Do You Communicate With God?

Communicating With God

Does God communicate with you?

Do you communicate with God?

Usually the answer to these questions are not often openly talked about and as a society, we are rightfully suspicious of an individual who claims to hear God’s voice if that voice isn’t ratified by what is readily available for all to see, hear or discuss. But shifting our focus just slightly, we might have a new insight to the aforementioned questions.

This past Saturday, our second graders celebrated their First Communion. We held two beautiful celebrations with them and their families and it was joyful to witness children finding their sense of belonging to the family of God at the altar of the Lord. It affirmed that we are a community sustained and nurtured by the Eucharist. We are transformed by it and it makes us the Mystical Body of Christ.

Looking back, I wonder, did all of the recipients understand what they received? I would hope they did in accordance with their developmental stage and their ability to understand. Hopefully the work of parents and our teacher-catechists to explain the Eucharist was of benefit to them, but I didn’t see a lot of them suddenly gifted with the angelic prose of St. Thomas Aquinas or the fidelity of St. Clare of Assisi. No, it didn’t seem like they were suddenly scholars of our faith tradition, but they did seem alive with God’s love, beaming with joy that they too have a deep and lasting connection with Jesus.

There is a reason for that.

If I asked you? What is the verb of “Communion” what would you say? How do you “do” communion?
We sometimes cheat and say “we receive communion” or we “got/get communion” but those are the wrong terms. The proper term, that is to say, the right verb to use is that we “communicate.” The act of receiving Holy Communion is Holy Communication.

So going back to that first question? Do you communicate with God? I hope so! That is literally what we do when we receive Holy Communion. God is communicating with us. We often get mixed up with assumptions that communication necessarily involves words, sentences, paragraphs, etc. We presume communication is structured, logical, and linguistic.

God communicates without words, in a sign that in itself is more than a sign. God uses an efficacious sign that makes real the presence of Jesus in our life. Holy Communion is a form of communication that second graders understand sometimes more nimbly than the rest of us, primarily because they aren’t looking for God to love them through lofty explanations or mind-bending metaphysics. They’re simply asking “Do you love me God?” And God comes to them with the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist saying “Yes I do. With my whole self. I love you.”
Perhaps we all need to go back to that place in ourselves where we are more like a second grader, the place where we’re not so wrapped up in definitions and concepts, arguments and words. Perhaps it is refreshing to delight in God’s act of communication, a simple action with profound consequence that reminds us of God’s constant and enduring love for each of us.

-David Heimann, Pastoral Associate

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