At the root of any form of prayer I know is attentiveness. Not to be truly attentive, but to allow the mind to wander, is daydreaming, not prayer. In prayer, one turns the gaze of his or her mind towards that which we call God. Whereas some souls neglect to turn towards God, and some actively resist, others turn with fear. We aim to turn with loving mindfulness. That towards which one prays is not something “out there,” a being floating around in space, but the divine presence that is moving us lovingly to obey: “Seek and you will find.” If one does not seek, one does not find; and in finding, one attunes oneself to the God moving one to seek. So explains the Benedictine monk, St. Anselm. In this light, prayer is essentially a loving response to being moved to pray. Our primary responses to God’s drawing are prayer and deeds of charity. Prayer joins us to God; charity unites us to one another. If we dare to say so, God seems to be moving us to oneness, to a communion in which all beings find their home, and are brought to perfection in God.
We begin again. Into what we call the soul, the mind, or consciousness, the Divine breaks forth. Often we do not know that God is moving us, because we remain in relative darkness; or at least what we call “God” remains largely unseen, unknown, and surely mysterious to our limited minds. Hence, we may spontaneously and often ask, “Who are You, LORD?” Who or what is this God moving us to Himself? We do not ask in a void of darkness, knowing nothing. Rather, we seek God out of our response to Christ. For in Christ Jesus we see the embodiment of a full union between God and a particular human being. In Christ we see what we will essentially be like if and when we live in an ongoing state of pure and intense love of God. We find in prayer, and here and now in the Eucharist, means to becoming more like Christ, more “filled with the fullness of God.” The foremost goal of our Eucharistic celebrations is and ought to be a growth in our union with God in Christ. In other words, we seek to become what we are in Christ: the Body of Christ. By God’s grace and our loving response, we are becoming the Body of Christ. This is the beautiful reality we celebrate on the feast of Corpus Christi. In words of St. Augustine fitting for this feast and for every Eucharist, “See what you receive and become what you are."