A Mystic Interpretation of the Eucharist

I thought I’d take a breath in my 12,000+ word “answer” (beginning with “On Becoming An Old Catholic Priest”) to share my impressions of the Eucharist (aka Holy Communion – the Blood and Body of Christ).

I share the Old Catholic Church position (as well as Methodist and others) that the Eucharist offering of wine and bread is *not* *literally* transubstantiated into the literal blood and flesh of Christ. The wine has never tasted like salty blood to me. And the bread remains bread. I’ve eaten a lot of meat in my day, and the bread does not become meat.

But that is a very limited earthly interpretation, and NOT what I think is important.

A Divine Mystery

A far better question is what may be happening in the spiritual realm, and in what way might Spirit be interacting with our physical realm? Herein is where I believe we may apprehend what it truly important!

For those who may not know, when celebrating the Eucharist, the priest will bless the wine and bread, and in so doing act as a conduit for the spiritual energy of the Divine to flow into the wine and bread. It is this in-flowing of Spirit which “transubstantiates” the wine and bread. Not in the physical realm of the profane, but in the spiritual realm of the sacred.

One way I’ve heard this described is to imagine that each and every molecule and atom in the physical universe has a spiritual counterpart. As the Spirit flows in-and-through the wine and bread (our symbolic offering to the Divine) the “higher” (spiritual) state of the offering is changed. I also believe that we too have a “higher” spiritual counterpart – we too are spiritually effected by taking part in this process. That is the realm in which the transubstantiation takes place.

Creating an Axis Mundi

At the same time, the in-flowing of the Spirit in-and-through our offering continues to flow outward, in-and-through those present (and more fully in those who eat and drink of the spiritual Blood and spiritual Flesh), and then continuing outward into the world at large. We are essentially opening a spiritual door providing a point of entry for the Spirit into this physical world. I find this a quite beautiful image; that by celebrating the Eucharist we are better enabling the entry of Spirit into the world; that each time we celebrate the Eucharist we benefit the entire world, even if only a little bit each time.

Why Does God Need Us?!

Some might say this is kinda nuts! If God wanted more Spirit to enter into the world, why not simply Breathe more Life into it directly? Why are “weak little us” needed to act a conduits?

Well, I really don’t know for sure. I think that is just the way it is. I liken it to the view that angels stand ready and willing to help us. However, we first need ask for their assistance! For whatever reason, this appears to be one of the Divine Laws under which we operate in the physical world. I don’t know why this is so. But it is my apprehension that it is so!

The reason this is the way it is, may be because we need to first indicate our desire to participate. We have free will. Therefore, we are required to utilize our Directed Intention; to engage our Will, intentionally, mindfully. I believe it is our willing participation in the Divine Mystery that God “needs” from us.

Or it may be that by doing so we learn and grow spiritually. We must become active agents to benefit most fully from God’s grace. Perhaps we simply learn best by doing.

So the next time you participate in the Eucharist, I suggest you consider this as both an opportunity to breathe-in the in-dwelling Divine Spirit, renewing your spirit, as well as an opportunity to add your own little extra “oomph!” to help make this a more beautiful, loving, peaceful world.


1 Response to “A Mystic Interpretation of the Eucharist”

  1. 1 erikweaver March 29, 2013 at 11:39 am

    I have added a contact page which provides my email address. Just click on that page link located on the header menu, along the bottom edge of my page header image. Or direct your email to Father Erik at my gmail account.

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