I came into full communion with the Catholic Church twelve years ago. A major hurdle to my conversion was the Church’s teaching on the Eucharist—precisely that the bread and wine, consecrated during the Mass, is truly the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of our Savior.
For me it was the most difficult of the teachings to accept. I had been convicted since childhood that Jesus was my Lord and Savior. I was confident my husband and I could follow the social teachings of the Church as we raised our growing family. Apostolic tradition made rational sense. But true flesh and true blood? I understood intellectually and I had read this passage that proceeds our Gospel reading today in John 6 so many times. I believed Saint Peter when he said, “to whom shall we go? You have the words of everlasting life” (John 6:68). But I still wasn’t completely convicted.
As part of my RCIA process, I participated in a Holy Hour of Adoration one night in the spring before our Easter of all Easters. I walked through the doors of the church with my RCIA buddy, we exchanged somewhat skeptical smiles and shrugs and settled ourselves in the pew. I opened my heart and asked for clarity.
And my heart was opened like never before.
God doesn’t hide from us. God doesn’t keep His true presence hidden. He wants us to know Him.
Kneeling in the pew the tears rolled off my chin as I came face-to-face with Jesus for the first time, and there was no denying the truth of His presence.
Maybe you struggle with this teaching, or maybe you just don’t think about it very much. Either way, I encourage you to go to Adoration and kneel before Him. Baby-step your way to a full hour of Adoration each week. If you already recognize His presence, sign up for a Holy Hour and visit Him regularly. He is there waiting for you. Let His truth be revealed.
Go deeper into what the Catechism teaches us about the Real Presence.
Dr. MaryRuth Hackett is the host of the podcast Parenting Smarts. She loves historical fiction, dark chocolate, watching her children play soccer, a good cup of coffee (decaf please) and the quiet of the early morning. She holds a PhD in Educational Psychology and has a passion for helping parents understand the way their children grow and develop. You can find out more about her here. She is the author of our Blessed Conversations: Leader Guide found here.