One of the most profound phrases for me in the Prayah Book (that’s the southern translation) is in one of the Thanksgiving prayers at the end of the Eucharist that we say just before getting our benediction send-off:
“Almighty and everliving God, we thank you for feeding us with the spiritual food of the most precious Body and Blood of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ, and for assuring us in these holy mysteries…”
It seems so counter-intuitive. That is especially true for a litigation lawyer who disdains “mystery” of any kind…it is what I don’t know that bothers me going into a trial or hearing or deposition. How can any rational human ever be assured by something mysterious? When it comes right down to it, how often can any of us be all that “assured” in just about anything, least of all a “mystery” no matter how “holy”?
And yet, the more laps around the sun I take, the more I find that great truth often lies in great paradox. Even though much of the time, it can be perplexing at best (and a seemingly cruel farce at worst) every so often I am confronted by evidence of Mystery, with a capital “M” — the sum of all mysteries, an unknowable entity unto Itself. Such evidence is circumstantial, never direct, and certainly not beyond reasonable doubt. It knocks on my soul’s door, creeps into my thoughts, pops into conversations, and whispers to me through misty eyes surprising me at the silliest of times over the silliest of things. On those too-rare occasions that I follow its trail, it leads slowly but inexoriably to a tiny glimpse of a Truth that is beyond mere “relevant” and “admissible” facts that I might perceive through sight, sound, smell, taste or touch.
My insatiable trial lawyer self, that wants to KNOW everything, wants to follow it. Yet I often don’t, afraid of the path where it may lead. To allow myself to acknowledge that maybe, just maybe, what I’ve seen even through the darkest of glass is a portion of the Unseen, is to glean at least a little of the Truth that whatever it is, It is.
And having glimpsed a small fraction of this Mystery from the Holy, is to be changed by It. To taste even the smallest of Its crumbs that might fall off Its table like manna from Heaven, is to know (or at least slowly come to accept even if I can never understand) that regardless of how many attempts to deny It or to ignore It or to run from It, forever will It beckon.
Of THAT…I can truly be assured.