I am not sure where to begin, my thoughts are all over the place. Years ago when I was wavering in my Catholic faith, I began to doubt the Real Presence (this was probably step one in my spiritual decline). I sat at Eucharistic Adoration and dared to ask the Lord to allow me to witness a Eucharistic miracle so that it would be easy for me to believe. As if I am worthy of such a request!?! Faith is about believing what is unseen, isn’t it? So the -in your face- miracle never happened…and I took that as Jesus not answering my prayer and my mind allowed me to believe the Real Presence wasn’t actually Real, and so as the culmination of things occurred (which I plan to hash out here over the next few weeks or so), I ceased practicing my Catholic faith.
As I said yesterday, it has been years since I have practiced my Catholic faith. That however has not stopped the Lord from chasing after my heart.
The Real Presence has to be something pretty spectacular if it is in fact Real, right? You can’t have the actual Body and Blood of the Lord Jesus in a tabernacle without actually feeling the presence of The Lord. You remember the woman who touched the hem of Jesus garment? I believe she sensed/felt His holiness.
All the years I have walked into my Baptist church, it was no different than walking into any other building or room. Even the sanctuary, even approaching the alter, nothing really unique or special about it. Physically it feels the same as walking into any other building. In saying that, it doesn’t really feel like anything. It is not the same when I walk into the building of the Catholic Church. I can sense the Lord’s presence. I am walking into the holy of holies. He is there, in body and spirit. I have experienced that feeling of His presence in prayer, when two or more are gathered in His name. It is different though. To walk into the building where the consecrated host resides, in local churches all around the globe, His presence can’t be felt which demands respect and reverence. There should be no loud talking, no running, no jumping around. Respect and reverence.
And so, over the course of the last several months, even driving by my local parish every day to and from work, I have peaked into the doors from my car passing by, and felt a pull. A strong desire to walk in and just kneel or sit there, and just be there. I haven’t done so, but I feel it. I did go to Mass last weekend and hope to go tomorrow, and excitedly awaited the consecration. At that moment, I was brought to tears. I can’t understand how one could be guilty of the Body and Blood of our Lord over a symbol. What makes the symbol special in my Baptist church? How is the ‘communion’ there any different than toast in my toaster or grape juice in my refrigerator? If I read scripture over them do they turn into a symbol? What makes that so?
While I understand that the Eucharist is a hard teaching, it honestly has become clear to me. I now know that all along, Jesus was answering my prayer, with a still small voice and I just couldn’t hear it because I was expecting pomp and circumstance. The Scripture of “do this in remembrance of me” only makes sense the Catholic way.
For some reading on this, look here.
I’d love to hear your thoughts!
(Edited to add)…ps…when I think about the Eucharist, this part of me thinks I should take some and leave church with it. I know that thought comes from Satan. If the Eucharist were just bread and wine, with no transubstantiation, he wouldn’t attack my thoughts with this. I realize it is truly the Body and Blood of our risen Lord!