Category Archives: Eucharist
The Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ!
Two summers ago, when working at The Pines Catholic Camp, I received a beautiful gift and grace from God that affirmed and confirmed my belief in Jesus’ presence in the Holy Eucharist. I was at a daily Mass one evening, and when I went up to receive the Precious Blood, I couldn’t see anything in the Chalice – the inside of the chalices at camp are gold-ish, and white wine had been consecrated. Thinking that, as had been the case the two daily Masses previous, only a tiny bit of the Precious Blood was left, I started tilting it before the whole weight was in my hand. It was full to the brim.
I spilled His Blood. It got on my face… on the floor… later I noticed a huge splotch on my t-shirt (which, ironically, had a Monstrance on it with the word Eucharist… God has a sense of humor!). I didn’t know what to do…
My mind filled with stories I’d read about when the Eucharist had fallen on the floor and how it was mourned, reverenced… Later, the Extraordinary Minister came to me. He saw I was very upset, and tried to calm me down, telling me I was alright; it wasn’t a sin – only an accident that could have happened to anyone. He told me to change shirts and rinse this one at an outside faucet, so the Savior’s Blood would run into the earth. I did as he said, and later the priest found me outside at the faucet washing my shirt with water and tears.
His compassion was that of a saint. He gently put his hand on my shoulder and asked me, “How much does He love you?”
All I could think to say was, “Enough to spill His Blood for me.”
Father smiled, and nodded.
Many weeks later, I was looking at a crucifix and thinking about that day. My own devotion to Mary had been growing in those weeks, and as I thought of her standing at the foot of the Cross with her Son, another image came to me. Up until this point, I’d always thought of myself as standing at a distance and watching her watching Jesus die. This time, though, she reached out for me, and brought me to the foot of the Cross with her. Looking up at Christ, His Precious Blood streamed down his legs and feet, and dripped off onto His holy mother’s face and clothes. This time, though, I was standing with her, and His Blood fell on me, too.
I came to realize many profound things from that one night in the humble Chapel at camp. Not only had Mary invited me deeper into the Passion of her Son as her companion, she had allowed me to share in her sorrow at the death of her Son. When I tilted that little chalice a bit too far, Jesus invited me deeper into the mystery of His Presence on the Blessed Sacrament. I spilled His Blood. It was my sins that sent Him to the Cross, but He also gave me a tangible experience that brought me to a much deeper love and appreciation for His Love and Sacrifice.
Oh Sacrament most Holy, oh Sacrament Devine, all Praise and all Thanksgiving be every moment Thine!
Ever heard the saying, “You are what you eat?” We all know the meaning: eat healthy food, and you’ll have a healthy body!
No matter how healthily we live though, or how careful we are about what we ingest into our bodies, our bodies will die. Our bodies are mortal and finite. We are born, we live, and we die. And there is no escape for anyone, no matter who you are or what you’ve done.
“What’s the point, then? Why bother with life?!” Well, the reason is this: you are more than just a body. You are a body and a soul, both in perfect union with the other. One is not superior or inferior; both are special, and both are yours. Your body, as we said, will die. Your soul, however, will not. It is immortal, and will live forever. Now then, with this knowledge, what kind of health should be forefront in the mind? Keep your body healthy, for sure! But consider the health of your soul as well.
What kind of things effect the health of a soul? Many!
Great soul-workouts include Mass, Adoration, Rosary, Devine Mercy Chaplet, other prayers litanies, novenas, etc. Soul ‘junk-food’ would be things like dirty music, movies, TV, and other media. Input equals output. Dark, rude, course, immoral music will form a mind and soul that is dark, rude, course, and immoral. Flabby food = flabby body? Well then, flabby music (and books, TV, movies, etc…) gives you a flabby mind, heart, and soul.
If your life’s output seems like a mess, maybe check out your input and see if that is the cause.
And as Catholics, we get the added privilege of receiving Jesus Christ’s Body and Blood in the Holy Eucharist! That takes “you are what you eat” to a whole new level!
“Amen I say to you, whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, shall not enter into it.” Mark 10:15
What exactly does it mean to “receive the kingdom of God as a little child?” Well, go find a little child, and watch!
I am blessed to have daily Mass close by, and attend as frequently as I am able. There is a young mother who also attends often, and she always brings her young son (about 2 or 3 years old) with her.
Today, he was laying on the pew behind his mother during the moments after the Consecration. As Father prayed the rest of the prayers, the little boy looks up, and whispers, “Jesus!” just enough to be heard a few pews back. The Faith of a child… I thought, smiling, then turned my thoughts back to the Mass. Just after the Lamb of God, the little guy starts tapping on his mothers arm, and, pointing to the elevated Host, he whispered, “I want some!” His mother gently smiled, pointed to the altar, and whispered into her son’s ear. When they went up for Holy Communion, the little guy received his usual blessing with the most beautiful look of awe on his sweet face. After returning to the pew, he looked around, and then followed his mother’s example by kneeling down and bowed his head for a moment.
This little boy was not distracted by what others thought of him, how strong he was, how much money he would make, or even where his next meal would come from. He just knew that Jesus was close by, and adored Him as only a child can.
