True spiritual authority (which I always describe as the power to “author” life in others) does not have to do with “transubstantiating” bread,it does not have to do with any external title, office, or costume. Transubstantiating bread is merely a metaphor for the transubstantiating of persons that the bread feeds. And in that sense, I am a quite conservative Catholic. I do believe that matter and Spirit, the divine and the human, can coexist in one place—both in bread and in human persons. The Eucharist is the Mystery of Incarnation spread out in space and time for all of us to eat. One day we will hopefully get the message. “I am what I eat!”
I cannot give up on Jesus. He puts flesh and Spirit together, which is the essential religious task. Jesus is such an easy one to believe, to follow, and to love. The genius of Jesus’ ministry is that he uses tragedy, suffering, sin, betrayal, and death itself to bring us to God. There are no dead ends for Jesus, which is the ultimate message of hope for humanity. Everything can be transmuted and everything can be used in the economy of grace. EVERYTHING! You could even say that Jesus makes the devil work for him, and for us, which is surely evil’s ultimate defeat.
Richard Rohr, adapted from The Authority of Those Who Have Suffered
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8.28 NIV
This is to me the real good news. This is what it is to be saved, to have eternal life, and to have it now. To be part of the healing that God is bringing for all of creation, even through me, in all my own weakness and insufficiency…
“The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.” Romans 8.19-21 NIV