September 9, 2010

Half of a Priest Host

Yesterday was my third anniversary of priestly ordination. I have always considered it a special privilege to have been ordained on Our Lady's birthday. (I was also ordained deacon on Our Lady of the Rosary, a feast not without its own resonances for our time.)

I had no obligation for Mass yesterday (the life of a student!) so I went next door to the parish chapel and concelebrated with the pastor. While the people sang Cordero de Dios... the pastor brought the paten over for me to take the Host. He indicated that I should take half of the priest host. As I held It in my hands while we prayed the Lord, I am not worthy... I saw again the Body of Christ I received at my first Holy Communion, just over eighteen years ago. On that day the pastor called me up after the regular communion procession, explained to the people that I was Charles, that I was a student 'up-at-the-college,' and that I had been baptized the day before. He then gave me a half of the priest host for my first Holy Communion.

I saw that the Host I took in my hands yesterday on my third anniversary of priesthood was the same Host I received in my hands on the second day of my baptism. The Body of Christ is a single sacrifice, the Word of God spoken from all eternity sacrificed into our fallen human condition in order to draw us back into the peace and delight of the Blessed Trinity Himself. All of our Holy Communions are one. Each is our first Holy Communion, each is our viaticum.

As I stood there and prayed ...but only say the word, and I shall be healed I was deeply grateful. My first Holy Communion all the way back at the beginning of my junior year of college contained all of the graces and sufferings that were to come: religious life, vows, priesthood. In all of this I am very grateful and have a very real consciousness of having been saved, or at least being daily offered the opportunity for salvation.


GrandmaK said...

My heartiest congratulations!!! And what a poignant reflection on the Eucharist. May God continue to bless you abundantly!!! Cathy

Sara said...

Congrats on your third anniversary.

pennyante said...

I add my congratulations also.

My former pastor told me that whenever he celebrates Mass, he prays these words(to himself): "Lord, this is my First Mass; Lord, this is my Last Mass."

I thought this was an especially beautiful prayer and I have never forgotten it.

4narnia said...

happy anniversary from me, too, Fr. C!
we should all be grateful when we pray those words "Oh Lord, i am not worthy...but only say the Word and i shall be healed."
yours is a special vocation, Fr. C, and we are grateful to you for being a priest. the following is something i would like to share with you from the little pamphlet we get once a month at Nocturnal Adoration (it's about the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass): "if we had faith, we should see God hidden in the Priest like a light behind a glass, like wine mingled with water." "if we knew the value of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, or rather if we had faith, we should be much more zealous to assist at it." ~from The Little Catechism by the Cure D'Ars~
i felt this is something i should share with you to encourage you in your voacation as a Priest. hope all is well! PAX! ~tara t~