Meaning of the Eucharistgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Catholic : One Thread
I posted this on the bottom of a thread and got only one response, and I'm hoping for more perspectives on it, so please share.
Could you please explain the benefits of receiving the Eucharist? I am not yet Catholic and have never taken it. What does it mean or do for you? I have heard that it is a means of grace, so what does that feel like, or how does that manifest itself in your life? Why is it that most Catholics don't seem to notice or realize its greatness, like when they leave and become Protestant and don't miss it or even despise the idea of the real presence?
Thanks & God bless,
-- Emily (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 26, 2004
-- (email@example.com), March 26, 2004.
The reason you only got one answer is because you addressed your post to Ed. Thus, Ed answered and everyone else let him. Okay, now to your questions...
Could you please explain the benefits of receiving the Eucharist?
Special Graces. Forgiveness of venial sins. Spiritual communion with Christ through the consumption of His Holy Body and Blood. Participation in the sacrament of Communion as Christ Himself commanded of us.
I am not yet Catholic and have never taken it. What does it mean or do for you?
To see what it means see John Chapter 6: 53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. 54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.
I have heard that it is a means of grace, so what does that feel like, or how does that manifest itself in your life?
After taking communion i often have a strong feeling of devotion and Holy renewal in the Spirit of the Lord. often i kneel at my seat and let the feeling of the Holy Spirit flow through me. The eucharist is something which is greatly to be desired because it is the Bread of Life, which will make us whole and bring us into the true communion of the church: the true Communion of Christ.
Why is it that most Catholics don't seem to notice or realize its greatness, like when they leave and become Protestant and don't miss it or even despise the idea of the real presence?
MOST Catholics DO recognize the feeling. Most are very respectful of the sacrifice Christ made. In some regions bad priests or misunderstanding people have preached against the true presence in form of a merely symbolic or spiritual representation. (note: although the change occurs from a spiritual level, the transformation is physical, though the accident of the species remains the same chemically).
As to fallen away "catholics"... well, I have a mixed opinion about them. First, those who are indiferent to the communion may have come from those who never understood the truth of the complete and physical transubstantiation. Those who are against it are probably more likely those who reject the truth as something vile to them. They wouldnt be the first to do this. Read Luke Chapter 6 and you'll see that disciples couldnt even accept the eucharist when Jesus Himself preached it to them.
As to catholics who dont recognize the eucharist as being the true Body and Blood of Christ... these, IMHO, are not catholics in truth. They commit sacrilage every time they take communion. They reject a core teaching in a sacrament of the church. They reject the very word of Christ. They are the worst of the lot, because they continue to participate in a sacrament they dont believe in while they reject the Word of God.
All that help?
-- paul h (dontSendMeMail@notAnAddress.com), March 26, 2004.
I apologize for not responding to your question before this, but I have not had the time available to devote the proper amount of attention your question demands. Your question goes to the very center of our faith. Anon has said that the Holy Eucharist, is the source and the summit of our Christian faith. As you walk in your faith and study it more and more, this phrase will come up time and time again. It first was used in the document Lumen Gentium (Vatican II) in an attempt to describe what the Eucharist means to a Catholic. Many prominent Catholics have used it since, most notably Pope John Paul II. The phrase can be found in the Catechism. To be truthful, words cannot describe what the Eucharist means to each of us for to answer that question adequately, you must answer the question, “What does Jesus Christ mean to each of us?”
The Eucharist completes our Christian initiation. Those who have entered the royal priesthood in Baptism and been confirmed more deeply into Christ at the Sacrament of Confirmation, along with the entire Christian community, join Jesus on the Cross, in the Eucharist, the Lord’s most holy and sacred sacrifice . At the Last Supper, on the night He was betrayed, our Saviour instituted the Eucharistic Sacrifice of His Body and Blood. He did this in order to perpetuate His Sacrifice of the Cross for mankind until He should come again. He entrusted to the Church, His beloved spouse, a memorial of His death and resurrection. He gave us, as John Paul II has said, the “Sacrament of Love”, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a paschal banquet in which He, Himself is consumed. When we consume the Eucharist, we are filled with pure grace. The Eucharist is pure grace for it is Jesus Christ, Himself. This is why I said in the other thread, “it just doesn’t get any better than that”. In the Eucharist a promise of eternal happiness is given to us by Jesus Christ, Himself, the same promise He gave us on the Cross at Calvary. All other sacraments tend toward the Eucharist, for in the Blessed Eucharist we have Jesus Christ, Himself.
