Saturday, September 05, 2009

One more thing...don't lose sight of the Big "E"...

I was watching an old broadcast on EWTN of The Lamb's Supper, with Scott Hahn/Mike Aquilina a few minutes ago. There was only 9 minutes left of the show when I tuned in, but what a POWERFUL nine minutes! Scott referred to an "eye chart" with the big "E" on the chart standing for "Eucharist." Well, that prompted me to post my thoughts before the start of our "lake retreat" weekend. Indeed~ the big "E" surely DOES mean Eucharist! I used to work for an ophthalmologist and optometrist, at Omaha Eye Institute in the early 90's. I did enjoy the work, and the patient contact, and mostly the outbound clinics where we went to small towns around the Omaha area. I kind of miss it at times, but not enough to go back... ;)

Now, unless one is totally blind, no matter how "legally blind" one is, the "E" is always able to be seen. This made me think, hearing Scott's analogy, to ponder a little more. Spiritual blindness and physical blindness have similarities and there's always been that analogy. St Paul, "Saul" was blinded physically (spiritually, too) and after 3 days regained his sight when the scales fell from his eyes, both physically and spiritually speaking.

One who is made spiritually blind, by a constant hardening of the heart due to sinful choices, won't be able to find or see the "E" the Eucharist. Not because the Eucharist isn't there, or near that person, but because they simply don't see. (Or maybe worse, don't want to see.) Even the many patients with cloudy lenses, i.e. cataracts, could make out the "E" on the chart from various feet away. Lenses become cloudy due to many variables, heredity, lifestyle, the sun and how much damage might have been done if one hadn't worn sunglasses, and sometimes just the organic process of aging.

Happily, newer and newer technology has made cataract surgery today an "outpatient" surgery. Done in under an hour, and the patient able to go home in the same day. My Great Aunt Lucy (interesting that St. Lucy is the patron saint of eye disease) had cataract surgery in the early 70's and she was in the hospital for 5 days! I digress a little, (but not really) for as the Church has evolved and matured, with now so many resources available to aid our spiritual growth and increase the clarity of our vision, it's like the new advances in ophthalmology that give people so much more hope to keep their vision, even as they age! It's really amazing and a glorious gift that so many with eye diseases can see better than in ages past.

Some people born blind will never 'see' the big "E" on the chart. They can't see anything. God knows and yet look at Helen Keller's life and all she accomplished and others born blind. Then there are those who are 'legally blind' meaning they can't drive, and need special lenses to read, but can make out shapes. The "E" they can see from a shorter distance. If they're closer to the chart, the "E" they can read and maybe a few letters under it. When a person like me stands the 20 feet away, without my glasses, I can't read much under the "E" a few lines, but I'm near-sighted and have astigmatism. The far-sighted people can see better the farther away they are from the chart, but up close, their vision blurs. Still, all but the worse case scenario could make out the "E."

There's nothing profound in my little pondering here. It just is another way for me to see the beauty of the "E" in everyone's life. Even those "legally blind" are able to 'see' the "E" even better nowadays. The blind by birth, God takes care of by many methods and people assisting in the life of the blind, to guide them to the "E" the Eucharist, the breaking of the Bread, where Christ is "seen" and recognized. Those of us not born blind, by the choices we make in life, can either hinder and blur our vision. By abusing our eyesight, either to sun exposer with no protective lens, or drugs, promiscuous lifestyles, (Aids damages the retina and can cause blindness) or on another level, polluting our eyes by viewing sinful things like porn, or gratuitously violent video games, etc. can harm and destroy our vision. Thus we making the "E" harder to see. The Eucharist is sometimes lost because we choose sin over virtue and striving for holiness. Then choosing to forsake the "E" we lose the protective covering of the "Eucharist" and spiral downward, out of control.

The "E" of Eucharist is visible, or becomes more clear, to those who are "seeking" and even if their vision is blurred or cloudy, when they go to the ophthalmologist or optometrist for help, (the priest and confession) the "E" will be bring clarity to our inner vision, even if our physical eyes are damaged. The "inner vision," our metaphysical vision is what's most important, but that doesn't downplay the importance of protecting our physical eyes as the 'window to our souls.' They should be guarded diligently against the brightness of the physical sun, and also, even more importantly against the "luring" brightness "angel of Light" the enemy of our souls, who blinds with a false brightness.

The "light" he casts appears so good, so beneficial, so intelligent, so bright and 'warm' but in reality will blind, and destroy in the heat of a most chilling destruction, and the big "E" will not stand for the Eucharist anymore but rather for the "Enemy." We can only server ONE master. Either it's the LORD and his Eucharist, or it's the "Evil One"... both are "E's" but that's where discernment and testing of spirits needs to come into practice. Don't be misguided. Don't follow or see the false "E" but the TRUE "E"... the Eucharist, JESUS present at the mass. The mass I must now prepare my heart for as this day begins. Follow the Sun, and let the light from the Son protect you and your vision, to behold Him one day face to FACE!

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