The other day I was celebrating Mass in the school chapel. There were very few people in the congregation and I had time for silence, more time to slow down in the midst of the Mass.
As I did, time began to slow down. Everything seemed suspended for a moment. Was it a moment or was it an eternity? The crucifix before seemed luminous. Then as I gazed at the bread and the chalice they seemed to be one with the crucifix and they all took on a different dimension. It was like they opened up. A window or a door opened onto light. This makes it sound like what I experienced was somehow ethereal or ‘spiritual.’ It was the opposite. Everything was far more concrete, far more solid and shared in a greater dimensionality than I can express, and the words came into my mind, “This is Reality.”
At the risk of being mis-understood…I envy the priest in the context of the mystical which you just spoke of. Oh that we would ALL see Christ in this light!
Sounds like the caffeine finally kicked in. Just kidding. I had a lucid moment like that a few years back, if I understand what your describing correctly. I’ve had a few more like it with lesser intensity. Is it possible that such a feeling marks a new spiritual plateau or stage?
Wow, Father, what an awesome experience!I have, on occasion, been blessed with similar experiences while at Mass or private prayer or study. Usually, it is very brief “flashes” of knowledge and understanding, where things seem more real and make more sense. It often happens when I am meditating upon the Trinity. For an instant I will see it clearly! But then, my brain gets all excited and tries to analyze it, and I lose it.I have found that time often behaves strangely when I’m praying. I might feel like I’ve been praying for 30 minutes, when only 5 have passed. This has taught me a great lesson: that I always have time for prayer! And it’s true! I really feel that time slows down when I pray, and the more rushed I am, the more it slows down.God be with you, Father!
Fr. Dwight,Fr. Ronald Knox’s little book, “The Mass in Slow Motion” gives a beautiful and profound setting for the jewel of the mystical experience you describe.
“This makes it sound like what I experienced was somehow ethereal or ‘spiritual.’ It was the opposite. Everything was far more concrete, far more solid and shared in a greater dimensionality than I can express, and the words came into my mind, ‘This is Reality.'”That’s essentially Plato and CS Lewis (particularly in the Great Divorce), as you’re probably aware.
I have issues with what secular folk call “reality” anyway….
“Let no one, then, pass judgment on you in matters of food and drink or with regard to a festival or new moon or sabbath. These are shadows of things to come; the reality belongs to Christ” (Colossians 2:16-17).Father, I am beginning to believe this idea of reality you and Lewis share.
What a wonderful experience and post. I needed to read this today.Thank you for sharing.Peggy
Wow! How beautiful and awesome… what a wonderful grace – if only… Ah! Thanks for writing about it.