Have you ever had to drive on one of those days when there’s a cloudless sky, and the sky is so blue that it hurts your eyes to look at it?
I found myself looking up at just such a sky one day last week. Only a few clouds, and the sky was this deep, bright blue. It’s hard to explain until you see it, and then you never quite forget how gorgeous it is. This always seems to happen to me when it’s freezing cold outside - also, when I'm driving and therefore unable to take a picture.
If it wasn’t for the atmosphere, you could see into space. Could look directly into the infinite. Finite, next to infinite. It reminds me of what I am like next to God.
It’s an awe-inspiring thought. It makes me feel, truly, how small I am, in comparison to the rest of creation, and how small I am compared to God.
And if it were not for the atmosphere, we would be fully exposed to the sun’s radiation every day. The atmosphere protects us from this. Not too long ago, it was pointed out to me that if we were exposed to the full glory of what happens each week at Mass - if the accidents changed with the substance - we couldn’t stand it.
While the atmosphere protects us from the sun’s harmful radiation, it also prevents us from seeing the sun as it truly is, as does the vast distance between us and the sun. In the very same way the fact that the accidents do not change at mass is an expression of the mercy of God.
We could not stand the full glory of God as he is - not in our present, sinful state, and so God covers that glory under the accidents of bread and wine, for our benefit.
If you have time this week, I would encourage you to visit the adoration chapel, and spend a little time gazing into the infinite.