“But seest Thou these stones in this parched and barren wilderness? Turn them into bread, and mankind will run after Thee like a flock of sheep, grateful and obedient, though forever trembling, lest Thou withdraw Thy hand and deny them Thy bread.” — Fyodor Dostoyevsky
In his parable of the Grand Inquisitor, the Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky ponders the mystery of freedom and our perennial temptation to materialism. In the parable, the Grand Inquisitor challenges Jesus (parroting the temptation of Christ by Satan in the Gospels). Refer- ring to the temptation in Scripture, the Grand Inquisitor argues that most people are too weak to live by the Word of God. Rather than give people the gift of freedom, says the Inquisitor, it’s better merely to feed them. The Inquisitor’s assumption is that most of humanity is not capable of choosing faith over comfort. But we, who are disciples, must follow Christ’s path and resist the temptation to choose ease and security over trust in God.
LET US PRAY
Lord Jesus, give me the grace to resist every temptation that comes my way. Make me victorious over every sinful desire of the flesh. Grant me insight to see the stones of this world for what they are, that I would only crave the bread of heaven. Amen.
PRAYER TO THE EUCHARIST
O God, who in this wonderful Sacrament have left us a memorial of your Passion, grant us, we pray, so to revere the sacred mysteries of your Body and Blood that we may always experience in ourselves the fruits of your redemption. Who live and reign with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.
-Collect for the Feast of Corpus Christi, composed by St. Thomas Aquinas