It is through the consumption of the Eucharist that we really become people of God and join the Communion of Saints. The Eucharist is the glue that keeps us all together in the Church as the body of Christ. The Eucharist is the union of God and of man. It’s the culmination of God’s action of sanctifying the world through pure grace, and the acceptance of the good deeds of men by God, offered through Jesus on the Cross, to the Father, by the power of the Holy Spirit. In the Eucharist we are united to God in a heavenly celebration that mere words cannot describe.
The word Eucharist comes from a Greek word which means “thanksgiving”. The word came about as the early Christians recalled the ancient Jewish blessings that were often proclaimed, particularly at meals, in thanksgiving for God’s works of creation. The Eucharist is thanksgiving and praise to the Father. We thank Him and praise Him for all His gifts of creation and especially for the gift of His only Son, and for the gift of the Holy Spirit, who makes present all gifts. We also refer to the Eucharist as the Lord’s Supper or the breaking of the bread. The Eucharist is celebrated in a Eucharistic assembly of the faithful as a visible expression of our unity as the people of God. That is why private, personal masses are frowned upon by the Church. We call the Eucharist Holy Communion because in this sacrament, we unite ourselves to Christ who shares with us His body and blood. In the Eucharist, Jesus draws us into Himself and makes us one with Him. We become part of Christ, we bask in the greatness of God.
The elements of bread and wine in the Eucharist have significance. They speak of the goodness of creation because they are natural elements. Bread and wine, natural things, come from the earth and so we offer God the goodness of creation in the gifts that we bring to the altar. At the altar, we remember the Old Covenant, the offering of the first fruits, we remember the unleaven bread of the Passover. We remember that Israel lives not by bread alone as scripture tells us. We remember the cup of blessing which comes at the end of the Jewish Passover meal. We remember the multiplication of the loaves that Jesus performed more than once. We recall the water turned into wine at the wedding feast at Cana. All these remembrances from scripture that refer to bread and wine find their completion, their fulfillment, in the Blessed Eucharist.
Jesus chose the time of the Passover to celebrate the Last Supper, the first Eucharist, the first Mass. He fulfilled the Passover, the paschal mystery. In the Old Testament, the people of God were held in captivity in Egypt. At the command of Moses the paschal lamb was sacrificed and the blood of the lamb was put on the door posts of houses to protect God’s people from the destroying angel. Then came Jesus, the Lamb of God, into time and space. He was slain, and in His death, death was destroyed, and in His rising, life was restored. When we are covered with the Blood of the Lamb, when we partake in the Eucharist, the destroying angel passes over us, we’re preserved forever, and eternal life is ours.
The Eucharist is indeed the memorial of Christ’s Passover. Its not merely a recollection of those past events. The Eucharist is mystery. It makes them present. There is a mystical reality here. At Mass not only do we recall those events, but we make them present. You are there at Calvary! You are present at the Crucifixion! You enter into the Paschal Mystery! That’s what the Mass is! We don’t repeat the Paschal Mystery, we don’t repeat the sacrifice of Calvary, we enter into that transcendent event and we make it present in time and in space, in whatever time in history, in whatever place in the world it is celebrated, we enter into it and make it present. We enter into the saving, healing power of God.
In the Eucharist since we become one with Jesus, we are taken up. We are taken up “through Him, with Him and in Him...” We offer ourselves along with Christ. We die on the Cross with Jesus so that, we can live again as He has. We offer our spiritual sacrifice. We offer our everyday trials and tribulations, we offer our whole life. It’s all taken up in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. We join all of our pain and suffering, all that we are, to Jesus on the Cross.
