a eucharistic life

“It seems natural for man to experience the world as opaque, and not shot through with the presence of God.” ~ Alexander Schmemann, For the Life of the World

After I wrote my last post, I felt that it should be followed up with some thoughts on the eucharistic, or sacramental life. One of the things that is a key difference in Quaker theology and Orthodox belief is the meaning and purpose of the eucharist. Quakers do not practice it as a physical act at all, whereas in the Orthodox church it is at the center of everything we do.

The word eucharist actually means gratitude. And I am incredibly grateful when I receive the life of Christ through the sacrament. But this gratitude should infuse our whole lives, changing the lens through which we take in the world. The book that drew me initially to the Orthodox Church was the phenomenal “For the Life of the World,” by Father Alexander Schmemann that is quoted at the beginning of this post. If you have not read it, I cannot recommend it highly enough nor can I do justice to the thoughts expressed in the book so I will just leave it at that.

But I do want to end this very brief post by saying that gratitude is becoming my touchstone for spiritual health. If I find I am dwelling only on what is wrong with myself, another person, or an event, I know I still have growing to do.

Today after my family returned from Liturgy, I took my dog outside and we just sat in the grass. I thanked God for the ground underneath me and the sky over my head. In spite of trials, trauma, viruses and so forth it is truly a beautiful world.

In gratitude,


6 thoughts on “a eucharistic life”

  1. Emmie, gratitude is at the centre of our faith. We see the world differently through grateful hearts. I don’t mean that we need to be unrealistic about the world but when we are grateful we have a different lens through which we view people and the world itself. Thinking about who we are in God’s eyes – God’s beloved daughters and sons – is enough to fill our hearts with deep gratitude. Life is not easy but God is good. Thank you for this post! Blessings for you and your family!


  2. That book IS phenomenal, isn’t it? Schmemann brings my mind right down into my heart! My priest said he was like that in his seminary lectures, too. Glory to God for our fathers in the faith, and for the Holy Mysteries most of all.


  3. I haven’t read that yet, but as I grow in my faith, I’m finding that gratitude is just naturally occurring. I discovered it during a bout with cancer, about 7 years ago, and how early we caught it, how mild the case was, and how God and prayer (of other people for me) held me and cushioned and kept me during the treatment. I owe him so much, and can never, ever repay – and since then, I’m learning, day by day, to see just how generous he is and to remember to be thankful and grateful for all the blessings I receive, and the beauty that I experience, both in liturgy, at the cup, and in life. It really does change one, to see the good and be grateful for it, no matter how small the good.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There is indeed much to be grateful for. Sometimes even in the midst of extreme difficulties we can see how God is protecting and loving us. Glory be to God.


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