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Title: The Spirituality of the Eucharist
Author(s): DE KEYZER, Ad
Journal: Studies in Spirituality
Volume: 10    Date: 2000   
Pages: 77-106
DOI: 10.2143/SIS.10.0.505262

Abstract :
In the study of spirituality the ritual of the Eucharist is studied as a model of spiritual transformation which serves to mediate the process of man's transformation in God. In the transformational model, Christ as a mediator between the reality of the divine and that of the human is the real form to which the people seek to be conformed in order to be transformed in God.
The structure of the eucharistic ritual can be described as the structure of the classic manner of reading we know as the lectio divina. The opening rituals are the preparation; in the liturgy of the Word and the liturgy of the Eucharist we can recognize the moments of lectio, meditatio, oratio, an contemplatio; in the concluding rituals the ongoing pervasive impact of communio with God takes shape in the affairs of everyday.
The inner dynamic of the eucharistic ritual directs the transformational process in view.This inner dynamic concerns the aspect of communio with God and with each other, and the attidudinal aspect of a drawing near which is simultaneously a process of receiving. These two lines of force do not run on separate parallel tracks but increasingly blend into each other as the ritual progresses.
The transformational process envisaged by the eucharistic model of transformation takes place between two parties: God and his people. The man-God relatedness can be differentiated in four ways: (a) drawing near to God; (b) the acknowledgement of God; (c) the movement of God; (d) the appropriation of God. In the Eucharist these four orative moments are connected with sacrifice (sacrificium): the people draw near to God through the sacrifice, acknowledge God with the sacrifice, move toward God with the sacrifice, appriopriate God in the sacrifice. The prayer is inherently characterized by sacrifice. Realized in both prayer and sacrifice is the complete self-surrender of humans who yearn and look for God's acceptance of this self-donation of humans is realized in concealment. We can only show the mystical perspective which opens up in the communio between God and his people.

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