Sunday, 26 June 2011

The Eucharist as Poultice

Some years ago I came across a quote from a medieval English writing, The Epistle of Privy Counsel. The faith-filled message has stayed with me.

It speaks with beautiful simplicity of our encounter with God as healing and life-giving. The image of the poultice is used.  A  poultice is a home-made remedy that is laid on a festering wound to draw out the poison.

'Take good and gracious God, just as he is,
and without further ado
lay him on your sick self  just as you are,
for all the world as if he were a poultice.
For touching God is eternal health.
You are touching his very being,
his own dear self, no more, no less.'

Particularly, when sharing in the Eucharist, I recall this image if I am aware of being burdened in some way. 

Just before receiving we pray: 'Only say the word and I shall be healed.' We are invited in simple trust  to bring ourselves with all our needs to the Lord, to 'lay him' on our wounded selves, and allow him to draw from our hearts and minds and bodies all that is not life-giving, all that is not of him.

The feast of Corpus Christi celebrates with joy the gift of healing and fresh hope given us in the Eucharist.