Finding the Best Way Home: A Eucharistic Reflection

Finding the Best Way Home: A Eucharistic Reflection

Life lost and forsaken cannot be renewed unless it is taken up again. To be lost on the road of life, without any recourse to purpose or endeavor, leads the soul away from where it is meant to be. Here is the problem we find ourselves in, we, us, who are God’s people, cannot come back to God unless He leads us back to Himself. This is the journey I invite you all on now, a journey back to Christ in this year of the Eucharistic Revival. This is the journey we all take as Church members. We live life following Christ as we go down the road that leads us home.

How hard and daunting is this road when so lost and confused we are, how great is the discursion we face. So many do not know the gift that awaits them in the Church, so many multitudes in such a great crowd do not know who awaits them every day that leavened hosts are broken and sanguine wine is poured out at the Lamb’s high feast.

This, then, is my hope. I want to invite our Catholic family to awaken and remember the great gift we have in the Eucharist. It is my hope to invite everyone back again. Here we are, looking out over the cosmos, wondering and worrying what will become of all that is. I venture here, to say as our forefathers said before us, that we should look in, not out and up. Here, in the sacred mysteries of the Holy Mass, we regain our ontological footing. We rediscover who sits before us in eternity for judgment. Here and there, in sacred time, we find God again, who only wants us to return to him in love. I offer a humble testimony on a life lived in the Eucharist. I give it over as a witness to faith. Please join me on this journey, a walk in wonder back to the highest Sacrament. I write this as a small soul who knows what it means to walk in the wonder of our Heavenly life. These reflections are meant to be an invitation to any reader to come closer to Christ in reflection. Let us then walk in wonder as I share with you some humble pieces of my Eucharistic journey.

Panem Vitae

All life begins with conception and comes to fruition at birth. This is where my journey began on June 19th, 1991; although my true life began when I was baptized on August 3rd. I am told that I was born weak and subtle. I had to go on a breathing machine when I first came into the World. I could go home after a day or two when my little body was healthy enough.

Then my true life was ready to begin when I entered the Holy Waters in the Font at Baptism. Although I was a baby at the time and I do not remember the day in itself, I look back on my Baptism as the foundation of my spiritual life. All things in the Christian life flow from and are known by our Baptism. This event is the true fulfillment of initiation into the Church. When one enters into Baptism they are washed clean and join the Church. I have become more aware of this truth as time has gone on in my life.

I cannot describe my spiritual journey well without first going back to my time of most joyful remembrance, First Communion. First Communion brings the soul into contact with Christ in the fullest Sacramental way. I remember the day almost vividly. My mom got me a white dress shirt and black pants and shoes to prepare for the important day. My family came to Church and I nervously looked around to see how many people would look at me. At the time of Mass everything seemed to come together. I remember that the Mass went smoothly and I did not make a mistake. I do not, honest to say, remember receiving the host at all. I only know how it shaped the form and thrust of my spiritual journey for the rest of my life.

I cannot praise the Eucharist enough. I believe the ascetic beauty and quality of the unleavened bread and red wine are themselves so superior to any other ritual I have ever encountered. This is said in respect to other religions, yet I would not trade this experience for the World. And the quintessential beauty non-withstanding, the Real Presence of our Lord and God in itself is incomparable to any other religion or human action. We know, by faith, that we receive our Lord Jesus in this Eucharist. I have only too recently become aware of how valuable and essential the Eucharist is to anyone’s life, and how I base my whole life around it. I marvel always at how Holy Communion has been the center of my life. I would not be whole without it. It is indeed my breadth and source and summit. That day, as we little ones assembled in the sandstone and brick building of St. James, we were being given the greatest of gifts, as St. Gregory Nazianzen says, not to consume but to be consumed. My life centered on this great gift ever since, becoming for me the center of my life in every aspect and all respects. My life changed emphatically and never was the same afterward. I can say the Eucharist and First Communion were my first true steps on the path to God.

Invitation to Wonder

Remember the maxim, practice what you preach. Faith will mean nothing without being put into practice. We can only go forward when we look back at what matters most. I encourage you then, remember your Baptism. If you were baptized as a convert Catholic, you have the blessing of remembering the actual moment and the details of the day. Think about your blessed First Communion. Take time to remember as much as you can. Give thanks to God for these sacred moments, mysterious in their glory, which laid the foundation of your life in both body and spirit. Amen.

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Written by
Br Matthew Marie, OSB