Fr Phil’s Weekly Message: Corpus Christi and Trinity 1


“I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live for ever.”

“To enjoy God is to take complacency and delight in him for being what he is, and doing what he does, loving what he loves, requiring what he requires: it is to rest in him, as the compleat and satisfactory Object of all our desires…”
Thomas Traherne

It seems to me that Corpus Christi, which we celebrated on Thursday at St Alban’s, is all about gazing on the wonder of God’s love for us revealed in the sacrament and wondering how it is that we can ‘rest in him, loving what he loves and requiring what he requires’.

The north Derbyshire superior of the Community of the Resurrection in Mirfield used to tell us that the sacrament, was “for eating, not for waving around”, but Corpus Christi has always involved a good deal of waving around and of prayerful contemplation of the real presence of Christ in the sacrament. And what we notice in this contemplation is that distance between us with all our contorted desires, broken promises, half baked plans and the peaceful, loving completeness of God represented in this sacramental bread. Rowan Williams in his wonderful book on Augustine says: “I know myself as an act of questioning, a lack and a search, perpetually unsatisfied in this life, yet not frustrated.” The wholeness we seek comes ultimately from God and we meet it gazing on the living bread that came down from heaven.