The Feast of Corpus Christi can never be separated from St Thomas Aquinas, who is remembered with pride and joy by Dominicans as the author of the Office and Liturgy of the Feast of the Most Precious Body and Blood of Christ. The tender and childlike devotion shining through each strophe of verse is matched only by the totality of the gift that God bestows upon those who approach this Sacred Banquet.
The days following Trinity Sunday call particularly to mind the wonderful things of God – O res mirabilis – as the Panis Angelicus hymns so sublimely. Here in Tynong, the Sisters have had the extraordinary privilege of having the Feast of Corpus Christi celebrated in a grand way: a Solemn High Mass and Procession of the Blessed Sacrament across the whole span of St Thomas Aquinas College grounds was celebrated; the parish church of Corpus Christi had the 40 Hours Devotion and its attendant liturgies and devotions crowned by the First Holy Communions of 26 Year 2 boys and girls on Sunday, followed by a procession from the Church to the Convent.
For the Sisters too, Corpus Christi was a day of rejoicing – we welcomed our newest postulant, Miss Catherine Ryan, who hails from New South Wales, to our growing family. This brings the number of Sisters currently residing in Rosary Convent to the very nice prime number of 19. More Sisters may mean less room in our already very cramped Refectory and Chapel, but it also means more hands lifted up to Heaven to draw down graces from the throne of God.
Christ is to us, as He was to the disciples at Emmaus, the companion of our journey, God with us. For Dominicans especially, devotion to the Holy Eucharist is part of the very fabric of Dominican life and spirituality. Scarcely has the day begun before the bell calls us to prayer in the chapel, where we beg God’s blessing for the day while we cast ourselves upon our knees in adoration and throw, as it were, both body and soul into the worship of Uncreated Beauty.
O Sacrum Convivium… O Sacred Banquet, in which Christ is received, the memory of His Passion renewed… these are the words that spring from our lips each time we assemble in choir to offer to the Triune Godhead the sacrifice of praise, the Divine Office. Thus gathered before His Presence, we incline ourselves profoundly in adoration of the Sacred Mysteries wrought by God, acknowledging the greatness and the goodness of He Who loves us, uniting our voices with that of the angelic chorus that cry Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus unceasingly before the throne of the Divine Majesty.
Before the Tabernacle, let us enter into that darkness of Faith and into the sacred silence of the Eucharistic mystery. The little door of the Tabernacle opens into the Infinite, and the life that pulsates in the Host is that of the Heart of Jesus Christ, in Whom every prayer and work of ours both begins and ends, the sum and term of our Christian life upon this earth. The Lord of Hosts, Verbum supernum prodiens – the Word of God proceeding forth – tiny and Immaculate, descending lightly into the hands of His priest.
Adoro Te…! Such the cry of the soul who approaches the altar to receive her Lord and God, whose very marrow revolves around and is sustained by the Bread of Life Himself. Let us then go before the Golden Door – the door of the Tabernacle – and say to Him Who dwells within, “In Thee I put my trust.”
(More pictures to come soon... stay tuned!)