I am a fan of the abbreviation FTW, (For The Win) especially in conjunction with Holy Spirit, FTW. However, my dear friend (God bless her), is a little, well, dense sometimes. One day she poked her head out from under her rock (which is bigger than mine, but most certainly more Holy!) and asked what FTW means. She shared her hypothesis with me- Fill the Womb(she is slightly preoccupied with the thought of having children one day). We decided that this is actually awesome and promptly adopted it into our every day conversation(which tends to be quite ridiculous to begin with).
We often speak of being filled – by the Holy Spirit, the Love of God, etc. But, in order for something to be filled it must first be empty. What do we need to be emptied of? Sin. Once we are emptied, we are in a perfect posture of receptivity.
The absolute, no holds barred, #1 example of receptivity is Mama Mary. Why was she able to be completely receptive to God? She was without sin. She was completely empty and she had to be, for she was filled with God Himself.
Receptivity is a paradox, as all the best things are. It is not the same as being passive. It is active acceptance of God’s will, of a gift. However, it is important that we do not initiate.
How do we actively accept something without initiating? Let’s just go right to the source and summit of our faith, the Eucharist, to answer this question. This afternoon my dear friend and I went to a Solemn Latin Mass. Although I’ve been to a Latin Mass before, it is still hard to follow along. With Mass in general, and especially with the Latin Rite it may seem as though the congregation is not “doing” much. We don’t say most of the responses, the Mass parts are sung by the choir, and the Priest whispers much of the consecration. It is shrouded in mystery – as the Mass should be. I enjoy attending the Latin Mass because it reminds me of the incredible mystery that is taking place. At Mass today I began by following along in the booklet but eventually gave up and allowed myself to be swept up by the beauty of what was taking place. It didn’t seem that I was actively doing anything, but simply being fully present in mind, body, heart, and soul, was all that was asked of me. I was empty, so that God could fill me.
This is why it is so important to confess grave sins before receiving communion – we have to be emptied of all that is separating us from God. The Sacrament of Communion is meant to be a sign of our union with God – if that union is not possible then the grace of the sacrament is is not effective.
We are given the Eucharist – we do not take it ourselves. This does require action on our part though – we have to decide to accept the gift by opening our mouths or putting out our hands. Gifts are useless unless we do something with them. Imagine if someone gave you a gift and you never opened it!
So back to that little phrase – Fill the Womb. All unions are meant to be fruitful. Our union with God should be spiritually fruitful. Therefore in the Eucharist Christ enters us, fills us, and in a way impregnates us with His Presence. With the help of Mary, we are sent forth into the world to “birth” Christ. This is why it is important to receive the Eucharist at least once a week – to be filled again. Our lives should be a constant cycle of emptying and filling.
This past week at my local Theology on Tap the topic was Bungee Jumping: Closer in, Further out( and no, we did not learn how to bungee jump). The speaker used bungee jumping as an analogy for always coming back to the Eucharist for nourishment and then going out into the world to evangelize.
Today, ask Mary to teach you how to bungee jump – aka how to be receptive. Let God empty you of all that is holding you back, and fill the womb(FTW!) of your soul.