At the turning of the bread and wine into Your body and blood, our souls shall be turned unto fellowship with Your glory, and our souls shall be united to Your divinity...And as You are one in Your Father and Your Holy Spirit, may we be one in You and You in Us, that your saying may be fulfilled, "That they may all be one in Us".
+ From the Fraction by St. Cyril (Frace of "O Lamb of God")
First of all, our life itself is the greatest gift to give-something we constantly forget. When we think about our being given to each other, what comes immediately to mind are our unique talents: those abilities to do special things especially well. You and I have spoken about this quite often. "What is our unique talent?" we asked. However, when focusing on talents, we tend to forget that our real gift is not so much what we can do, but who we are. The real question is not "what can we offer each other?" but "who can we be for each other?" No doubt, it is wonderful when we can repair something for a neighbor, give helpful advice to a friend, offer wise counsel to a colleague, bring healing to a patient, or announce good news to a parishioner, but there is a greater gift than all of this. It is the gift of our own life that shines through all we do. As I grow older, I discover more and more that the greatest gift I have to offer is my own joy of living, my own inner peace, my own silence and solitude, my own sense of well-being. When I ask myself, "Who helps me most?" I must answer, "The one who is will to share his or her life with me".
+ Fr. Henri Nouwen, The Life of the Beloved, Given, P.113.
But then, what should we do? You hear every Sunday in the Liturgy words that say, 'Let us lay aside all the cares of this life'. Does it mean that we must turn away from the earth on which we live, from the tasks which are ours, from the joys and true sorrows that come our way? No!...It means that if we are dead with the death of Christ to everything which is destructive of love, destructive of compassion, which is self-centredness, which is self-love, which leave no space for anyone but ourselves-if we are dead to all this, and if we have accepted life on Christ's terms, ready to live for others, live for God, live for the joy and life of those who surround us-then we are risen with Christ, and our life is indeed hid with Christ in God, it is at the very depth of divine love!
+ Metropolitan Anthony Bloom, on the Bridal Feast, 24 December 1989
"Christ did not come to make bad men good, but to make dead men live".
+ Fr. Stephen Freeman