Emily, what’s in the Eucharist you say? Words cannot express what pure love and devotion are found in what some dismiss as being merely a piece of bread or a cup of wine.
-- Ed (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 26, 2004.
Emily, you asked, “Why is it that most Catholics don't seem to notice or realize its greatness, like when they leave and become Protestant and don't miss it or even despise the idea of the real presence?”
Some people are more disposed to receive God in the form of pure grace than others are. I believe it was the Cure d’Ars who said, “if you only realized who it really was that you were receiving in the Holy Eucharist, surely you would die instantly of happiness.” The Eucharist is a mystery and to some extent, this mystery is perceived in varying degrees by those who receive it. Some give the assent of faith as it applies to this mystery more than others do. Therefore, some receive more graces than others because of it.
Emily, you also asked how does this grace “manifest itself in your life?” Well, it exhilarates you. It strengthens your resolve to be a better Christian, to be more in communion with Christ and with others, in your everyday life thereby bettering your chances of someday sharing eternal happiness with the Saviour.
Don’t try to understand the mystery of the Eucharist. No one can - after all, it’s a mystery. What will be required of you as a Catholic is that you give the assent of faith and accept that Jesus is truly physically present, body, blood, soul and divinity since Jesus told us He was.
-- Ed (email@example.com), March 26, 2004.
Thank you both for your wonderful responses. I'm going to study them over. Paul, sorry I wasn't clear. I meant the question to be for everyone. Ed, no problem. Don't worry about being later - apparently I really hit on something here that would take a lot of explaining! I understand you must be very busy as moderator. This is so beautiful about the Eucharist.
God bless you both.
-- Emily (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 27, 2004.
You are called no more to be a "sister" than I am, with all due respect.
Maybe Ed will agree with you?
Ed, What did you do to this forum? I am "half" afraid to believe in a sister that doesn't know what the "real presence is?
What does "Isabel" say about this? :_)
-- - (David@excite.com), March 27, 2004.
David, ease up a bit. There is no such thing as a stupid question when it comes to learning the faith. It took me 54 years of instruction in the faith to learn what I have so far and I still can use a lot of help in most areas.
Emily, don’t let anyone change your mind about becoming a nun. RCIA, your parish and your eventual Order will teach you all you need to know. Best of all, your thirst for Truth will serve you well in your search. I wish all Catholics thirsted for Truth the way you (a non-Catholic) do. If God wants you to become nun, you will be. If He doesn’t want you to become one, He will let you know.
I think one of the best tools you can acquire for learning the faith is to acquire a copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. It is indispensable for one who has a thirst to learn all that Jesus intended for us to. Emily, the Catechism has some beautiful references to the Eucharist in it from 1322 to 1419, and if you lookup or follow the footnotes through to the end, you’ll discover even more beautiful truths about it, delivered down through the ages from the Church and from some great saints.
-- Ed (email@example.com), March 27, 2004.
Dear Emily..I understood your question...how could you know, truly KNOW the full meaning of the Eucharist as an individual when you haven't yet experienced receiving it yourself? It is one thing to read and learn from books about the theology, it's quite another to actually receive the Body and Blood of Jesus yourself..one does wonder then, what it MEANS to other Catholics.how does it affect their lives and how could they possibly ever walk away from it? As a young woman, when I left the Church, I was ignorant and foolish. That's it in a nutshell. Later on when I'd realized what I had lost, I was devastated..even the word "devastated" does not fully express the depth of my emotions at being separated from the sacraments.I am not as gifted as many here are with eloquence of expression..all I can offer to you is that with your love of God as is evident in your posts, when you receive the Eucharist for the first time, and EVERY time during your entire life, there will be no words sufficient to express how you feel.
-- lesley (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 27, 2004.
Lest I be accused of plagiarism, let’s give credit where credit is due. I must qualify my remarks above by stating they have come over the years from many, many sources. Over the years, I have interiorized much of this to the point where oftentimes, I really don’t know who said what, or where I acquired a particular teaching on the Faith. In the writing above I’ve recognized portions I’ve read or heard before from Scripture, the Catechism, Church encyclicals and documents and great homilists such as Father John Caropi and Father Claudio Piccinnini, as well as a few local clergy whom I admire greatly. I just didn’t want everyone to get the idea these are all my ideas and words, although many are. They are a composite of talks and readings I have gathered over the years that eloquently attempt to portray the value of the Eucharist as the most important tool of salvation and that seemed worth sharing here, in this discussion.
