Monthly Archives: October 2011
“The truth lives here!” – I heard this presumptuous statement on a radio commercial a few days ago. Something about it struck me, and the more I mulled over what I’d heard, the more the claim aroused a sharp disquiet in my heart. What place, person, or thing can truthfully claim to house the truth? To be the literal dwelling place of the truth? Modernists would say there is truth in all of us. That is factual, to a point. We are all truly alive. We are truly human. We are truly made of billions of cells. However, all of these so-called ‘truths’ are not truths proper, but are more correctly titled ‘facts.’ While there is some truth to every fact, every fact does not contain the wholeness of truth. It cannot house all of the truth, only a small piece of it.
What is truth, then? And where is it?
Christ called Himself “The Way, the Truth, and the Life.”
That being said, would it not, then, be more correct to ask “Who is Truth?” rather than, “what is truth?” It then becomes a question of “Where is Christ?” because Christ is Truth.
Okay, so where is He? Where does He live?
Just as there is a piece of truth in us, by our very nature, so too there is a piece of the Father, Son, and Spirit, (remember that “Three Persons in One God” thing?), because He made us in His image, and He is Truth. But where does Truth live? Where is its physical dwelling? Does it even have a physical dwelling? Isn’t God (3 in 1!) above limiting Himself to one concrete location? What about the whole omnipresent (i.e., existing everywhere) thing?
First, remember that the same God (3 in 1!) that is omnipresent is also all-knowing, all-loving, and all-powerful. While He is present everywhere, He knows all too well that we humans need to see, hear, smell, taste, and feel. (He was the one Who gave us those senses, after all.) Keeping this in mind, He provides for those needs, out of His infinite Love.
Part of Love is putting the good of another above the good of yourself. God, being perfect Love, puts His Glory in the closet, and comes to us as the seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, feeling creatures that He created us. (He (obviously) transcends all of these human senses; the created cannot contain the creator.) He comes to us through our senses.
So, if He comes to us through the senses He gave us, would not one correctly deduce that we should be able to physically see, hear, smell, and feel Him? And even (gulp!) taste Him? (Waitasecond…! What?!)
The answer is a resounding yes! Because He designed us as sensing creatures, it would be going against His own design to come to us any other way.
The seeing and hearing ones are easy, because we can see and hear the Word of God in Holy Scripture. If you want to get technical, we can get feel and smell out of it, too. (I hope I’m not the only person out there that likes the smell of books…) But what about taste? Say what? Who eats their Bible? Yes, I know, the very thought is laughable. But it’s a valid point. If God (remember – 3 in 1!) comes to us through all of our senses, why would He leave this one out?
My dear family, He doesn’t. He does indeed come to us through all five of our senses, including taste. In St. John’s Gospel, Jesus says, “My Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is that which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life to the world.…” (John 6:32-33) God provides for the last of our five senses with this “bread of God.” But what is this bread? And where can we get it? Christ Himself provides the answer in verse 35, “And Jesus said to them: I am the bread of life: he that cometh to Me shall not hunger: and he that believeth in Me shall never thirst.” Jesus Christ is Himself our Daily Bread, the Bread of Life. But are we supposed to actually eat Him? Verses 54-57, “Then Jesus said to them: ‘Amen, amen I say unto you: Unles you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, you shall not have life in you. He that eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, hath everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the last day. For My flesh is meat indeed: and My blood is drink indeed. He that eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, abideth in Me, and I in him.'”
In order to fully receive the entirety of God, Who is Truth (and Way and Life), we must receive the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. And by ‘receive’ I don’t mean just assume possession of or claim ownership over, but to take into yourself, assimilate, or make a part of you. What more perfect way than the Holy Sacrament of the Alter, the Holy Eucharist. Christ present Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity in the form of simple, humble bread and wine.
The God Who is everywhere chose to be somewhere, for the sake of the people He created. He Who transcends the very nature of presence is present in the Blessed Sacrament, so that we can see, hear, smell, feel, and taste Him. Granted, what our senses perceive is bread and wine, but we know and believe through the grace and virtue of Faith that it is true, because Jesus Christ has revealed it to be so. As Jesus Christ, God, is Truth, He cannot deceive, because He cannot go against His own Divine Nature.
Inside every Catholic church is a golden box. This golden box is called the Tabernacle. Like the Tabernacle in the Old Testament, it houses the Holy of Holies, God’s True Presence. When Christ died, and the veil of the temple was torn down the middle, God came forth to be physically among His people. At Holy Communion, when Catholics process to the altar, they receive the Body and Blood of God. In Adoration, they worship Jesus Christ, truly present in the Sacred Host, as if He were standing right there, enthroned in Splendor. Because, you see, He is. The Way, the Truth, and the Life is right there, always, waiting to be sought out, discovered, and loved.
Remember this, the next time you go inside a Catholic church, because THAT is where Truth lives.