Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Daily - 4/20/2010

John 6:30-35

30 So they said to him, "What sign can you do, that we may see and believe in you? What can you do?

31 Our ancestors ate manna in the desert, as it is written: 'He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'"

32 Jesus said to them, "Amen, amen, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave the bread from heaven; my Father gives you the true bread from heaven.

33 For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world."

34 So they said to him, "Sir, give us this bread always."

35 Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.

As Catholics, the Eucharist is our identity. It is what separates us from all other Christians. My devotion to the Eucharist has grown tremendously over the last year or so.

In the past, I'd read about saints hungering for the bread of life, and literally not able to tolerate a single day without receiving it. When I'd see something like that, I felt like I was missing out on something truly spectacular. My experience at mass for the most part depended on who was giving the homily, what was the topic, and whether or not that touched me personally. I knew the Eucharist was SUPPOSED to be tranformational, but I wasn't feeling it.I wanted that to change.

So the first thing I did in response to that question was to take it to God. I asked God to show me what you want me to know about the Eucharist. Before long I was presented with two books, both of which came to me completely by chance. Here are links to both of them:

7 Secrets of the Eucharist

Source and Summit: Six Great Spiritual Guides Talk About The Eucharist

As I read these books, I saw descriptions of how the great mystic saints -- the likes of St. Catherine of Siena, St. Theresa of Avila, St. Faustina Kowalska, St. John of the Cross, and St. Therese the Little Flower -- saw the Eucharst. In their writings, they describe unbelievable transforming power. It was so compelling that I wanted "some of that."

But how to get it? Well, they had advice. The first and best advice is to PRAY, and ask for God's help. The Eucharist is a tremendous source of graces (IE, gifts from God). God wants to give us immeasurable graces, but we as individuals typically don't truly ask for them, and if we do, we typically don't adequately prepare ourselves to receive them. In doing so, we walk right past Jesus, standing there, his arms full of gifts for us. It is up to us to allow God to bring the Eucharist to life in our own lives.

What I then wanted to know was ... how? Go figure, the books had suggestions.

- Believe in the Real Presence.

- Come to mass in a state of grace (i.e., go to confession OFTEN).

- Before mass, place yourself in the presence of God.

- Lay your heart open to Him, examine your conscience, and confess any sins you have.

- Understand that Communion means full union with the Triune God (IE, father, son, and spirit), the heavenly host of saints and angels, and with the Church on earth.

- Ask God to give you the graces he so desires to give you

- Offer yourself to Him to be transformed, so that he can build you into the person that He wants you to be.

My personal testimony to you that taking these steps have absolutely changed my life. Go for it.