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The Natural and the Supernatural

It was snowing recently and I was describing the snow, falling in rather large flakes, to my children. “See, those big flakes, falling from the sky, like they’re coming down from Heaven. They must be sent by the Angels! We’re going to go outside and try to catch them on our tongue!”

As I finished those words, and looked at my two year old son, who was staring out the window at the big snowflakes, his mouth slightly opened, and his tongue at the ready, in anticipation of our outdoor adventure, I remembered an image very similar to this. Though he is only two, he has realized what is happening at Mass, and he is very eager to participate. When we are at the Communion rail to receive Our Lord, and he is kneeling next to me, and watching the priest come down the line toward us, he adopts a similar posture. When the priest extends his hand over him and gives him a blessing, he opens his mouth slightly and sticks out his tongue, ready to receive Our Lord.

When I finished the words above, and I looked at him as he gazed out the window, I saw a similar expression to what he gives to the priest at Mass. Then, I realized the powerful imagery of the words I imparted to him. The Eucharist is like the snowfall which, pure and delicate, gentle and majestic, descends gracefully from Heaven. Even its movements speak of an otherworldliness, and though it covers all things, the individual flakes vanish without a specific home.

But, the childlike and wonderous among us do not miss the opportunity to venture into the cold, stand with eyes and hands raised up to Heaven, and stick out our tongue, so that which descends, by the mediation of Angels, may be placed thereupon.

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