Thursday, April 21, 2011
C.S. Lewis On Maundy Thursday
I don't know and can't imagine what the disciples understood our Lord to mean when, His body still unbroken and His blood unshed, He handed them the bread and wine, saying they were His body and blood...I find 'substance' (in Aristotle's sense), when stripped of its own accidents and endowed with the accidents of some other substance, an object I cannot think...On the other hand, I get no better with those who tell me that the elements are mere bread and mere wine, used symbolically to remind me of the death of Christ. They are, on the natural level, such a very odd symbol of that...and I cannot see why this particular reminder - a hundred other things may, psychologically, remind me of Christ's death, equally, or perhaps more - should be so uniquely important as all Christendom (and my own heart) unhesitatingly declare...Yet I find no difficulty in believing that the veil between the worlds, nowhere else (for me) so opaque to the intellect, is nowhere else so thin and permeable to divine operation. Here a hand from the hidden country touches not only my soul but my body. Here the prig, the don, the modern , in me have no privilege over the savage or the child. Here is big medicine and strong magic...the command, after all, was Take, eat: not Take, understand.