One of the Fathers asked Abba John the Dwarf, ‘What is a monk?’ He said, ‘He is toil. The monk toils at all he does. That is what a monk is.’
Then Jesus said to all, “If any would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake, he will save it.” (Luke 9:23-24; compare Matthew 16:24-28 and Mark 8:34-9:1)
“He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and he who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for my sake will find it.” (Matthew 10:37-39; compare Luke 14:26-27)
I must draw your attention to two things. First, the comments by BSnyder at the end of this thread are very much worth reading. BSnyder taps into something important and muchly overlooked it seems to me. Receiving the Eucharist isn’t just about whether or not a visitor’s feelings get hurt which seems to be one of the major lenses for this conversation; rather it’s about binding yourself to the life of God which may have dramatic and even negative consequences for your health and well-being. Of the first thirteen who partook of the first Lord’s Supper in that Jerusalem upper room, tradition informs us that only one died of old age. The others, without exception, suffered a violent death for their expression of faith.
There are consequences to this faith.
Second, Christopher has written a very engaging post on this topic which again addresses the broader implications and, like BSnyder’s comments, connects reception of the sacrament to the realities of our existence and our spiritual travails:
Can CWOB at its best be practice of assurance in the same way as Baptism done? What does it mean to nibble at the edges and never take the plunge? Or to eat frequently and be drawn into a leap of trust? Can I fall back on Communion in the same way I can always fall back on Baptism when the Tempter whispers lies that I am other than God’s in Christ? To my mind, CWOB precisely because of the nature of Holy Communion to be ongoing may imply rather the very thing the likes of Maurice and Ramsey after found troubling in certain positions on Baptism, that somehow we can fall out of God’s irrevocable adoption. The singular nature of Baptism, on the other hand. In darkest night, I do not cry out, “I am communed.” I rebuke, “I am baptized.”
God’s give-away of grace, I trust will not be spurned by those who receive Communion and never come back. I need not protect God’s grace, but I do need to take care that others understand that grace and its power and implications for their lives. God’s works through God’s means. While CWOB implies a high Presence of Christ in Communion, does it properly warn of God’s wrestling grace?
Read and ponder as you consider CWOB and what it means for us.