instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

At the present time

A sacrament unites the present moment, the moment in which the sacrament is celebrated, with the moment of Christ's death on the cross. (And also with eternity, with the Day that has no evening.)

This union is a for real and true thing, not merely symbolic or suggestive. If I say a sacrament causes time to fold on itself, bringing those moments into direct contact with each other, my language is metaphorical but the meaning is not. It really happens.

(This, by the way, is what makes the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass a re-presentation of Jesus' sacrifice on Calvary, not a repetition.)

From this, it seems to follow that Jesus, Who after all instituted the Sacraments, intended His death to be made present -- really, truly present -- to nearly every future moment. And I'm using the word "moment," not "instant," because the sacraments (and, of course, the sacrifice from which they arise) are human events, not scientific events. On a human scale, a weekly celebration of the Lord's Supper is close enough to "every moment" for my purposes here.

What that means -- that from eternity Christ desired to be present in His suffering and death at every moment of our own lives -- could be contemplated for a lifetime.

As the Month of the Rosary winds down, though, I'll just point out that Jesus' mother was present at the moment on Calvary that is made present in the celebration of every sacrament.