I grew up in a somewhat rural area of northeast New Jersey. Down the block from my parents’ home was a watershed called Butler Reservoir with hundreds of acres of forest area surrounding this body of water. Since this was public land, in a sense, this was my “playground.” I learned about tadpoles and frogs, hidden freshwater springs, sunfish and trout, snakes, deer and all kinds of trees. I soon discovered that my soul truly found rest under a leafy canopy.
One early fall weekend, I found myself sitting on the shore of the watershed glorifying in the beauty of the sparkles of sunlight on the water, the gentle lapping sound of the water on the shore, the cry of gold finches and a golden hawk that had a nest in the area. At that very moment, I was struck by the absolute beauty of nature all around me. Then, God used that very moment to stir my heart on a profound level.
Yes, His beauty found in creation was indeed all around me. But, there was also a commonality that creation and I both possessed: a Creator that was intimately involved in His creation! It was as if the “heartbeat” of creation and my heartbeat were synced. All of creation glorified in the Creator by its sheer existence. Not only could I see and feel it at that moment, I also chose to give God the praise! At that very moment, my relationship as well as my understanding with my Beloved profoundly deepened.
I am reminded of this as I continue my series on the Eucharist. “If I do not know in my bones that God loves me, I will not dare to open myself to His gaze and to ask to see myself as He sees me. Even with a strong experience-based faith and trust in God’s creative love for me, I will still blanch before such a request. Yet my relationship with the Lord cannot develop unless I walk through this dark valley and come to know that the love that desired me into being still holds me as the apple of God’s eye though I have been unfaithful and untrue, even outrageously so.”1
You might be thinking, “How does that quote have anything to do with the Eucharist?” My simple answer is, “If we do not open ourselves completely to our awesome God, the grace that He extends to us does not bear fruit.” This was brought home to me recently in a comment a priest made before he began Mass. He suggested to all those who were gathered to offer the Mass up for all the graces our Good God gives to us that we refuse or deny.
The presence of the Trinity in the Eucharist can assist us in opening our hearts as well as our entire being to this kind of love. A mystic wrote in her diary, “It seemed that in the most Holy Sacrament, as on a throne, I saw the One and Triune God: the Father in his omnipotence, the Son in his wisdom, and the Holy Spirit in his love. Every time we communicate, our souls and hearts become the temple of the Holy Trinity, and when God comes to us, the whole of paradise comes. On seeing God enclosed in the Host, I was transported with joy for the whole day.2
Do you need more proof? St. Paul, in his letter to the Corinthians, writes, “All of us, gazing with unveiled face on the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, as from the Lord who is the Spirit.” (2 Cor 3:18)
Open your heart to this reality and you too will have your heart synced with Trinitarian love!
1Barry, William A. Paying Attention to God: Discernment in Prayer. Ave Maria Press, 2002. Pg. 18
2St. Veronica Giuliani, Diary, entry 30 May, 1715 (ed. Citta Di Castello 1973, vol. III, 928).
By Sister Geralyn Schmidt, SCC, Special to The Witness