Saturday, November 24, 2007

Eucharistic Key

Our Salesian Superior General, Pascual Chavez, has written a masterful letter on the Eucharist. I would like to quote one short passage of his lengthy document which echoes the “Theology of the Body” of Pope John Paul II.

“The human being is called to fulfill himself in love and this in the form of self-giving, implies the total giving of the body. The usual form this self-giving takes is in the 'language” of sex.' In this the body is the protagonist, although there is always the hidden danger that this does not imply the total giving of the person. In this case it would become a lie, given that of its nature it is self-giving, that is, exclusive and total. Sexual donation however is not the only way of giving one’s body as an expression of love. In Jesus we find the eucharistic self-giving as the most profound expression of love, since here the body is the sign and instrument of the donation of the person, the true protagonist of love. In addition it is not limited in its extent; it is ‘for all.’ Jesus does not live his love and the donation of himself in a ‘sexual key’, he lives it in a Eucharistic key.

"Thus for consecrated persons, the special way in which we are living to the full our love and the consequent self- giving implies that we abstain from giving or body and our affection to one single person, so as to give ourselves totally to everyone. Without doubt, here too, we can run a parallel risk to that of sexual giving. There it is possible to give one’s body without giving oneself. Here it is possible for there to be false giving of oneself without that total giving of one’s body, without that :”using up and wearing out” also physically, that is the genuine and essential expression of a love lived in a Eucharist key.”

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