Late April, 2017: The season of Easter is currently in full-swing! The Catechism of the Catholic Church is helping me understand a moment that completely rocked my world.
I hope you get a chance in the future to go to Mass during the Triduum , because let me tell you: amazing things happen there.
Now, as some background, I never really understood the Blessed Sacrament as anything more than symbolic. That is, until I attended Mass on Holy Thursday, after which followed an adoration of the blessed sacrament. I remember that night Enko asked me how it went, and all I could tell him was that if I wasn’t Catholic before, I sure am now. I was so overwhelmed that all I could tell him was that it was beautiful, and that Jesus is beautiful, and that’s all I could muster before I needed a tissue.
There are lots of people who believe that if God does exist, it is in some far-removed reality that we never really touch, and have no business thinking we do. I guess I used to think something similar. I was never really satisfied with this, though, meaning that it never exactly rang true in my soul to think of God this way. I figured ah well, it must be my own ignorance, but at least these symbols around me are meaningful, right? At least there is a lot to learn from these symbols, right?
I was wrong, wrong, wrong. What I understood after Holy Thursday made me tremble in my tennis shoes, and I mean it! As soon as I stepped into the chapel, I don’t know what it was, but it hit me–after three years of study and reflection, it hit me–that holy ravioli, He’s really in there. HE’S REALLY IN THERE!!!!
If I tried to tell you every bit of this mysterious reality, I know I would fail. I’m still figuring it out myself. Luckily, the CCC has a whole chapter devoted to the Sacrament of the Eucharist. In article 1324, the CCC states:
“The Eucharist is ‘the source and summit of the Christian life.’ “
“The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it.”
I understand this to mean that everything we are, everything we do and have done, dating back to Peter, is all oriented around the Eucharist.
“For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Pasch.”
Did you catch that? IT ISN’T JUST A SYMBOL. He’s really in there, and we need Him. You see, “pasch” refers to the promise of deliverance of the Jews out of Egypt–remember that Bible story with the Pharaoh and the Hebrews enslaved, and Moses saying “Let my people go?” Remember the part with blood of the perfect lamb on the doorpost being a sign to the Angel of Death, stating that this place housed God’s People? And Death would pass over those houses (literally the Passover)? Ok, keep that idea in your mind and follow along:
Jesus came to fulfill scripture once and for all. Jesus is the perfect sacrificial lamb. He HAS to be present in the Eucharist, because that is the sign that we are freed from bondage as God’s People. We need to take Jesus into ourselves because THAT is what signifies that this temple (our body) houses one of God’s People.
But why isn’t intention enough? Well, I think it’s because we were born into physical bodies. We are meant to have experiences that are mysteriously, simultaneously spiritual AND physical. It’s great that you intend to pray, but if you never actually do, do you still feel confident about it? You don’t have to tell me: I think we both know the answer. Besides, Jesus gave us the bread, and then became the bread. I don’t know if that would have happened if we didn’t actually need it.
All I know is: This experience has begun a love affair within me for this amazing Sacrament–how could I not think about it all the time? How could I not want to be as close as possible to it? I can’t be the only person who feels this way, either. Anybody out there in web land have an awareness of your relationship with the Blessed Sacrament? Maybe you could help me out by explaining this a little better than I can.
And if you are a curious non-Catholic: It really is alright if you want to go visit the Blessed Sacrament and see what it’s like. Standard etiquette is to be quiet and contemplative while you’re there. You could google Adoration times at Catholic churches near you. Mostly I want to tell you that if you do want to see what it’s like, then this is a great place to start. There is absolutely nothing required of you, belief-wise, in order to attend. Just go, and sit, and feel, and think about things. What would you talk to Jesus about, if you could? What do you talk to friends about when you go and visit them? Would you go to a friend’s house without saying hello to his mother? All I’m saying is that there is a truth that is waiting for us there, and I hope you’ll go and see. If nothing else, I hope you will go and be able to set your cares down for an hour. It’s comfortable there. It’s peaceful there. It is a good place for some breathing and meditation. It’s a good place to re-center yourself. I think most anybody would feel better.
Wherever and whoever you are, I hope the peace of Christ finds you, and I hope you find yourself close to it, and soon!
Source for Adventurous Reading:
Catechism of the Catholic Church: Modifications from the Editio Typica. English translation (United States, 2nd edition) United States Catholic Converence, Inc., Libreria Editrice Vaticana. 1997. Print.
(C) 2017 www.maggieothevalley.com
*This post was NOT sponsored.
Fellow adventurer, we have never met, but I can still tell you from the bottom of my heart that you deserve to learn, to grow, and to live a life of wealth in truth! Come back and read more from my Library of Adventurous Books–and when you’re ready, go get some adventures of your own! Start with a good book, and see where it takes you!