-- Ed (email@example.com), March 27, 2004.
You asked some good questions regarding the Eucharist that get to the heart of the matter. I've often wondered why receiving the Bobdy, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ doesn't always change everyone for the better. You would think we would all speak in tongues or something during Communion with Him.
I offer my humble opinion. If it goeas against Church teaching, please let me know.
I was raised Catholic and have received Christ in the Eucharist many many times. There was a period of time I received the Eucharist even while doubting the Real Presence of Christ. I am one of those people that Paul described when he said if you recive the Eucharist without discerning the body of Christ then you eat and drink judgment upon yourself. Because of my own lack of faith and love for Christ, taking the Eucharist did nothing more for me than simply eating unleavened bread. Jesus was present, but I was not open to the grace that He offered me because of my own pride and willfullness.
A few years ago, I finally sought to truly to God's will. I confessed mortal sins, sought the Truth about the Faith and committed myself (with Christ's help) to serve Him truly. It was only afer all that that I finally felt the presence of Christ in the Eucharist and receiving the Eucharist has made a visible difference in my life. For me, it is an inner feeling of peace and a desire to serve Christ despite the consequences. I also notice that I have more patience throughout the day and worry less about thye material things in life. I think that if you are truly in Communion with Christ in the Eucharist that His presence can remain with you throughout the day and throughout your life in a spriritual sense even after the species of the Eucharist are not present anymore. I look at the Eucharist as a "guarantee" that Christ is really present if we are but open to Him and the grace He offers us. I also believe that He can abide with us spiritually every moment of our lives. I guess the lesson I've learned is that the grace is always there, but the effects and reception of it are dependent on our own disposition. Christ will not force Himself on us because he loves us so much that He will even allow us to receive Him unworthliy and not change our lives if we do not want Him to. That's why I think the actual effects of the Eucharist are different for everyone who receives Him. Without faith, or the eyes of the spirit, then the Eucharist is no more than bread in the eyes of the beholder. However, it is much more than that, because receiving Him unworthily brings down a curse upon us of our own making. Just my humble opinion.
-- Andy (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 27, 2004.
David said: You are called no more to be a "sister" than I am, with all due respect. I am "half" afraid to believe in a sister that doesn't know what the "real presence is?
David, I'm sorry if I explained my question so that it was confusing. I have heard of the real presence and I know what it means - that the Eucharitst becomes the Body and Blood of the Lord. However, I have never taken the Eucharist as I am not yet Catholic. Thus, I wanted to ask Catholics who have taken it to tell me of its benefits. I long for it, and this is the best taste of it that I can get for now. I'm sorry that you were offended by the question, but I meant no ill will.
David, I saw no tone of respect in your above comments, despite the fact that you said the word "respect". In the future, please address me more appropriately. I know that in general you are a good contributor here, so please don't ruin your credibility by addressing people this way. Remember that I am not yet Catholic, much less a sister yet, and I have a lot to learn. Please be patient with my ignorance. I am not angry at you, but a bit hurt by your comments here and on the other thread. Please use more care in responding to people in the future.
-- Emily (email@example.com), March 27, 2004.
Fr. John Hardon has a great explanation of what Holy Communion is and what benefits the person receiving Christ on the Eucharist receives when that person is already in a state of grace (spiritually alive and in His friendship). I found this after my initial post on this topic.
-- Andy (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 28, 2004.
Emily, not only has Andy shown you a great article on the Eucharist, but that entire site is one of the best on the net devoted to the Holy Eucharist. Check out the entire site, it's very worthwhile.
-- Ed (email@example.com), March 28, 2004.
I was exploring the site while Ed posted and boy is he right. Check it out if you want to learn more about the Eucharist.
-- Andy (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 28, 2004.
