For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes. // 1 Corinthians 11:26
The Catholic short-story writer Flannery O’Connor once said of the Eucharist: “Well, if it’s a symbol, then to hell with it” (Habit of Being). Her force of and clarity of speech were not meant for shock value or to infuriate those at the dining table who disagreed with her, they simply summed up her experience of Catholic faith.
I think what O’Connor expresses so strikingly in this quote is how for many of us the journey of faith hinges on the teaching of the Eucharist. Being a Catholic comes with a cost, be it losing relationships, social cache, or the many ways Church teaching calls us to a life of daily sacrifice. It’s hard to be a Catholic. We are transformed into children of God through baptism, but we still experience spiritual difficulties like dark nights of the soul, periods of real doubt, and persistent seasons of feeling lukewarm about practicing the faith we believe.
For the many of us tempted to just walk away from the Church, we remain because the Body and Blood of Christ is a reality only present within the walls of the Catholic Church. To know that this reality exists makes the difficulties both mundane and life-changing when it comes to practicing the faith worth it. The beauty of Christ giving Himself as true bread from Heaven each time we go to Mass seems too beautiful and good to be true, but also completely necessary to keep walking in the faith.
To believe in the Eucharist is to believe in each and every miracle Jesus performed, it is to believe in the Resurrection, it is to believe in our redemption. If the Eucharist were only a symbol, then walking away completely from the Faith would be easy.
I invite you to spend some time in prayer with Jesus today in gratitude for what the Eucharist has given you.Believe in the Eucharist. // Christy Isinger Click To Tweet