Monday, 30 September 2013

Where restless yearnings cease

Yesterday our organist chose the old hymn, "Sweet Sacrament Divine" for Holy Communion. We don't often sing it these days.

As I was distributing Holy Communion, I suddenly became aware of the congregation singing "Where restless yearnings cease, and sorrows all depart." I know that the Blessed Sacrament is the place where my own restless yearnings cease. But every priest is privileged to be privy to the sickness, anxieties, sorrows of his parishioners and I became aware of the pains and sorrows of the long line of communicants, hands stretched out, mouths open, to receive Jesus. As I continued to distribute Holy Communion I tried to join in prayer with those receiving: "In thine ear all trustfully, we tell our tale of misery...." Jesus hears our tale of misery, and brings healing.

The people started singing the last verse of the hymn. Holy Communion was almost done. I heard the words: "In thy far depths doth shine thy Godhead's majesty." I looked at the One I held in my hands. And I knew as if for the first time - though I have never doubted it - that this is my Lord and my God.