Strengthen , O Lord, the hands which have been stretched out to receive your holy things, that they may daily bring forth fruit to your glory.
Grant that the ears which have heard your songs may be closed to the voices of clamor and dispute;
That the eyes which have seen your bright love may also behold your blessed hope;
That the tongues which have uttered your praise may speak the truth;
That the feet which have trodden your courts may walk in the regions of light;
That the souls and bodies which have fed upon your living Body and Blood may be restored to newness of life. AmenAnd some thoughts:
This prayer comes either from the ecumenical community at Taize, France or an Anglican source. It clearly reveals that there are communities who believe in the presence of the Risen Christ in the Eucharist who have their own fervent insights to share.
The hands which have been stretched out. There are some people still frenzied that Holy Communion may be received in the hand. The world is on the brink; we must get past this. The second piece of that first line is what matters, and I'd suggest we might consider this to be the most important bit: that our hands would daily bring forth fruit to God's glory. I mean, what's it all about if we're taking Holy Communion (however we receive it) and we're not bringing about "fruit to God's glory." The world awaits! And what's God's glory? Saint Augustine says it's a human being fully alive!
That our ears would be closed to the voices of clamor and dispute. What contentious times we're living in: vulgar, mean-spirited, looking for a fight, raging, argumentative, threatening.
That our feet would walk in regions of light. What's that? That we'd walk in an awareness of God's up close and personal presence. When we forget this, we leave ourselves vulnerable to every kind of human foolishness and error - especially the error of resentment, life-draining anxieties and even hate.
And that having received the living Body and Blood of Christ we'd be restored to newness of life. A living Christ brings us to life. We don't receive the Eucharist to make us feel good - we receive the Eucharist to make us alive: in mercy-kindness, justice, awareness, self-knowledge, compassion, understanding and love.