Eucharistic Witness Series

What does the Eucharist mean to you? How has the Eucharist changed your life? How have you encountered Jesus in the Eucharist?

Throughout this year of Eucharistic Revival, follow along to see how the Eucharist has touched the lives of Immaculate Conception parishioners.

Interested in writing your own? Submit it here or email erindonnic@gmail.com for more information.

 

A sense of certainty, peace, direction – and acceptance; to me this is the Eucharist. As I gracefully (I hope) move into my “senior” years, I look back upon my Catholic life and reflect upon the many changes that I have seen in the world and in my Church. It can be a bit overwhelming – like having 15,000 unanswered emails in your “in” box – and sometimes disheartening. But one thing has been consistent for me; the power of the Eucharist.

Despite years of Catholic education and knowing that the Eucharist sits at the epicenter of our Catholic life, only with age and experience have I begun to appreciate and embrace more fully its centrality. When I am seated before the monstrance during Adoration, or simply during Mass, I can find the peace that often is difficult to find in our noisy world and yet is so essential to moving forward in life. 

The Eucharist is love – something all of us can use!

– Kevin P.

Imagine you’re standing alongside Christ in all his glory. You notice his wounds, and suddenly you sense a tremendous love flowing forth from them into your wounds, giving you hope of being made whole again.

That’s what the Eucharist means for me.

“A spirit will occupy your soul,” I sometimes tell my students. “You don’t have a choice in the matter. The spirit that occupies your soul might be the spirit of the metaverse. Or it might be the spirit of despair over the world and your place in it.” They get it. “Where you do have a choice,” I assure them, “is in the spirit that you open your heart to receive.”

Why not open our hearts to the spirit that can heal us, remake us, recreate us, redeem us, reorient us amidst all the world’s spirits that would disorient us? Why not open our hearts to the Spirit of Christ?

That’s what the Eucharist means for me.

Some people say that we Catholics fetishize the Eucharist. There may be instances of that, but it would be to miss the main point. The Church is the Body of Christ. We the Church are the Body of Christ. It is we who are being transubstantiated whenever we lift our hearts up to the Lord.

That’s what the Eucharist means for me.

– Paul H.

At every Mass, after the consecration, we hear the words, “the Mystery of Faith.” And then we respond acclaiming the glory of the Lord’s saving Passion and Resurrection. True, we do not see the effects of his Passion and Resurrection, all of a sudden now present before us. But they are indeed there—for He is there! Which is why the Eucharist itself is the Mystery of Faith par excellence. 

To spend time, then, before the Eucharist praising, adoring, and glorifying Jesus is to exercise our faith in the most powerful way possible. It is to train our minds on the sublime mysteries stored up for us in heaven and dispensed day after day to us on the altar. And it is to train our hearts—and all of their worries and concerns— on this Friend who becomes present to us, for us, for no other motive than His saving love. What a gift. What a mystery! Given to us now in faith, but in due time, face to face.

– Br. Charles Marie Rooney, O.P.

“The happiness you have a right to enjoy has a name and a face.” (Pope Benedict XVI)

One day this summer, after spinning restlessly over some difficulty beyond my control, I decided to visit an adoration chapel. I went to vent. To breathe. To rest. I hoped for nothing more than a little quiet since this issue seemed beyond resolution. I walked in to find a quote on a stand awaiting me: “Man wants happiness and happiness is the possession of God. In the Eucharist, God gives himself to us without reserve, without measure” (St. Hurtado). This day was also the feast of St. John the Baptist. The quote stand was to me an inanimate St. John, the last of the prophets, encouraging me to behold the Lamb. The One whom generations longed to see and could not. I wanted a solution, but God wanted to give me happiness Himself. O come let us adore Him.

– Marsha F.

The Lord’s presence in the Eucharist has taught me that true love abides universally and is present to us freely, as a gift to share with others. The Eucharist is a tangible reminder that God is always with me, with us. The real presence of the Lord in the host is what drew me to Catholicism when I was converting in my early twenties. The Eucharist has been, mystically and viscerally, a part of my prayer life, and really my psyche, ever since. 

I am strengthened in love and draw hope from the Eucharist. I often am brought to tears upon the reception of communion, overwhelmed by the love, healing power, and steadfastness of the Lord. In ways I don’t understand, God unites God’s self to me in His great sacrificial gift. 

Since my first Communion, God in the Eucharist has been a constant in my life. In times where I lacked faith, I was still drawn to the Church to receive communion. My marriage sacrament was accompanied by the reception of the host. I think with joy of teaching my daughter about her first communion. I pray when it’s my time to pass from this world that the Eucharist will be available to shepherd me.

-Diane A.

When I began high school, I was challenged on many points about my Catholic faith, including the Eucharist. I researched why Catholics believe in Christ’s Real Presence in the Eucharist, and found the scriptural basis, the earliest patristic writings, and 2000 years of unbroken Church teaching all in accordance. I knew then that I would always be Catholic. 

Years later, during a time when I was living immorally and with insufficient regard for God, I found myself at a youth conference run by Franciscan University. During Adoration, near the back of a massive crowd, I looked at the stage on which rested the Blessed Sacrament. I asked, “Why are You so far away, Lord?” I audibly heard what I know to be His voice respond, “Why are you so far away?” Fear and awe gripped me. I avoided answering this question for some time before finally responding and altering my life. And though not quite that miraculous, my time in Adoration since then has always confirmed that Jesus is alive and present.

– Bailey K.

In Matthew’s Gospel, when Jesus returns from Gethsemane, he finds Peter and the two sons of Zebedee asleep. He tells Peter: “So you could not keep watch with me for one hour?”

During this period of Eucharistic Revival, let’s take up that challenge from our Lord and commit to a weekly Holy Hour with the Blessed Sacrament. Silent prayer in our Lord’s presence deepens your faith, improves your relationship with God, and helps you appreciate the beauty of Christ’s sacrifice and real presence every time you attend Mass.

The Holy Hour completely transformed my prayer life. It is easy to understand the doctrine of the real presence in theory. But we are not just minds, but embodied beings. Spending time with Jesus physically helped me experience the power of Christ’s presence in the Eucharist rather than just intellectually assenting to it. 

It can transform your prayer life too. 

– Peter S.

Interested in sharing your own Eucharistic witness? Submit it here or email erindonnic@gmail.com for more information.