LiturgyIncoming LinksMarch 29th, 2021It seems Natalie was immersing herself in a dark Liturgy. The skin and the steel, the bluish tint of the vein. The spoon and the flame, that moment of bubbling alchemy that marked the entrance into another dimension. And when the needle penetrated her own body, the feeling of the drug itself. The taste of it from inside. The click of shackles released all over her nervous system, reaching back to smooth every jagged memory, and forward, a guarantee of the hours to come, a guardian against harsh thoughts and images, the settling in of a consciousness infused with Peace. *📙 ImprovisationPerhaps the central insight of Cavanaugh’s remarkable treatment of Chile under Pinochet is the portrayal of torture as a perverted Liturgy. In other words, torture and Eucharist emerge as rival practices that compete to define the social nature of the body. The task of the church in the face of torture is not so much to block it, since it does not have the power to do so, but rather to interpret it as a Liturgy and to renew its own Liturgy in the face of it.Cavanaugh argues that “torture is a kind of perverted Liturgy, a Ritual act which organizes bodies in the society into a collective performance, not of true community, but of an atomized aggregate of mutually suspicious individuals.”If torture is essentially an anti-Liturgy, a drama in which the state realizes omnipotence on the bodies of others, then the Eucharist provides a direct and startling contrast, for in the Eucharist Christ sacrifices no other body but His own. Power is realized in self-sacrifice; Christians join in this sacrifice by uniting their own bodies to the sacrifice of Christ. Christians become a gift to be given away to others, as illustrated in the practices of the Vicaria and the Sebastian Acevedo Movement. In giving their bodies to Christ in the Eucharist, a confession is made, but it is not the voice of the state that is heard. The torturer extracts a confession of the unlimited power of the state. The Eucharist requires the confession that Jesus is Lord of all, and that the body belongs to Him.