Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Chicken? Or Egg?

It occurred to me a while ago that perhaps the reason there are so many Christ-like stories in world mythology is that we were designed to "recognize" that story - because it is the truth.

At Mass on Sunday another thought struck me - perhaps the odd fact that we must eat to survive is linked to our spiritual need to consume the body and blood of Christ. Why weren't we created to manufacture our food from the sunlight, air, and perhaps minerals from the soil the way plants do? Why this necessity to keep consuming plant and animal life? Many think it odd that Christians, Catholics in particular, "eat" their Savior. But maybe it's just all of a piece.

Interestingly, in Mere Christianity, which I am reading now (slowly - there is so much to think about!), C. S. Lewis points out that God did, indeed, choose to create us as creatures who must eat to survive, and must have sex to procreate. He might have made many other choices, but these are the ones He chose. That is simply the way it is.

So I can't help wondering if we (perhaps I should say, social and other scientists) persist in looking at things backwards: we don't discount the Christ story because it has been told in other cultures, but in fact we recognize the thread of human truth in it; we don't discount the Christian notion of Holy Communion as bizarre and superstitious but rather we see the perfect symmetry of our need to consume to live - both spiritually and physically. What other method might God have chosen in order to demonstrate to us our need for Him as the sustenance of our spiritual lives?

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