Wednesday, June 01, 2005
Taste and SEE that the Lord is Good
The ceremony went beautifully. I can sum up my experience in two words: I cried. I cried at confession. I cried when I stood at the door of the church and said the Nicene Creed. I cried, and cried, and cried.
We call this the Baptism of Tears. It is when the Holy Spirit moves on you, and uses your tears of repentence to cleanse you.
I cried after I was anointed with oil on my eyes and nose and mouth, and my ears and heart and hands and feet. I cried when the voices of my spiritual Father and the men of God who'd nurtured me in my journey to Orthodoxy boomed inside of me in perfect harmony as they sang a prayer that God would grant me many years. Lord, have mercy. I cried and cried.
When it was time to take communion, I was invited first. And yes, I cried. It got started around the time in the Divine Liturgy when we "lay aside all earthly things." It is a Holy Space. I watch with wonder as Fr. Leo consecrates the gifts to the Lord. It is a joyful, sorrowful time. We sing softly. We repent. We look to God for mercy. We expect grace, and we receive it.
He gives me two names. My old name becomes my new name, when I am told of Saint Claudia, and that the day when we honor all the martyrs named Claudia is in May, the month I was Chrismated in. And of course, the name Mary (Mair). I am now God's Claudia Mair.
I think this picture says more than I can ever say about the Eucharist. Father Leo, who holds the Holy Gifts, is ablaze with the Light of God, but not consumed. I love that fact that the spoon is reaching to me, and it too is full of light. It's as if God is saying, I want you to taste and SEE that I am Good. And I am here. And I am yours.
You are in Me. And I am in You.
And to that I say, Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord, the Light of Light.
unworthy partaker of the Divine.