Mental Prayer Meditation Helps
Presence of God
Grace I Ask: Lord, help me begin to understand what is meant by the "Mystical Christ."
Mental Picture (cf. Acts 9: 1-9): Saul spurring his horse in a furious gallop to Damascus... a flash of light... Saul is struck down. A vision appears before him. "Who are you?" Saul asks. "I am Jesus whom you are persecuting." Paul would remember that answer all his life. In persecuting Christ's followers, Paul had, in some mysterious way, been persecuting Christ Himself.
The Idea: Christ has a real physical body - head, heart, arms, legs. He has a Mystical Body too, a great mystery, but a fact. All men who are joined to Christ through grace and membership in the visible Catholic Church are living parts of that Body: the martyrs of the great persecutions, men and women down through twenty plus centuries, people my age living now, Chinese, German, African, Indian, whom I'll never meet. We are all parts of a Body; we contribute to the life and health of that Body, like the lungs and brains and shoulders of a physical body.
Christ is our Head; from Him grace, like blood, flows through the rest of us. If one oi us gets weak and sick with sin, the rest of the Body suffers; if one of us refuses to lend his strength to the other members, the whole Body pays for it. A difficult idea to grasp. But I should do my best to get it now and in the following mental prayers.
My Personal Application: Have I ever thought of my responsibilities as a Catholic? Am I determined to be a fit, useful part of Christ's Mystical Body? To give my strength and support to the other members? To graft other men and women into the Body of Christ?
I Speak to Christ: Christ, I am a part of your Body. Give me the strength to be a healthy, efficient, cooperative part of you.
Thought for Today: "You are the body of Christ" (St. Paul).
Adapted from Mental Prayer, Challenge to the Lay Apostle
by The Queen's Work,(© 1958)