I am 35 years old and have been receiving the Eucharist weekly for 3 months. I love the Eucharist as a direct link to Jesus and his love for us. Watching the children taking first communion brings tears to my eyes. I had one experience when I received the Eucharist, felt at peace and was able to pray clearly for an extended period afterwards.

I wish every experience of Eucharist had been like that, but the reality has been quite different. Most of the time when I receive the Eucharist I don’t feel anything special. I’m surprised at how quick the experience is.

During RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) I learned about the body of Christ. I understood that the priest was the body of Christ as I could hear his homily and be motivated to become a better person. I understood scripture as the body of Christ as I could listen to it being read, read it myself and discuss it at RCIA meetings. I understood the congregation as the body of Christ especially through the experience of giving the sign of peace. I never really understood the Eucharist as the body of Christ and decided that I would have to wait until I could experience it. I still don’t really know what to make of the Eucharist. It’s my way of saying to the world that I am a follower of Christ. I wish I could say that I felt His presence during Eucharist, but I don’t. I hear the words every week “take this bread all of you and eat it…” but I am still developing a personal relationship with Jesus.

I was also asked why I came (to church). I enjoy many things about coming to church especially the homily, the music, learning from scripture and seeing my friends. Mainly, I come to church because while I am materially prosperous I feel spiritually bankrupt and have felt that way for a long time. The other important reason why I come is so I can learn more about Christianity so I can teach my son (21 months) as I had not been taught as a child.

Lately I have been taking my son to church, partly because I want him to receive the blessing. He is very active and I spend all my time at church keeping him occupied and stopping him from going up the steps to the sanctuary. I’ve decided that I need to find a baby-sitter so I can concentrate on my spiritual journey. I’m missing RCIA greatly as for nine months I had a designated time during the week when I could concentrate on spiritual matters. Now I am finding a different kind of discipline is required to continue my spiritual practices.

Brendan’s Story