This bread – My Body

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Do we understand……..?

Machines cut groves into soil

receptive places

for the showers of grain that follow.

These tiny grains are buried

in a very dark world.

Image the dark, restricted, suffocating space;

the damp, separateness and cold.

All – conditions necessary

for grain its essence to release.


In time, its skin cracks and tears,

the body swells, opens up wide

uncurling itself in it’s desperate need

to the reach the light

and young though it be

it knows to shoot down its roots

for strongly rooted in the dark –

ground of its being –

secures the anchor and strength

to flourish above the soil.


And the wheat grows

among and together with a field of wheat

flowing as one in the caress of the wind,

wave upon wave it dances as one,

happy in its growth,

happy with its ripening fruit,

happy in its beauty,

happy to be.


Till ……….

Machines cut them down

stripping them of their fruit

crushing them into fine dust

pouring them into bags upon bags, upon bags.

Stupefied and once again in darkness

the seed wonders …

Why God?


seed now flour

is scooped into bowls,

drenched with water,

mixed with yeast and salt,

then left alone.

Resting in this new state

it once again swells

for life within must out.

But another battering it undergoes,

crushed and boxed into a ball

an experience of being clay

as hands mould, twist and cut

in shapes according to need.

Then peace and warmth once more.

True to its nature it swells again

for the life within

won’t be held bound.

It stretches to its fullness

in all its various shapes

but then – the fire –

unbelievable heat.


In that burning,

grain transformed in flour,

moulded into dough

seesin that fiery moment

the light, realizes the truth.

For this it came into being to be

bread for the hungry,

pleasure for the merry,

manna for the soul,

Body of Christ.


As with the seed

so we, as seed of God’s love,

journey the path of transformation

on a road wrought with darkness and pain,

joy and beauty.

How has my journey formed me to be bread

in the world dying of hunger?

Am I?Are we as Church – body of Christ-

bread of forgiveness and reconciliation?

bread of companionship and compassion?

bread of justice and peace?

bread of truth and mercy?

bread of joy and love?

Bread feeding laughter, joy and beauty?


Do I hold, within myselfthe world

in an embrace of salvation?

Christ says: ‘I am the Bread of Life’.

And I?

Sr Sylvia van Vuuren OP


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