"... and mind-blowing phenomenon of The Real Presence, remember it's never too late."
A lot of Catholics I know, myself included, enjoy Protestant devotions and writers now and then. It occurred to me that I have a pattern, though. They never hold my attention for very long. Something is missing. I don't speak here of theological error, for there is plenty written that is solid and in agreement with the tenets of Catholicism. What is missing is that dimension beyond -- beyond the Bible, beyond the physical, beyond a "good word" given to a preacher, no matter how wonderful of a man he is. I'm always left wanting because they don't include, nay, can't include, any mention of the power and enormity of The Real Presence. Even as I read an article or devotional that is just smashing in its style and right on target in its theme, by an author whose writing makes mine look like a high school entrance essay, I find myself wanting to edit it to include The Eucharist somehow. I'm not so interested in asking 'What would Jesus Do?' I want to talk about and hear about what Jesus IS doing right now, and that iswaiting. Waiting in the Tabernacle for you and for me. And offering. Offering Himself to us, to participate in his singular and world-altering sacrifice again and again. Humbling. Humbling Himself, the King of the Universe, Being Itself, That and Whom Upon Which Everything else sits and hangs and depends, and He is THERE waiting for you, available DAILY not just to sit with and pray before and talk to and cry to, but there for you to consume. He will become a part of you, body and soul, heart and voice, in your bloodstream.
If you are a Catholic who has forgotten or somehow lost your sense of the absolute and mind-blowing phenomenon of The Real Presence, remember it's never too late. Jesus is not limited by time or by your vagaries. He is there, and will continue to be there as long as there is a Catholic Church, and that, my friends, will be forever, because the gates of Hell will not prevail against our Church. Do you want to know Jesus better? Have a better relationship with Jesus? One that is more personal? Do you want to know what He would do? How He would act in your life if He could? Joining with Him, flesh to flesh, blood to blood, soul to soul, is the way He has given us to do just that. Don't wait another day.
Amen. And again I say amen.
I recall my own struggle with the Real Presence.
I remember wanting to believe but not quite crossing the chasm that existed. But then, during RCIA, I had a brief but powerful confession with the priest who is now my pastor and he helped me bridge the divide. I've not been the same since.
I cannot fathom missing Mass today and in fact, I long for the time when my schedule will allow going to daily Mass.
The Eucharist, and the Real Presence in that Eucharist, has come to mean that much to me. Absent its meaning, I doubt that I'd be as faithful each week in going to Mass. In fact, I know that I would not be. Sad but true.
In the end, the secret I believe in becoming a faithful Catholic, a devotee to the Church who will not miss Mass, is believing in the Real Presence of Christ. Once that belief is achieved, and God can help you in your unbelief, there'll be no turning back, no turning away.
Casper Milquetoast Jesus will then, by necessity, be taking a hike.
A much needed hike.
Here's to saying goodbye to Casper and hello to the Eucharist.
It truly has become the source and summit of my faith.
And for that I'm most grateful.