“To put the matter another way and use a metaphor much favored by antiquity, the man who has partaken of this mystery has already made harbour in the next world and is nevertheless on a perilous voyage; he carries upon his soul the seal that gives him clear passage upon his heavenward journey, yet during that journey his enemies, the evil spirits, still lie in wait for him…” (Hugo Rahner, taken from Why The Church pg. 191)
No matter how many times I read this book, this passage will always stand out to me.
In this section of reading for School of Community, Giussani spends a good amount of time discussing the sacraments in relation to man’s freedom. This is something I at one point struggled with. Confession and weekly communion seemed more like rules I had to follow than an encounter I could freely accept.
Once I had come to grips with my freedom in relation to the church, this passage really began to make a lot of sense to me.
If I was created for eternity, and my whole life is geared for moving towards that destiny, than everything I do should bring me one step closer that reality.
There is a sense of wonder and mystery that come with the sacraments. A person that you see during the week, sits in persona christi and can forgive your sins. A small piece of bread becomes the living God.
Each time I participate in these sacraments, I move one step closer to my end goal, one step closer to my final destiny.
The idea that always strikes me is the one that states that I basically have a ticket that I show the conductor that says my end goal is eternal life. I have a direct route, but along this route there will be so many moments when I want to get off the train.
This desire to get off the train is an every day battle. The world is big and offers so many good enough things that sometimes, I lose sight of what really matters.
But the sacraments that I freely participate in are the very things that give me the strength to try for just one more day.
I recently committed to going to confession once a month instead of twice a year. In fact, it’s actually probably time for me to call my priest and set that up since we are half way through April.
I also try to go to daily mass as frequently as possible, to continue to receive that extra grace.
What sacraments do you participate in on the regular? I’d love to hear your experiences with encountering Jesus in these awesome tools the church has given us.