Sunday, December 20, 2015

On Transubstantiation in the classroom

From years past. the real Christmas miracle....

"Flowers, leaves, fruit, are the 
air-woven children of light."
Jacob Moleschott, 19th c. physiologist

The sun stands still for an instant just a few days from now, and will start its trip back north. We are all children of the light.

I ate a basil leaf in class today, grown from a flower fertilized by bee that stole a sip of nectar back in August. A child in class separated the seed from the dried flower head in October, and planted it.

The past two months the basil germinated, grew a pair of leaves, then another, then yet another, weaving together the carbon dioxide molecules floating around the room, pieces of this child's breakfast or that child's heart.

Transubstantiation, the miraculous changing of the Host into the flesh of God, has all the fancy accouterments one would expect for these kinds of things, but after all the noise, the Host still tastes like, well, a wafer.

Through several Sundays of Masses, the tiny basil seed grew, taking in the carbon dioxide of the breath of my lambs in class, an odorless gas, and weaved it with broken water molecules, creating the stuff of life, a basil plant, and today we took Communion.

No one believes this, of course, because it is simply too much to belief--but it's true and requires not a lick of faith.

The plants in our room are, literally, from the breath of those who live here--and at least a few of the carbon dioxide molecules captured were released when someone's brain in class tried to grasp the concept of photosynthesis.

And it was good.

And you're allowed to gnaw on basil....


Barbara said...

And I can just imagine the smell of fresh basil in the classroom. SOLSTICE JOY!!!

doyle said...

Dear Barbara,

Alas, other smells often dominate in a science classroom, but one of my joys in class is watching children smell the basil seedpods as they separate the dead flowers from the living tiny black seeds inside.

Solstice Joy back at you!