27 February 2009

Eucharist, Ignatius and Doubt

"Take note of those who hold heterodox opinions on the grace of Jesus Christ which has come to us, and see how contrary their opinions are to the mind of God. . . . They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer because they do not confess that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, flesh which suffered for our sins and which that Father, in his goodness, raised up again. They who deny the gift of God are perishing in their disputes. — Letter to the Smyrnaeans 6:2–7:1 - Ignatius of Antioch

I am not sure at all what I think of the Eucharist.Ignatius certainly had his clear cut view.  

On Ash Wednesday, it is not so clear at all to me.  I cannot remember exactly what Nadia says when she hands me the bread to dip in the wine and eat. Something like "this is the body of Christ that is given for you..." But I know that she is fierce and fully present when she says it in a way that no priest of my catholic upbringing ever did. And she means it in a way that cuts down doubt like a scythe.

I do know that I was honored that Nadia asked Charlotte and I to make the communion bread.  The very bread that would at least be blessed and perhaps does become the very body of Christ in substance.  Perhaps it doesn't matter, though I have a feeling wars figurative and literal have been fought over this point.  

In any case it was good bread.  The recipe is simple and I list it hear in case anyone else has to bake some communion bread and would like it to not taste like the anemic white wafers that are so loved in so many churches.

Dry Ingredients

Blend together the following ingredients and sift them three times:
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup unbleached white flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp salt

Stir in 4 tsp of vegetable oil and set aside.

Wet Ingredients

Mix together until dissolved:
3/4 cup of water plus 2 Tbsp of very hot water
3 Tbsp honey
3 Tbsp molasses

Add the wet to the dry and mix well.  Dough should be sticky.  But don't actually knead it.  Divide into four balls and flatten each into a 1/4 inch thick disk.

Score the top of each loaf with a cross.

Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and brush the tops of the loaves with some vegetable oil.  Bake another 5 - 8 minutes.  Cool.  Each loaf serves a bunch.  The original recipe claims 30 but that seems on the high side.

More on this topic later...


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is where religion loses me ... all the hocus-pocus. Loaves transformed by the priest? The literal would be canabalism. The figurative simply weird. In the meantime, there are actually hungry people out on the streets who would could use a loaf of bread ...