A thousand years of enjoying human glory is not worth even an hour spent in sweetly communing with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. – Saint Padre Pio
What does the Eucharist mean to you? In the book of Matthew, Jesus asked St. Peter, “Who do you say that I am? (Matthew 16:13-20).
If he were referring to Himself today, under the appearance of bread and wine, He may ask us, “What do you say that I am?”
A question much disputed among Christians through the ages.
What Does the Eucharist Mean to Me?
What does the Eucharist mean to me? Well, as a kid it was a sign that Mass was almost over. As a Protestant, communion was for remembrance. Strictly a representation. Today, I am unsure how love like this exists, but I believe in it with all that I am.
During the odd years of my faith journey, I would read the accounts of Jesus’ life in the New Testament and think how lucky the disciples were! They were at the right place, at the right time to sit at the feet of Jesus and be ministered to by God Himself. Not just as a spirit or a distant Ruler in the heavens, but right there before them. Their Savior in the flesh!
Eucharistic Adoration was never a part of my faith life growing up and is still fairly new to me. The first few times I went, I totally chickened out and couldn’t go inside. The brief presentation, “Body of Christ,” before receiving Holy Communion at Mass was one thing. But the thought of sitting with God face-to-face was intimidating.
Through Confession and prayer, I accepted that He wanted me close. Once I worked up the nerve to go my heart began to crave the time, knowing Jesus waits for me there. With kids in tow I don’t usually get a full holy hour in, but I still like to stop and visit as often as I can.
My Heart with His in Adoration
One busy afternoon, I was on my way to pick my daughter up from a friend’s house. I was driving along when I realized that exposition of the Blessed Sacrament was available at my parish. I read the dashboard clock: 10 minutes left. Knowing my daughter wouldn’t mind a little more time with her pal, I changed course and zipped across our little town.
I needed the visit badly. Our family had dealt with a lot that week. As the mom, I was supposed to be the tie that binds us all, but my grip was rapidly slipping. I felt desperate. Like the bleeding woman in the crowd. Pressed and tired. Longing for peace and healing. Stretching my fingertips toward Jesus in hopes of brushing the hem of His garment.
I begged for His presence praying, “I just need a second, Lord! I just need a moment before You to get me through.”
Soaking Him In
After a few anxious miles the church was in sight. I relaxed the tight grip on the steering wheel, parked my car, and jogged to the chapel with no time to spare. I opened the door to the dim, silent room, entering gracelessly with a jangle of keys and pocket change. As I dunked my hand into the holy water for a hasty blessing, the guardian for that hour lifted a heavy lid, offered a nod of acknowledgement and settled back into his chair.
I knelt to pray and squeezed my tired eyes shut. I rested my head on my hands, one clutching the other. It felt like all that I could do to hold myself together.
My heart relaxed but my brain remained scattered. I had no words, no eloquence to offer my King. So I just said, “I love You, Lord. I adore You. Please bless me. Please give me strength. You are my everything!”
Knowing my time was short, I took in His holy presence. I filled my lungs with chapel air, dank with prayer and the smell of holy water. I stared at the backlit host until the threat of tears stung my eyes. Far too soon, our time was up.
Before I was ready, I pulled myself reluctantly from my knees and with another splashy blessing, bowed out into the night.
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Never Enough Jesus
Hidden in the dark of my car, I let myself fall apart. The tears were a mixture of relief and gratitude that swelled from a place of deep and mysterious longing. I was thankful to have gotten my moment but the thirst in my soul was unquenchable. Homesick for Heaven, I felt so alone. I missed Jesus already. I needed more time!
But God whispered sweet consolation to my soul, “I’m still here, daughter. I always am.” He assured me, “You have my Holy Spirit. I’m with you wherever you go!”
I drove back across town at a slower pace this time. The moon illuminating the country road ahead reminded me of the Sacrament. The gentle presentation. His constancy. How Jesus draws us to himself repeatedly like lunar gravity pulling the waves to shore.
From My Head to My Heart
When I came back home to the Church I accepted the Real Presence as dogma but it took longer to truly sink in on a heart level. Regular Adoration gives me time, however short, to focus on the Eucharist, the center of our Catholic Faith. It grows my faith through affection, stillness, wonder, and awe. The Eucharist is the center of the Mass, deepens prayer, and brings all other Sacraments to life. It is nothing less than the incredible opportunity to sit, quite tangibly at the feet of Jesus. Our Savior in the flesh!
My ear may not have heard Jesus’ voice in an audible way that night but, there is no doubt that He ministered to my soul. No, it’s not just a wafer. It’s our Jesus: Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. It is Emmanuel. I feel like most of the time we are a bit numb to this profound reality. Not always due to lack of faith (though sometimes that is it), but to unconsciously ease the weight of a supernatural truth which our human minds can’t wrap around completely.
But if we’re bold enough to look boundless love and infinite mercy in His glorious Face, we can taste eternity. We can catch a glimpse of Heaven on Earth.
When is the last time you went to Eucharistic Adoration? Would you consider going this week?How Jesus Won My Heart through Eucharistic Adoration Click To Tweet
Cait Winters is Catholic re-vert, wife, and mama of three from a small woodsy town in Massachusetts. She is a full-time mama of a blended family, aspiring author, intermittent blogger, and freelance writer. On weekdays you can find her juggling kids, kettle-bells, and coffee cups. On the weekends, she loves nothing more than an old library book and a glass of wine. You can find out more about her here.