I was the third in a family of 12 that lived a fairly good life, my parents being rather well off financially. I had a good education and a good government job. In my late teens or early 20s I was crowned as a Beauty Queen and offers from movie directors were pouring in for me to become a movie star. The future was looking very bright indeed. I wanted very much to be a movie star but this dream was thwarted by my very strict father. In spite of all these blessings (some might say because of it) I became very proud and rather hard; there was even a time when I did not speak to my sister for years.
Despite this rather good fortune, I was not very happy; I felt very empty.
Although I was baptised Catholic, I did not practise my faith and was even vehemently against it. My mother, having been brought up by different relatives, had practised different religions so she did not follow a single faith. Sometimes we would go for services at the Independent Church and sometimes elsewhere.
I knew there was a God but I did not know who he was. Because of my hatred of the Catholic Church I drew many people away from the sacrament of confession. I used to tell them, ‘Why should you confess your sins to someone who is a sinner himself?’
The feeling of emptiness continued until one night when I was lying in bed and had a vision of Jesus sitting there and I, like Mary Magdalene, was wiping his feet. I then had a realisation of my sins and I felt real sorrow for all my offences. I wept bitterly asking him for forgiveness. As I rested my head on his lap he tenderly said, ‘Child, I forgive you.’The next morning I felt that change had somehow come upon me; even my voice was very soft. After that I started to practise my faith.
I joined the Curcillo Movement, a short course in Christianity which began with a retreat. On the first night I had a strong feeling of the devil being around. I could almost hear him and I could not sleep. In my distress I called on Jesus’ name. The fear dissipated and I was able to sleep. The next morning I lost my voice. This proved to be a blessing. Unable to talk, I listened more.
On graduation day for Curcillo, I regained my voice. During communion I completely crumbled. I sobbed as I received our Lord thinking, ‘Lord, I am a sinner. Who am I that you should come to me?’ This cemented my transformation. During the graduation I promised Jesus that I would bring many souls to him.
Before this retreat,I was very much ‘in the world’; after the retreat I became very involved in the work of the Church. I was part of the mission to prostitutes and to those in jail. I visited the youths at Boys Town and became involved with the Sisters of Mother Theresa.
I am now a daily communicant and the Eucharist continues to nourish my life enabling me to follow Christ more closely. Christ in the Eucharist has transformed my life so that I may help transform the world by bringing Christ to those who do not know him. May God be glorified!
- Chapter 1: How the Eucharist Evolved
- Chapter 2: Preparation to Opening Prayer
- Chapter 3: Liturgy of the Word, Creed, Intercessions
- Chapter 4: Preparation of the Gifts
- Chapter 5: Liturgy of the Eucharist
- Chapter 6: Communion and Dismissal
- Chapter 7: The Post-Eucharist Mission
- Chapter 8: The Abiding Presence
- Chapter 9: Prayer before the Blessed Sacrament
- Chapter 10: Eucharist and Reconciliation
- Chapter 11: Eucharist as Nourishment
- Chapter 12: Eucharist as Transformation
- Chapter 13: Eucharist and Covenant
- Chapter 14: Eucharist and Sacrifice
- Chapter 15: Eucharist as Memorial
- Chapter 16: Eucharist and Hope
- Chapter 17: Eucharist and Ecumenism
- Chapter 18: Eucharist and the Cosmos
- Chapter 19: Eucharist and Mystery
- Chapter 20: Eucharist and Living Simply
- Chapter 21: Conclusion
- Appendix: Eucharistic Prayers
- Witness Stories
- Further Reading
- The Author
- Copyright Notice
Contact Frank O’Dea SSS
Comments, queries and feedback are welcome! Please complete the contact form below:
To print from this e-book, click the 'Print' button at the bottom of each page.
- 230,072 page views