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THE LITURGY OF THE EUCHARIST: The Communion Rite – Communion (4)
The silence after Communion
The Order of Mass in the Roman Missal says that after Communion a sacred silence may be observed “for a while” (n. 138). If this is not done in your parish, consider speaking to your pastor about introducing it. While hymns in this moment are nice (and permitted), many people out of personal devotion are already tuning them out. This is a moment to take in the incredible thing that just happened: Our Lord became our food and drink and we ate and drank him. Our Lord is within us. All of Mass has led up to this moment.
There’s a saying regarding dieting that states that “you are what you eat.” We just consumed God the Son. The Church Fathers of the East have a strong spirituality regarding sanctification in terms of man’s divinization: God throughout man’s life makes man more and more in his image and likeness. Every time we receive the Eucharist a transformation is being accomplished. If we receive him unworthily the sinful disfiguration of God’s image in our soul continues, but if we receive him worthily, that image is gradually restored: the dents and dings made in it by our sins are popped out. Our life is transformed into a divine life, since through communion we are participating in divine life. That divine life will manifest as a life of faith, hope, and charity, and a life that resembles Our Lord more and more.
This is a moment where we rest in Our Lord and he rests in us. He is so close to us in this moment and happy that we’ve welcomed him. Are we? This is the moment to speak to him lovingly, quietly, in our hearts, without distractions or fanfare. It is a moment for a heart to heart conversation. The key is conversation; it’s good to bask for a moment in the love of Christ, but it is also important to speak to him and to strain to listen to what he has to say.
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