Mid December St. Eugene wrote to Fr. Guigues who was then the Superior of Notre Dame de l’Osier. He gave an update on his illness which he had been experiencing for almost two months as he suffered with fevers and coughing blood, et. He was weak barely able to hold a pen and write the letter. His closing of his letter was short – ten words:.
“Accept my love by way of conclusion and my blessing.” (597:XIII in Oblate Writings)
I needed/wanted to reread this line a few times for it hit me quite strongly.
To me he was not only finishing/concluding this letter by saying I love you, but rather asking that it become a shared action of not just one but also the other. He asked Fr. Guigues to accept his love – that will be the real ending of the letter and a blessing from Eugene himself. It could not just be on the part of Eugene himself, but fully depended on the receiving of it in order for it to be a complete act. I am thinking first of Jesus on the Cross, death but that in itself did not make it a complete act. It needed the resurrection in order to complete it. Death and new Life.
I think also of the Eucharist it is not simply a one-way act. We have the Celebration of the Eucharist, where we come together as a community to celebrate with each other, to share with each other and nourish each other. It is not only the Presider, the priest up at the altar with the consecration and then his distribution of communion. For we take part in order to make the ritual complete. We receive the Eucharist and then share it in ourselves with each other, with our families and co-workers, with friends and those we see in the ordinary of our days. It is bread broken and shared with each other.
This love that we share and give to one another is not really complete until it is received and given back. The Body of Christ – awesome.