Eucharist – Okay, so I’m probably not the most original Catholic to be writing today. I’m guessing many Catholics would choose E is for Eucharist in our A to Z Challenge, but there’s a reason for that.
The Eucharist is something, or should I say, someone special.
For me, the Eucharist is what kept me from turning away from my Catholic faith. After experiencing the pain of divorce, I, like many divorced Catholics, felt “different” from my Catholic friends. Suddenly I was a divorced woman. I felt like I had a giant Scarlet A on my chest. I was an outsider, a pariah.
And the place where I should have found the most comfort was suddenly the place where I felt (founded or not) the most judgement.
I felt judged by my failed marriage, judged by actions, words, thoughts that I had done to contribute to that failure, judged by what affect my circumstances might have on others, judged by friends who questioned my waiting for an annulment to date, even judged by Catholics who thought I should ‘get over it’ by just having a fling with someone, anyone.
I felt judged, but was I really being judged or was it my own internal insecurities?
To this day, I don’t know. Perhaps I never will.
What I do know is that I searched for God and for some way to make sense of what had happened in our lives.
And in my search, I attended other Christian churches, and for the most part, I loved their services. I couldn’t ask for friendlier people. I loved their enthusiasm, their knowledge and understanding of the Bible, the way they could quote Scripture and not make me feel inadequate in my failing to do so. Their music was uplifting. Their sermons were just what I needed to hear with messages ranging from fire and brimstone to complete love and utter peace delivering messages I agreed with wholeheartedly.
And I enjoyed sharing Communion with my fellow Christian brothers and sisters, the fellowship, the common sharing of bread, the recitation of Jesus’ words:
This is my body. This is my blood.
But that is where I kept getting stuck. The Bible tells us, “This IS my body. This IS my blood,” not this represents my body and blood.
My heart saddened a bit for my Christian brothers and sisters, those whom I love so much, those who could teach Catholics so much.
For some reason, even those who accept literal translations of the book of Genesis and Creationism, could not see that Jesus loves them enough and is powerful enough to be physically present in the Eucharist, to come down to earth and join our bodies as one body, not just in the spiritual sense, but in the physical sense as well.
It was in receiving the Eucharist that I found I was not judged. It was in the presence of Jesus Christ Himself that I found peace. It was in the acceptance of Him that I finally found the strength to discuss my faith openly, and each Sunday, when I bow before receiving the Host, I look forward to the day when I will see my sacred Trinity and bow before my Judge and my Advocate with the strength of the Holy Spirit guiding me, I know, it is the very real presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist that keeps me loving my Catholic faith, and I look forward to the day I can thank Him face to face for loving me and b=for offering peace through His sacrifice.
Jesus is very present here on earth today. I hope you choose to discover more then come receive Him.