In the final chapter of Things Hidden, Richard Rohr points to the Eucharist as a contemplative practice. * The next time you participate in the Eucharist, ‘do this’ with a contemplative mind and heart:
Jesus said, “Do this….”
After I leave, just keep doing this until I come back again.
Take your whole life in your hands, as I am about to do tonight and tomorrow.
Now thank God, because your life is pure gift.
Now break it (your life), let it be broken, give it away and don’t protect it.
Now chew on that, drink that!
Then continue to eat and drink together until I return.
When we ‘do this’ with contemplative awareness,
We are receiving the heart of Jesus’ message.
We are entering into a new covenant based on love and divine union.
We are eating and drinking our own deaths – walking into the mystery of death and, like Jesus, trusting that we will find resurrection on the other side…
And we are offering our own bodies for everything that Christ still needs to accomplish. (Colossians 1:24).
The goal is mutual indwelling
The whole movement of the Bible is toward ever-greater incarnation and embodiment, until the mystery of mutual indwelling is finally experienced – even here, in this world and this life. We then move on to the banquet that we call eternal life or heaven.
The clear goal and direction is mutual indwelling, where ‘the mystery is Christ within you, your hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27).
In this mutual indwelling we no longer live as just ourselves, but in a larger force field called the body of Christ (Galatians 2:20).
Who will separate us from the love of Christ?
Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine,
or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors
through him who loved us.
For we are convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers,
nor things present, nor things to come, nor power, nor height, nor depth,
nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us
from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
* from Things Hidden (p. 215-220)