Saturday, September 19, 2009

What does the Eucharist Mean to Me?

Several weeks ago I was inspired to write this post. It has taken until now to actually get it done. At Mass one Sunday Father was giving the homily and was speaking on the Eucharist. He posed the question: What does the Eucharist mean to you?

Of course I immediately thought of the theological aspect of it. "It's the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ." then Father said, "I know you could tell me what the Church teaches what the Eucharist is, but that is not what I want to know. What does the Eucharist really mean to you personally?"

So, here I go.

My most intimate time with Adoration and the Eucharist was in college. I was in Austria at the school's campus there. In Austria, I really dove into my Faith and immersed myself in the Mass and the Eucharist. I would go many nights to adoration in the chapel and I would kneel for 45 minutes to an hour just staring in adoration. The Lord really opened up my mind and my heart at that time. I never felt more close to God than I did that semester. To me, the Eucharist was my solace from the week's studies and travels. The Lord would comfort me there in that chapel. All my cares and concerns melted away while I gazed as His greatness. New things were revealed to me. I didn't see just the wafer in the monstrance, I saw into a world of brightness and beauty that I have never seen since. This is what adoration should be. This is what I felt I should feel every time I received Him in the Mass.

Fast forward 16 years and I'm a father of 6 boys. It's all I can do simply to get through mass being able to hear what is being said and try to focus on what is happening at the altar. I cannot lie, for several years, the Eucharist was an obligation that I knew if I didn't go to Mass and receive then I would have to go to confession. I had lost the intimacy, the love, the amazement that I once had. I never wanted communion to be routine, but there it was, all the same.

I was snapped back to reality that Sunday when Father spoke on the Bread of Life and asked that pointed question. I realized what I had been taking for granted; what I had neglected. The Eucharist is the heart of the Church! The Eucharist should be the focus of my daily life and prayer. I'm not there yet, but I am getting closer. There's been a rekindling of my faith in that homily and I appreciate more the beautiful gift the Lord has left us. No where in the universe exists the Eucharist. This is where the Lord comes down to earth to dwell within us. I have a new-found appreciation for it again. I look forward to mass, I look forward to receiving.

1 comment:

Katie said...

I just love it when a homily smacks me right between the eyes and makes me realize that I have been sleeping. I am glad that you have re-awakened! Paying attenetion at Mass is always a challenge with children, I can only imagine how it must be with 6 boys!
FYI, St. Stephen's has a holy hour from 5-6 on Wednesdays and Adoration on First Friday from 9 - 6. Feel free to drop in.