Eucharist at centre of lasting fidelity

Ronald Rolheiser, Out One Great Act of Fidelity: Waiting for Christ in the Eucharist, Three Rivers Press

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In his new book Our One Great Act of Fidelity: Waiting for Christ in the Eucharist, popular writer Fr Ron Rolheiser lays out a spirituality of Eucharist. It’s a series of personal reflections from his life as a priest and a dedicated Christian.

He begins by telling the story of the little girl who woke up at night frightened and disoriented, convinced there were monsters under her bed. She ran to her parents’ bedroom.

Her mother took her back to her own room, turned on the light, showed her there was nothing there, then said: “You don’t need to be afraid. God is with you here in your room.” The girl replied: “I know that God is here with me, but I need someone here who has some skin!”

Rolheiser says we are all like that girl, creatures of the senses. We need a God who has some skin. The central tenet of Christianity is that, in Christ, God took on concrete flesh. Indeed the very word Christ means divine reality inside of human flesh. And God is still taking on concrete flesh in the body of Christ that is the Christian community. 

“The Eucharist is the place where God continues to take concrete physical flesh just as he once did in the womb of Mary. In the Eucharist, the word continues to become flesh.”

As in all his books, Fr Rolheiser grounds his reflections with stories – from his own career, from the world’s treasure of spirituality, from the ramshackle, messy, in-your-face business of living a life.

He confesses that he goes to Eucharist daily for many reasons, but that one stands out: “This is the one place where I can be faithful, where I can essentially measure up. I can’t always control how I feel or how I think and I can’t always measure up morally and spiritually, but inside of my perpetual inadequacy and occasional doubts and confusion, I can be faithful in this one deep way. I can go to the Eucharist regularly.”

FULL REVIEW: Rolheiser on 'the radical, shocking, raw physical character of the Eucharist' (National Catholic Reporter)


Ron Rolheiser home page

Ronald Rolheiser (Wikipedia)

Ron Rolheiser Interviews (as heard on Everyday Faith)

The Online Mass


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