Feast of Corpus Christi

I wanted to share this with you, from Father Z’s blog on the Feast of Corpus Christi.  This is from the 1986 the English edition of Joseph Ratzinger’s Feast of Faith.

It said that the purpose of Corpus Christi was to arouse gratitude in the hearts of men and to remind them of their common Lord. (cf. Decr. desc. Euch., c. 5; DS 1644).  Here in a nutshell, we have in fact three purposes: Corpus Christi is to counter man’s forgetfulness, to elicit his thankfulness, and it has something to do with fellowship, with that unifying power which is at work where people are looking for the one Lord.  A great deal could be said about this; for with our computers, meetings and appointments we have become appallingly thoughtless and forgetful (pp. 128-9).

Let us consider Trent again for a moment.  There we find the unqualified statement that Corpus Christi celebrates Christ’s triumph, his victory over death. Just as, according to our Bavarian custom, Christ was honored in the terms of a great state visit, Trent harks back to the practice of the ancient Romans who honored their victorious generals by holding triumphal processions on their return.  The purpose of Christ’s campaign was to eliminate death, that death which devours time and makes us cultivate the lie in order to forget or “kill” time.  … Far from detracting from the primacy of reception which is expressed in the gifts of bread and wine, it actually reveals fully and for the first time what “receiving” really means, namely, giving the Lord the reception due to the Victor.  To receive him means to worship him; to receive him means precisely, Quantum potes tantum aude – dare to do as much as you can.  (p. 130).

Yesterday, was the first Feast of Corpus Christi that I recall.  I’m not sure if it was the first I have attended or if I just don’t remember the other because so often in the past (and sometimes even now) I get distracted and am just going along with the Mass.  There was no missing this Feast Day yesterday.  The procession was one of the most amazing processions I have taken part in and it was beautiful, reverent and full of gratitude.  After experiencing this, I wanted to share the above.


On a separate note, obviously I haven’t been writing at all lately.  Mostly for two reasons, I’ve been idle in my reading and I’ve realized how much more difficult writing this blog is than I am used to.  I do not have much of a talent for this and I am embarrassed by how little I know.  So, I can stop writing and let others do a better job, or swallow my pride and write to continue to learn (which is not something I wanted to admit to myself).  I’m not sure how much people really want to read me flailing around for answer, but at least for the time being, I hope to continue to use this space to write down my thoughts in an effort to suss them out and when I’m wrong, it will help me expand.  So, those are my plans.  I will be out of town for awhile this and next week and I am bringing with me Thy Will Be Done: Letters to Persons in the World by Saint Francis de Sales.  I’ve read a couple of the letters and they are excellent and I will likely have several thoughts/questions about these when I return.  Hopefully, I will have a lot more to write about then.

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