Today is Holy Thursday, the day we remember the Last Supper.
It is the day we commemorate Jesus’ last meal with his Apostles. The day Jesus gave us the Eucharist – turning bread and wine into his Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity – and the day he gave the Sacrament of Ordination, giving the Apostles power to do the same, to forgive sins, and pass that power along to their successors.
Today those successors are the bishops of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, and the process of handing down that power is called apostolic succession. While both Churches differ on precise details, the “big picture” teaching is the same.
The big picture is that the Last Supper is important for Christian magicians, because in giving us the Eucharist and his apostles the Ordinations to carry it out, Jesus planted the seeds of power that would come into bloom that first Feast of Pentecost.
For three years Jesus laid the groundwork by teaching, by preaching, by healing and by working various signs. For three years Jesus tilled, watered, and prepared the soil. And on this night, Jesus planted the seed in the soil he worked so diligently to prepare.
From this seed comes the power of Life in Jesus’ Body and Blood, the power of Nourishment as we receive Jesus’ Soul and Divinity, and the power to Grow and Reproduce as the Apostles gave the Eucharist to their growing congregations and ordained others to carry on their work.
From this seed we also see the enfolding of all peoples into one people, the enfolding of all symbols into one powerful Reality. For The Eucharist was not just predicted by the Manna from heaven (John 6:31-33) or the shewbread of the Hebrew priesthood (Leviticus 24:7-9). No, the Eucharist was likewise prefigured in the Pagan Mysteries of Ceres and Dionysius – the Mysteries of grain and grape – which Our Lord manifested into fullness of meaning.
And fullness of power. In Christ – true God and true Man – God the Father gave us a real, visible, and tangible “point of contact” between heaven and earth. When we partake of the Eucharist we are not only empowered but likewise become points of contact ourselves, Christ being in us and we in him. (John 6:56)
Not only this, but we also see a phenomenon in the exoteric churches, how those which have embraced the reality of Jesus’ presence in the Eucharist tended to last in a more unified form for centuries if not millennia, while those who’ve rejected this Real Presence have undergone splits and fractures and bitter arguments thousands of times over, in some cases found today in forms even their founders wouldn’t recognize. For just as the Reality of Jesus’ presence empowers the individual, so too does it empower the group and the congregation, keeping all eyes focused on the Source and Summit of Life Itself. To be alive in the Eucharist is to be alive in Jesus’ prayer “that they may all be one.” (John 17:21)
I’ve written that the Church is a bridge between heaven and earth, a Jacob’s ladder by which souls are empowered on earth and climb up towards heaven. I add to this now what I’ve only hinted in the past: the Church is likewise the legitimate heir of what’s called the “Western Mystery Tradition,” in that she not only contains the bridge between heaven and earth but also calls into herself and synthesizes the various Mysteries which have come before her, which have prefigured her and predicted her arrival. While there are legitimate Traditions which pre-date the Church’s arrival, all subsequent western Traditions have typically in some way been affected by her.
We, my dear Christian magicians, we are the heirs to the wonder and grandeur of Western Civilization, as all who are born under the West’s mantle. Yet we are heirs in a special way, for we place our collective finger on the pulse, the forces and currents sustaining and giving life to this Civilization.
I firmly believe we have a duty both to refine this Civilization as gold is refined in a furnace, and likewise to defend this Civilization against those who would see her destroyed, whether those enemies come from without or within. To be alive in Jesus’ Body and Blood is not only to be alive in Christ, it is not only to be alive in one’s church or congregation, it is to be alive as an agent of the Western Mystery Tradition to which we are the heirs, and the Western Civilization into which we’ve been born.
Let us therefore call upon this divinity we receive in the Eucharist. Let us therefore call upon the initiation which we’ve received in Baptism. Let us therefore call the Energy of Actual Grace down from the Celestial Bridge which we traverse.
Let us manifest the Power to be transformed to something more than human! Let us manifest the Love to watch over our co-heirs of Civilization. And perhaps most of all, let our results be those which lead ourselves and others to glorify God day by day, more and more.
And may the piece of this same God, which passeth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Amen.
For more about the place of the Church and the Eucharist in a Christian magician’s life, see The Magic of Catholicism, which principles can be applied by nearly all sacramental Christians.