Re-membering and the ongoing work of making creation whole

Some sobering and insightful thoughts about the Eucharist from Sara Miles’s inspiring book Take This Bread: A Radical Conversion:

The entire contradictory package of Christianity was present in the Eucharist. A sign of unconditional acceptance and forgiveness, it was doled out and rationed to insiders; a sign of unity, it divided people; a sign of the most common and ordinary human reality, it was rarefied and theorized nearly to death. And yet that meal remained, through all the centuries, more powerful than any attempts to manage it. … The feast showed us how to re-member what had been dis-membered by human attempts to separate and divide, judge and cast out, select or punish. At that Table, sharing food, we were brought into the ongoing work of making creation whole.

Walls of fear

Jean Vanier’s article ‘The Fragility of L’Arche and the Friendship of God’ offers some important observations on fear, compassion and transformation. Vanier notes that:

Transformation has to do with the way the walls separating us from others and from our deepest self begin to disappear. Between all of us fragile human beings stand walls built on loneliness and the absence of God, walls built on fear – fear that becomes depression or a compulsion to prove that we are special.

However, as Vanier points out, ‘God cannot stand walls of fear and division’ and that ‘to be a Christian is to grow in compassion’.

The article can be found in Stanley Hauerwas and Jean Vanier, Living Gently in a Violent World: The Prophetic Witness of Weakness.