August 2nd

As I mentioned in my article last week, the primary Truth that drew me to the Catholic Church was that the Church can teach with authority, which she received from Christ and has handed on through the centuries by means of Apostolic succession.  It wasn’t too long after I began investigating the Catholic Faith that I learned about the source and summit of our Faith: the Eucharist.

I remember being at a conference and listening to a priest give a talk on the Eucharist.  I had just begun learning about the Faith and I didn’t understand much of what he was talking about, but I do remember that he said that Catholics believe that at the consecration the bread and the wine are changed into the body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ.

After the talk, the priest celebrated Mass for all those attending the conference.  I will never forget that Mass.  During Communion time, I watched people going to receive the Lord.  From my earliest years as a Protestant, I remember being told that you have to “accept Jesus into your heart”.  Here, at Mass, I was watching people literally receive Jesus.  I was awe-struck.

I remember having an overwhelming desire to receive the Lord in Holy Communion, but I also knew that I could not, for I was not yet a Catholic.  From that day I began to attend daily Mass even thought I could not receive Communion.  I would attend Mass and watch and pray as the priest offered Mass.  I began to frequent a local adoration chapel and make visits before the tabernacle.

I remember the joy that I experienced when I was finally able to receive the Lord for the first time after my Baptism at the Easter Vigil.

Now that I have been Catholic for over a decade, the danger is to take the Eucharist for granted.  We have to always be on guard against unthinkingly attending Mass out of route.  We must never lose sight of the great gift that the Lord gives to us in Holy Communion: the gift of Himself.

God bless,

Fr. White

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