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.
- 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
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