Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Eucharistic Revival Series: Miracles, Big and Small

Miracles.

Whenever I hear that word, I associate it with some Biblical passage like Moses parting the Red Sea or Jesus raising folks from the dead, cleansing those with leprosy, restoring sight to the blind and on and on. Recently, I came across a blog that said, “Miracles are a confirmation that God is willing to intervene in our lives and to alleviate our suffering.”1

Hmm. “God intervening in our lives.” That is indeed a point to ponder. As usual, I have a story to illustrate.

Some time ago, one of the Sisters in my congregation told me that one of our vacuum cleaners was no longer picking up dirt. Instead, it was depositing the dirt onto the carpet as she vacuumed. I took the vacuum apart, only to find that the kind of bag that someone had put into it was not the proper one for our brand of vacuum. After cleaning up all the loose dirt and giving all the parts a thorough cleaning, I returned it with a note describing the kind of bag that it required. She asked me where she could pick one up, and I gave her a list of nearby stores that carried such a brand. She was very hesitant about such a purchase because she was not “technical.” I sensed her disdain and said, “Do you want me to pick up a box of bags during my lunch hour?” She said, “No, that’s ok.” But I knew she wasn’t thrilled over the idea.

I surrendered to the notion that part of my lunch break would be devoted to purchasing a box of bags for the vacuum.  Upon entering the Diocesan Center offices, I scanned our “free items” bookcase, as usual. This is a daily “flea market” where employees can leave practically anything for others to take. It truly illustrates the saying “One person’s junk is another’s treasure.” To my surprise, there was a box of three vacuum bags of the correct model that I needed! Holy cow! What a gift from God and a mini miracle. When I went home that evening, I gave the Sister the box of bags and she asked, “Did you buy these?” I responded, “Nope. There were on the free-item bookcase. See how much God loves you?”

I share this story and a musing over miracles as I continue my series on the Eucharist. In the book “7 Secrets of the Eucharist,” author Vinny Flynn describes the fourth secret as “Not Just One Miracle.”

Flynn states, “At the words of a mere creature, the bread and wine cease to exist, but all their scientific properties remain; even the tiniest particle of what our senses still perceive as bread and wine is now Christ; Christ’s presence is not symbolic or particle, but real and complete: He is present body, blood, soul, and divinity; Christ is just truly present just as He is in heaven, alive and glorious; Christ does not leave heaven. His existence in heaven is not multiplied but made present – not only in one place – but every place where Mass is being celebrated; only Christ is present sacramentally under the appearances of bread and wine, but He is not alone. The Father and the Holy Spirit and all of heaven are present with Him; during each celebration of the Mass, we are lifted out of time and into eternity to participate with the angels and saints in one divine liturgy that is being continually celebrated in heaven as Christ offers His once-for-all sacrifice to the Father; the priest is united to the Eucharist in such a unique and exceptional way that he receives a ‘specific sacramental identification’ with Chris, which thus enables him to offer the Holy Sacrifice in the person of Christ; through the Eucharistic sacrifice, the ‘entire created universe is united.’”2

I suggest you read the above again, this time, read it slowly trying to take in what these words are trying to illustrate.

This is the foundation of what the Catechism of the Catholic Church emphasizes (#1324) when it states, “The Eucharist is ‘the source and summit of the Christian life’ (Lumen Gentium). ‘The other sacraments … are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church.’”

You see, there are indeed miracles all around us! Miracles that unite heaven and earth. Miracles that bring eternity into the temporal world. God does indeed love us!

1https://dornsife.usc.edu/news/stories/3570/what-is-a-miracle/

2Flynn, Vinny. 7 Secrets of the Eucharist. MercySong, Inc., 2006. Pg. 57-58.

By Sister Geralyn Schmidt, SCC, Special to The Witness

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