Monday, October 13, 2008

Watching People Take Holy Communion

It’s okay to see people getting older, okay to see them getting grayer, wrinklier, fatter, thinner. It’s when you notice the usher giving Voula a hand up the step to the solea your heart sort of twitches and you think about the brevity of life. Or when the old Presbytera, passing you on her way back from the altar, smiles as usual but you realize she may not remember who you are. And then there are the little children approaching for Communion. The little boy who solemnly crosses himself three times – with his left hand. The little girl who bows her forehead to the floor, and the newly-baptized baby. And then comes Andrew and the bitter memory of once having mocked him, before whose feet I’d now fall, who is quite simply a saint. And the heart leaps for reverence. Not far behind him, Vera, our dentist, another holy one, and her brother, Nick, whose radiance makes him look younger than he did 15 years ago, and here comes Adamantia, bringing up the rear, as always, all in black because she recently lost a son; and she’s spiritual mother to so many. And then there are those still with us, but only invisibly…like Theophilos, who turned into a saint when nobody was noticing. And Kyria Polyxeni and Barbara, and –

And then, the dawning realization: you’ve just received Holy Communion 200 times, every time any of these received. No, wait, that doesn’t even count those who have already reposed, whose communion with God is uninterrupted. And it doesn’t count the generations of Christians yet unborn. You’ve received Holy Communion each and every time any Christian ever has, ever does, and ever shall until the end of the world.

So we, [being] many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. (Romans 12:5)


Rosko said...

Beautiful and profound words, Anastasia. Life is brief, but by grace everlasting. We are many, but by grace one. We are sorrowful, but by grace, joyful. And you, dear Anastasia, are an amazing and wonderful person, and I am constantly edified by your posts.

Elizabeth @ The Garden Window said...

I agree with Rosko !

Uplifting and inspiring thoughts, Anastasia. Thank you !

Tony said...

Wonderful post, Anastasia! Thank you for writing this.