I was so moved by the sweet reverence and devotion displayed by the tyke that couldn’t help but repeat the child’s little prayer to my Master Who was dwelling physically in my heart, “Jesus, I want some, too!”
“Let the children come to Me, and do not prevent them, for the kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14
I can see why, Jesus… I can see why…
“The truth lives here!” – I heard this presumptuous statement on a radio commercial a few days ago. Something about it struck me, and the more I mulled over what I’d heard, the more the claim aroused a sharp disquiet in my heart. What place, person, or thing can truthfully claim to house the truth? To be the literal dwelling place of the truth? Modernists would say there is truth in all of us. That is factual, to a point. We are all truly alive. We are truly human. We are truly made of billions of cells. However, all of these so-called ‘truths’ are not truths proper, but are more correctly titled ‘facts.’ While there is some truth to every fact, every fact does not contain the wholeness of truth. It cannot house all of the truth, only a small piece of it.
What is truth, then? And where is it?
Christ called Himself “The Way, the Truth, and the Life.”
That being said, would it not, then, be more correct to ask “Who is Truth?” rather than, “what is truth?” It then becomes a question of “Where is Christ?” because Christ is Truth.
Okay, so where is He? Where does He live?
Just as there is a piece of truth in us, by our very nature, so too there is a piece of the Father, Son, and Spirit, (remember that “Three Persons in One God” thing?), because He made us in His image, and He is Truth. But where does Truth live? Where is its physical dwelling? Does it even have a physical dwelling? Isn’t God (3 in 1!) above limiting Himself to one concrete location? What about the whole omnipresent (i.e., existing everywhere) thing?
First, remember that the same God (3 in 1!) that is omnipresent is also all-knowing, all-loving, and all-powerful. While He is present everywhere, He knows all too well that we humans need to see, hear, smell, taste, and feel. (He was the one Who gave us those senses, after all.) Keeping this in mind, He provides for those needs, out of His infinite Love.
Part of Love is putting the good of another above the good of yourself. God, being perfect Love, puts His Glory in the closet, and comes to us as the seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, feeling creatures that He created us. (He (obviously) transcends all of these human senses; the created cannot contain the creator.) He comes to us through our senses.
So, if He comes to us through the senses He gave us, would not one correctly deduce that we should be able to physically see, hear, smell, and feel Him? And even (gulp!) taste Him? (Waitasecond…! What?!)
The answer is a resounding yes! Because He designed us as sensing creatures, it would be going against His own design to come to us any other way.
The seeing and hearing ones are easy, because we can see and hear the Word of God in Holy Scripture. If you want to get technical, we can get feel and smell out of it, too. (I hope I’m not the only person out there that likes the smell of books…) But what about taste? Say what? Who eats their Bible? Yes, I know, the very thought is laughable. But it’s a valid point. If God (remember – 3 in 1!) comes to us through all of our senses, why would He leave this one out?
My dear family, He doesn’t. He does indeed come to us through all five of our senses, including taste. In St. John’s Gospel, Jesus says, “My Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is that which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life to the world.…” (John 6:32-33) God provides for the last of our five senses with this “bread of God.” But what is this bread? And where can we get it? Christ Himself provides the answer in verse 35, “And Jesus said to them: I am the bread of life: he that cometh to Me shall not hunger: and he that believeth in Me shall never thirst.” Jesus Christ is Himself our Daily Bread, the Bread of Life. But are we supposed to actually eat Him? Verses 54-57, “Then Jesus said to them: ‘Amen, amen I say unto you: Unles you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, you shall not have life in you. He that eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, hath everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the last day. For My flesh is meat indeed: and My blood is drink indeed. He that eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, abideth in Me, and I in him.'”
In order to fully receive the entirety of God, Who is Truth (and Way and Life), we must receive the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. And by ‘receive’ I don’t mean just assume possession of or claim ownership over, but to take into yourself, assimilate, or make a part of you. What more perfect way than the Holy Sacrament of the Alter, the Holy Eucharist. Christ present Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity in the form of simple, humble bread and wine.
The God Who is everywhere chose to be somewhere, for the sake of the people He created. He Who transcends the very nature of presence is present in the Blessed Sacrament, so that we can see, hear, smell, feel, and taste Him. Granted, what our senses perceive is bread and wine, but we know and believe through the grace and virtue of Faith that it is true, because Jesus Christ has revealed it to be so. As Jesus Christ, God, is Truth, He cannot deceive, because He cannot go against His own Divine Nature.
Inside every Catholic church is a golden box. This golden box is called the Tabernacle. Like the Tabernacle in the Old Testament, it houses the Holy of Holies, God’s True Presence. When Christ died, and the veil of the temple was torn down the middle, God came forth to be physically among His people. At Holy Communion, when Catholics process to the altar, they receive the Body and Blood of God. In Adoration, they worship Jesus Christ, truly present in the Sacred Host, as if He were standing right there, enthroned in Splendor. Because, you see, He is. The Way, the Truth, and the Life is right there, always, waiting to be sought out, discovered, and loved.
Remember this, the next time you go inside a Catholic church, because THAT is where Truth lives.