As Catholics, we sometimes take the Eucharist for granted. We take part in this incredible sacrament at least once a week, which sometimes makes us forget how special it is.
Many of our Protestant sisters and brothers don’t believe in the Real Presence of the Eucharist. They believe that Jesus gives us bread and wine to symbolically show his Sacrifice. But we Catholics believe that the Eucharist is literally, I repeat LITERALLY, the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I don’t really want to get into apologetics in this post, but if you want proof, check out John 6, the writings of the early church fathers and saints, metaphysics (explains how something can look like one thing but be another), and Eucharistic miracles.
Somehow, after all those years of religious ed, I never learned about the Real Presence. And I was paying attention in class too! So either A) I missed class on ALL the days they talked about it (unlikely), B) The teacher quickly mentioned it but didn’t make to big of a deal about it (possible), or C) the teacher didn’t mention it at all (also possible).
So then I have my Confirmation, God changes something in me, and all of the sudden I’m all Catholic and stuff. (I wasn’t really too Catholic before that–see my conversion story for more details. You kind find it on the menu on the left.) At that point I started researching Catholicism…and there was the Real Presence staring me in the face. And I had trouble accepting it for a while. After all, it IS pretty mind-boggling. After a lot of research, I started to accept it more. Then learning about Eucharistic miracles helped me. Prayer also helped. The biggest cause for my belief in the Real Presence was undoubtedly the faith in the Church I was granted during my Confirmation. I had my conversion experience in the Catholic Church. My life changed for the better because of a Catholic Sacrament. The Catholic Church teaches Truth, Real Presence included.
Then I started noticing life experiences that have lead me to believe further.
For example, why does if feel so special when you walk into a Catholic church, even when no one is sitting in the pews? Even when it’s dark in there? Shouldn’t it just be an empty room that elicits no feeling? No! Because Jesus is there in the tabernacle!
Why do I think to myself come Thursday or Friday, “Boy, I could really go for Mass about now!”
Why do I feel “off” if I go to Sunday Mass instead of my usual Saturday vigil? Why does seven days with out the Eucharist seem so much longer than six?
Why is sitting in Adoration for two hours not boring? Why is it so incredibly peaceful? Plain-old bread can’t do that.
Next time the Eucharistic minister or priest or deacon says, “The Body of Christ,” remember what you are consuming.
But don’t forget to say “Amen.” 🙂