In a previous post I mentioned how God sometimes hides from us, but this can only be true with regard to his presence to our senses.
“The whole of salvation history is the story of God looking for us: he offers us love and welcomes us with tenderness.”
Above is a tweet from Pope Francis. As much as it might seem at times that God is hiding from us it is indeed true that he never hides from us. Even when God hides from our senses so to speak, allowing us to feel as if he is absent, he is in that moment revealing himself to us in a more profound way. He is always trying to find us, and if we are found he is still attempting to find every remaining part, every broken scattered part of us, that remains in any way outside of his grace. It is we who can hide from God in our sin, in preferring the darkness to light for fear that light will expose us. In reality the light loves us and will forgive us, penetrating into our deepest heart to heal us in the intense fire of Divine love, a love that burns and causes pain but in such a way that causes great joy, the Cross.
Doesn’t God hide from our senses even in the Eucharist? What is this? This is the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ hidden under the appearance of bread. This is a miracle: the Eucharist appears to be bread WITHOUT THE PRESENCE OF BREAD. The Eucharist is not both bread and Christ’s body, but rather miraculously only appears as bread, something that it IS NOT IN ANY WAY. In every way the Eucharist is substantially Christ’s Body, his entire being. But in order to reveal himself to us in this most profound way, a foretaste of heaven, he has hidden himself from our senses.
This is why in the Roman Rite we look to the East, to the risen Christ, during the time when the Priest confects the Eucharist (this is not limited to the Traditional Latin Mass but can also take place during the Novus Ordo). It is not by looking first to each other that we come to know and to love Christ, but rather by looking first to Christ and then to one another. We Love God firstly, and then, with the love that God gives to us we love our neighbor. Furthermore, the invisible become visible to the eyes of our soul by recognizing that we cannot see the Eucharist by depending on our senses, but rather by opening our deepest heart to Christ who is revealing himself to us by hiding himself from our senses. I believe for this reason in the years to come we will see a return to the Ad Orientem celebration of the Eucharist, not only in the spread of the TLM but in the return to this form of worship in the Ordinary Form as well. I believe this more than anything else is the key to liturgical renewal.