Kissing your feet with all the love I am capable of, I beg you to show the greatest possible reverence and honor for the most holy Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ through whom all things, whether on earth or in the heavens, have been brought to peace and reconciled with Almighty God (cf. Col 1:20). (St. Francis of Assisi, Letter to a General Chapter. Omnibus of Sources)
Times that I have lingered. Before I continue on, a point of information for those who are not Catholic. The Church teaches, and Catholics believe that Jesus Christ is truly present, and remains present in the Bread and Wine, the moment the priest repeats Jesus’ words: “Take and eat; this is my body,” and “Drink from it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant,…” (Matt 26: 26-28) At the end of the distribution of Communion, any remaining consecrated Wine is consumed; any remaining consecrated Hosts are placed in a container, called a ciborium, and placed in a tabernacle.
As a Deacon, I assist at two Masses on Sunday morning. After the first Mass, I get everything set up for second Mass. One of my responsibilities is to check the ciborium, to see if I need to set out more unconsecrated hosts for Communion. I open the tabernacle; look into the ciborium, then close the tabernacle. It is at that moment that I may just stand there, because I am aware of a Presence, of Christ’s Presence. I cannot describe the experience, I just know, and that I do not want to leave the spot. Eventually, after a few minutes, the Lord lets me go, and I go on with my work.
I believe that God is always asking us to linger for just a moment, and be open to His Presence. Sometimes, we stop and open our minds and hearts; sometimes we let the anxieties, the cares, and the distractions of this world get in the way. We rush about, here and there, doing this or that. If Christ was to knock on the door of our heart, would we linger?