Belief and Wonder: A Eucharistic Reflection

Belief and Wonder: A Eucharistic Reflection

The Holy Eucharist is by its very nature grace shrouded in ordinary elements. The Eucharist maintains the appearance and accidents of unleavened bread and dry, red wine. These accidental qualities belie the true substance of the Holy One Himself present in the Consecrated Elements. Our Lord is present before us in the consecrated gifts. We receive this beautiful God in our beloved Host. We come to the Eucharist wanting to know God more deeply; in Mass and Adoration we long to know God in His depths. We long behold God in His entirety. Who are we to know our Lord so closely in Adoration, and then to finally receive God so closely? What a beautiful way to know our Lord.

It brings me back to my time as a Seminary student. I loved to go fishing and look for rare fish. I would spend whatever spare time I had going wherever I could to find the best waters for fishing. I looked for fish that were hard to find. Then came a time when I went on a retreat in Steubenville, Ohio. The liturgy and celebration there is very reverent and beautiful. I took part in nightly Adoration with the retreat group. The practice at Steubenville is to take the Monstrance and go around the Church blessing the Congregation. To my surprise the Celebrant came right in front of me and made a blessing with the Monstrance. I was surprised and touched. I had been spending the whole summer looking for the best fish and here was the God of the Universe right before me. I had found something so much better than what I was looking for originally.

It is not enough simply to marvel at the beauty of the Eucharist or to lax eloquently about the Theology of Transubstantiation. Let it be a compass for our lives! The Lord will give us the insight to know the best direction to go. I have come to Adoration often to receive guidance in my life for major decisions. Whenever I make a major decision I take it to prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. I come before the Lord to know what His will is.

What is important to the Sacrament gives importance to the Church you celebrate Mass in. When you walk into a sanctioned place you get a special feeling. When I enter a movie theater I get ready to be still and listen because I know that I have to put my full attention on the screen to watch and appreciate the movie. When you walk into a stadium for a championship game in any sport, you know the atmosphere is different than before. You can feel the palpable tension in the air. So much so when you go to wedding or a rite of passage and you just know that there is something tangible in the World at that moment.

So here we are when we come to Mass. We are stepping not into just a sanctioned or special place. We are stepping into sacred time. We are walking out to meet God when we leave home and come to Church. This is why, with this writing, I have to issue a challenge to my brothers and sisters in faith, believe in what you say. Believe. There are many polls done, surveys done, where Catholics are asked if they believe in the Church’s teachings. Unfortunately, less than two thirds of Catholics in the United States and the West believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist; namely, that Christ (body, blood, soul, and divinity) is truly present in the Eucharist. We are meant to know this by Faith, yet too many say that they don’t believe it to be true.

So many believers died for our Faith. How could you not believe? How can you say, “I believe,” and yet not believe? Let us not lose sight about how great of a gift of life the Eucharist is for us.

So often we lose our sense of wonder. We go on living a routine life and do not give time for reflection. I have come to believe that the majority of people in our culture find it hard to stop and reflect on life. It is hard for your soul to know what it really needs. So take the time for Adoration. Take the time to pray before the Blessed Sacrament. Take the time to contemplate Jesus before you, even if not during public Adoration. Take the time to know Him in the quiet, and get to know yourself all the more. Do not give up this amazing practice. Remember, whatever we are looking for awaits us in the Eucharist. Amen

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Written by
Br Matthew Marie, OSB