St Francis Q&A

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Thank you, Jesus

A wife invited some people to dinner. At the table, she turned to their six-year-old daughter and said, "Would you like to say the blessing?"

"I wouldn't know what to say," the girl replied.

"Just say what you hear Mommy say," the wife answered.

The daughter bowed her head and said, "Lord, why on earth did I invite all these people to dinner?"
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To continue the previous post, it was around the age of 21 when I learned for the first time, really, that the Eucharist is Jesus' Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. I started to go to Mass during the week to hear the words that I had heard so many times..."This is my body...this is my blood...it will be shed for you and for all so that sins might be forgiven".

Not only did the words of the priest sink in as being real, but they spoke to me. Christ spoke to me through his priest. In a way, I was back at the Last Supper, hearing Him celebrate the Eucharist for the first time. But, deeper than that, I was picturing him on Mount Calvary, giving his life for me and for the forgiveness of my sins.

At that time, I had some pretty serious sins; I was still hitting the party scene, being a junior in college and working in a bar. I felt as if Christ saw all of my sins, the current ones and also the past ones (wow, I've been a great sinner), and said, "this is my body, given up for you". The consecration at Mass became a deeply personal moment, then, for me and the Lord. Some days, tears rolled down my eyes during Mass, thinking of all that Jesus endured on the Cross for me. He saw all of this awful stuff that I would do in my life, stretched out his arms on the Cross, and still said, "this is how much I love you".

In addition to daily Mass, I started to go to Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. This is where the Eucharist is brought out of the tabernacle and exposed on an altar in a chapel. I used to drive from Bethesda to Hyattsville every Thursday morning and spend from 6-7 am with Jesus in the Eucharist (the Hyattsville parish had Perpetual Adoration then, and needed someone there at every hour of the day). I really didn't know what I was doing at first...I just said something to the effect of:

"Jesus, I'm sorry, I didn't know that is really you in the Eucharist...all of those times I received you in Communion when I shouldn't have*...I didn't know...I just want to say thank you, Jesus...thank you for giving your life for me...thank you for dying on a cross for me... thank you for your sacrifice...thank you, Jesus**...help me to give you my life as you gave me your life...I love you, Lord"
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* Don't worry, I confessed this to a priest
** The word Eucharist is Greek, and means "thanksgiving"

5 Comments:

  • pwnd

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:04 AM  

  • What's 'pwnd'?

    By Blogger Fr Greg, at 1:15 PM  

  • I think pwnd is internet speak for a powerful argument that can't be refuted. I think the derivation is from "power-owned". If you attempted to pronounce it, it would sound like "pound". Gamers use it when they beat their opponents soundly in a game.

    I'll be back later to add some comments about your blog. Thanks for sharing.

    By Blogger Magnificat wannabe, at 8:29 AM  

  • Sorry it took awhile to get back.

    A Muslim once said if we really believed Jesus was in there, we'd enter Church on our hands and knees (I think that's how they enter Mecca on Hajj)...and I thought, He's right! It was a reminder to me to be more humble.

    Anyway, it took baby steps for me to see the truth of the Real Presence, but when you get there, it's a whack in the head with a 2X4. The first step was realizing a symbolic meaning was untenable. The verses in John didn't fit Jesus' usual MO when using food metaphorically. So once I accepted that, I approached the doctrine as a child would, with trust, and I went into "fides quaerens intellectum" mode. I realize to say "it is a mystery" is the best answer, but that doesn't mean one has to be completely blind. As St. Paul says, we can see through a glass darkly.

    The spiritual truth of "This is my body" seemed easy enough in that Jesus is there spiritually and eating the bread indeed feeds our soul. Realizing the material truth came later when I was reading about Roger Bacon, a 13th century Fransican/alchemist. His al-chemistry studies were driven by his belief that matter can indeed change form from one thing to another as happens in the Eucharist. Bacon may have never found the secret to making gold from stone, but his thinking gave me an understanding more precious than gold.

    By Blogger Magnificat wannabe, at 6:41 AM  

  • I didn't know where to post this so I am posting here. I read a story that was cool so I wanted to share it.

    This is a story about a priest and a soap maker who were friends. One day while taking a walk in the city, the soap maker asked his friend,"What possible good can religion be? After thousands of years of preaching goodness, truth and peace, look at all the misery and sin in the world. If religion is supposed to be so beneficial for people, why should this be?"
    For awhile the priest said nothing in reply. Shortly, they came to a school yard where some children were playing in the dirt. They were covered in grime. The priest then spoke up, "See those kids. You say that soap makes people clean, but still those children are filthy. I wonder how effective soap is after all." "But Father, soap is of no value unless people use it. "Precisely," replied the priest. And so it is with religion." Faith and religion are empty unless we put them into practice.

    St. Francis parishoner

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:35 AM  

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