Contemplata aliis Tradere

A meagre contribution to the mission and work of the Order of Preachers: my reflections, thoughts, ideas and the occasional rant on matters mainly theological, philosophical and ecclesiastical, drawn primarily from my reading and experience of life and the world. Striving to be always Catholic, firmly Christian and essentially Dominican, flavoured with dashes of Von Balthasar.

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Location: Oxford, United Kingdom

A son of the English Province of the Order of Friars Preachers (Dominicans); born in Malaysia but have lived in the USA, Singapore, the UK & the Philippines for varying durations. A pilgrim and way-farer, a searcher for Truth on the journey of Life... "Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine, There’s always laughter and good red wine. At least I’ve always found it so. Benedicamus Domino!" - Hilaire Belloc

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Bread for the Way

The Holy Eucharist is Viaticum, Bread for the Way. Some of us may be familiar with Tolkien's interpretation of this phrase, as expressed in the 'Lembas', or 'Waybread' which the elves give to the Fellowship of the Ring: this Bread is more strengthening than any other food known to mankind, it is offensive to evil creatures and the more one relies on it alone, the more powerful its effect on the one who consumes it. In Tolkien's words, "It fed the will, and it gave strength to endure and to master sinew and limb beyond the measure of mortal kind" and he came to acknowledge this link between Lembas and the Eucharist himself in one of his letters.

On the Feast of Corpus Christi, we take the Sacred Host in Procession, so that this signification of the Eucharist as Viaticum is made shown forth; we journey together with the Lord and in His grace and strength, walking along His Way. The Holy Father in his 'Meditation for the Feast of Corpus Christi' which we have been following has already expressed this idea and he explains the full implications of this Procession. In the extract below, which concludes his meditation, we are invited to follow the example of St Peter and his successors, to continue to follow Christ and walk in His Way, with the Eucharist as our 'Waybread' that gives us strength for true discipleship and for building God's kingdom:

"In the Eucharist, God's tomorrow comes closer to us, so that his kingdom begins even today among us. And last but not least, let us not forget that all the petitions of the Our Father are in the plural form. No one can say 'my Father' except Jesus alone. We all can only say 'our Father' and therefore must always pray with others and for others, going out of ourselves, opening ourselves, and only by becoming open in this way do we pray correctly at all. All of this is expressed in the fact of being on the way with the Lord, which is, so to speak, the special sign of the Feast of Corpus Christi.

When our Lord had finished his eucharistic discourse in the synagogue of Capernaum, many of his disciples went away. All of that was too hard for them, too mysterious. They just wanted a political solution; all the rest was not pragmatic enough for them. Is that not the case today as well? How many people, over the course of the last hundred years, went away because Jesus was not practical enough for them? And we see what they accomplished then. If the Lord asks us here, today, 'Will you also go away?' then we should answer him with our whole heart, together with Simon Peter on this Feast of Corpus Christi: 'Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life; and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God' (Jn 6:67-69). Amen."
(from 'On the Way to Jesus Christ', pp102-106)

The painting above is from the refectory of the Dominican convent at the Penya de Francia Marian shrine in Spain.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fra' Lawrence Lew, O.P.,

Sorry for posting this here. I didn't know how else to contact you.

I love some of your pictures. I wonder if I might have permission to use some of them to illustrate articles on our Catholic Education Resource Center.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi brother Lawrence! My name is brother Leo Monti and I belong to the Brazilian province. I'm a novice, who's going to finish the novitiate on Feb. 01st. I really appreciated visiting your blog! I have one myself (Fra LeMon). I'll start visiting your page and learning some things about your daily life and activities of your province. God bless, take care.

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