is present within me, uniting my whole being with Him, becoming ‘one flesh’ with Christ, and through Him entering into a uniquely personal encounter with the Father and the Holy Spirit as well.”3 In short, the Eucharist brings us into communion with the Trinity.
How do we prepare to enter into this communion? Flynn describes five ways: 1) We must examine our consciences; 2) If we are conscious of grave sin, we must go to Confession before we receive Communion; 3) We should reflect on our unworthiness and ask confidently for God’s healing (‘Lord, I am not worthy, but only say the word and I shall be healed’); 4) We should observe the fast required by the Church; 5) We should ensure that our ‘bodily demeanor,’ including our gesture and our clothing, ‘convey the respect, solemnity, and joy of this moment when Christ becomes our guest.’ (CCC 1385-1387)4
In this three-year renewal that focuses on the Eucharist, it is my prayer that you come to understand and experience the beauty, glory, and grace that is hidden in our plain sight!
2Flynn, Vinny. 7 Secrets of the Eucharist. MercySong, Inc., 2006. Pg. 61.
3Ibid, pg. 64
4Ibid, pg. 66
By Sister Geralyn Schmidt, SCC, Special to The Witness