Corpus Christi

The lectionary 2009 tells us that today is the 'Day of Thanksgiving for the institution of the Holy Communion' (Corpus Christi) so I've been doing a bit of digging around and have discovered about this festival to celebrate the Holy Eucharist that it parallels Maundy Thursday when Christ instituted the Eucharist and was introduced in the late 13th century. It falls on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday, which was on Sunday but wasn't really mentioned in the church where I worship because it was family service that day.

A century before Corpus Christi was introduced, Saint Juliana of Mont Cornillon, promoted a feast to honour the eucharist. All her life, this French Augustinian nun had longed for a special feast in its honour. She had a vision of the Church under the appearance of the full moon having one dark spot, which signified the absence of such a solemnity. She told her Bishop, later Pope Urban IV, of her vision and he ordered that the feast be celebrated in his diocese.

I have looked for a service to attend near to where I live but didn't find one, which is a shame.

My investigations into the festival's roots got me thinking about whether we listen enough today to the inspired visions of our Christian brothers and sisters. I guess there are a mixture of reactions to the idea of 'a word of knowledge' and they are perhaps associated more with the Charismatic or Pentacostal movements.

Personally, I have found it very encouraging to be in receipt of other people's 'words of knowlege'. I have one friend, who I only really got to know because of the visions he has had about my life. He frequently updates me as to what he has been given and the pictures that he shares are always edifying and interestingly meaningful, although I am still waiting to discern better the full meaning of one or two of them.

I have been asking for this gift lately. Paul does encourage us to eagerly desire the spiritual gifts (1 Cor 14). It is sometimes difficult to discern where my imagination ends and God begins but sometimes images are too powerful and meaningful to not have been inspired. However, I am still growing in this gift and I am not afraid to admit that I am slow to learn.

I think we need to ask God to help us to develop these gifts for the building up of the Church, and also personally, I pray for discernment and perhaps the courage to share what I have seen with people. Mostly up until now I have received pictures which have helped me to understand God's nature better and his direction for my life but just yesterday, I received a picture for someone else and I am not sure now what to do with it.

There might be a mixture of reactions to this post. I am simply on a journey and I share my thoughts as I go, so do feel free to share your experiences of this gift with me or give me guidance.


Tim Goodbody said...

did you see this?

Rachel said...

Thanks Tim - interesting stuff - got me thinking.

But wow - sometimes I don't half think that we give the Catholics a hard time ;).

Been following your conversation with JR with interest - mind you 'conversation' might be the wrong word - all those 'ps's and pps s.

Anonymous said...

Adrian Plass relates the case of a somewhat deaf member of a charismatic congregation who was told that had he a "Word of Knowledge" and replied

"Yes! -its about 90 miles north of Ipswich!"

See if you can work out the interpretation..


Rachel said...

You never fail to make me lol, Iconoclast.
I'm working on 'working it out'


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