- Created: Wednesday, 11 July 2018 10:08
‘…Make us whole’
By the Most Rev. RONALD M. GILMORE
Bishop Emeritus of the Catholic Diocese of Dodge City
For nearly 50 years, we have been praying you never cease to gather a people to yourself (3rd Eucharistic Prayer). That has been a comfort to us, a reminder of the end-to-end power of the Redemption, a hint of the invisible working of Grace.
But in these 50 years of gathering, Mass attendance has all but fallen off the table. Only 23 percent of us go to Mass weekly these days. Seventy-seven percent of us Catholics cannot be bothered. If three-fourths of the family doesn’t see being with the family as something important, then the family has almost ceased to be a family.
He is gathering; we are ungathered. There is something way wrong with this picture. What “is” going on here?
I am not smart enough to know the answer. My Faith is not deep enough, perhaps. My Hope is not energetic enough. My Love is not lively enough. I know one thing only (as the old Wisdom writers used to say), only two things do I know.
I know a young man who could look upon the consecrated Host, raised on high in a long, dark, Basilica, and he could see all of Hebrew history contained in that slight round wafer. He could see all of Christian history there too, and all of world history there too, and even all of his own personal history there as well. The Consecrated Host was like a concave mirror to him, drawing all those things from wide corners into itself. Could I but grasp what is in that host, he thought, I would know all I need to know.
I know an old man who now spends his time with the disappointed, the disenchanted, the wounded, the hurting, and the weary, with those who come to a religious retreat, sometimes out of desperation. There is in them a hunger to make sense of their motley lives. Where did they come from, why have these hard things fallen upon them, where are they going? They are driven to make sense of all this. Their thoughts and their feelings seek a center. They need that concave mirror.
Despite all the bare Churches they have known, they are drawn still … somehow … to the Bread … the Bread of the Word, and the Bread of the Altar. I know one thing only, only two things do I know. O slight, mute, wafer: fill us now and make us whole.