Praying 10 minutes today: SUNDAY 6/10

Today is the feast of Corpus Christi, the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ.

About 40 years ago when I was in the seminary, a good friend asked me if I believed in the Eucharist and what it meant to me. I knew he wasn't looking for text book answers but simply for my own belief. I wrote the following in response to his question. I know that writing this helped me deepen my own belief and I trust it helped my friend, too.  So today, I offer for your prayer what I offered my friend four decades ago.  

As usual...
find a quiet place and take a few deep breaths...   
Be still, and know that God is near...  

A word to reflect on:   
Unless a grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies,
it remains just a grain of wheat,
but if it dies, it bears much fruit...   John 12


You have to listen with all of you
to hear the white-green shoot
pushing, rubbing, scraping up through
cool, moist earth: wheat being born.

It's a comforting sound when, finally,
you hear it and you know the growing sound
isn't in the field
but in your fragile frailty,
in you...

Then fear comes over you:
you will be torn inside, again, until it hurts
and this may be the time
when growing means leaving behind
who you think you are
and harvesting whom you're made to be...

You don't have to listen so closely
to hear the wind shuffle its way
through fields of wheat
so you have to look very carefully
to see it's not the wind after all, but simply
wheat brushing against wheat,
wheat supporting wheat,
wheat enjoying wheat,
wheat embracing wheat.

The rustling becomes a symphony
of meeting, knowing, touching, growing:
wheat reaching out to wheat
not with fear, not with flushed face,
but only with the need to touch
and the sound of reaching
is strong, enveloping, alive!

Grinding grains of wheat: harsh,
breaking, crushing sounds,
a not soft noise - hard.

And now you don't want to hear
wheat being crushed:
it just doesn't look like wheat anymore
and maybe the explosion in you
wasn't a mater of life but...

water is cool

and now it is all around you:
bubbling and swirling
in flour ground of wheat
and now you're not surprised to know
you're listening to blood filling your veins,
flowing all through you: life.

And just before the fire consumed us, too,

we found bread: one beautiful brown loaf
of wheat, wind and water,
all rising to life in bread...

Then came One

who broke himself like a loaf
and we heard
in the cracking and tearing of the crust
the word of life grown, ground and given
for those who share
in the breaking of the bread.


In the quiet of my prayer today, Lord,
   help me hear the cracking and tearing of the crust of your life
      in my heart, in my prayer, at the altar
         and in lives of all who offer themselves for others
            as you offered your life for me...

I pray for the faith and grace, for the love I need, Lord, 
   to break and share my own life
      to nourish and feed those around me, those in my care...

In the stillness, Lord, 
   let me hear the sounds
      of your silent, nourishing presence...

Here are some tips for praying 10 minutes a day.  If you find these daily prayer reminders helpful, please let me know - and share them with others.  You'll find an archive of these daily posts here.

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