After reading that site, I came away with a question, regarding this passage:
John 13 (DRV)
26 Jesus answered: He it is to whom I shall reach bread dipped. And when he had dipped the bread, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.
27 And after the morsel, Satan entered into him. And Jesus said to him: That which thou dost, do quickly.
We see here that Satan entered Judas after Judas ate the bread. Does this mean that he was committing a mortal sin by taking communion in an unworthy manner? Also, is it a mortal sin for anyone who takes communion in an unworthy manner, since they bring condemnation upon themselves and commit "sacrilege" according to that site?
Andy, thanks for the great link - it was so helpful! God bless,
-- Emily (email@example.com), March 28, 2004.
i cant say for sure that it is a mortal sin to take communion when not in a state of grace... but it really does not matter either. You are not in a state of grace when you have mortal sin on you, so you are compounding a state of mortal sin whether or not sacrilage is mortal or just very serious (although im leaning to the mortal sin side).
The deal with Judas is a long and winding one too, that did not start that night. The translation you gave is an older one and it is generally agreed that Judas had already made some sort of agreement before that night, then went to the priests to turn Jesus in at that time.
-- paul h (dontSendMeMail@notAnAddress.com), March 28, 2004.
I'll have to check out that reference on the site. I haven't gotten to it yet. But to put Judas' possession by Satan in perspective, I think that he had begun to turn away from Jesus long before that "sacriligeous communion." It seems to have started after the Bread of Life discourse in John 6.
John 6 (RSV) 70: Jesus answered them, "Did I not choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil?" 71: He spoke of Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the twelve, was to betray him.
John 12 (RSV) 3: Mary took a pound of costly ointment of pure nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the ointment. 4: But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was to betray him), said, 5: "Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?" 6: This he said, not that he cared for the poor but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box he used to take what was put into it. 7: Jesus said, "Let her alone, let her keep it for the day of my burial. 8: The poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me."
John 13 (RSV) 1: Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. 2: And during supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him, 3: Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, 4: rose from supper, laid aside his garments, and girded himself with a towel.
Personally, I look at knowingly committing a sacrilege as being a mortal sin akin to blasphemy (profaning Christ). From Scripture I don't think it's clear whether Judas knew that the bread and wine were truly Jesus' Body and Blood or not. It may be that he didn't believe Jesus' words (cf. John 6:70-71) and received the first Eucharist in an unworthy manner. This may have been the last straw in which Judas finally gave himself over to Satan. Scripture doesn't explicitly say what was going through his mind at the time, but it seems logical to me that if he didn't accept Jesus' words in John 6, then at the Last Supper he might have completed that turning away from Christ. Sorry for the ambiguity of my post. I guess I'm of the opinion that receeving the Eucharist unworthily and committing a sacrilege is a mortal sin that Paul is warning us about in 1 Cor 11:27-29.
-- Andy (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 28, 2004.
You knonw, there is one benefit of the Eucharist I haven't seen commented on yet, and that is one of self-improvement. Think of the Eucharist really as Christ's body, rather than as an abstract. It is a sin to receive Him while in a state of mortal sin, so that BEFORE communion, every week I reflect on what I've done, and whether I've disqualified myself. How's that for a benefit? Self-inspection and (hopefully) improvement, guaranteed on a weekly basis. If you do this, IMO you can't help improve somewhat, as you are always questioning whether where you are *right now* is good enough.
-- Someone (ChimingIn@twocents.cam), March 28, 2004.
Great point Frank.
-- Andy (email@example.com), March 29, 2004.
I want to share a quote I found on this topic, as I think it is a beautiful expression of what the Eucharist means -- although no one could ever adequately express or describe the infinite value of this Gift of Jesus which is the consummation of His Love with us. He gives Himself to us totally, and we give ourselves back -- more or less -- according to our degree of love for Him. I think that the differences among Catholics, which you observed in their response to the Real Presence, is a reflection of their faith in the reality of Jesus' Presence in the Holy Eucharist, and a measure of their love for Him.
Here is the quote I mentioned:
"There is joy when we know that He whom we love loves us, and that our Lover does not make us wait for union. Forever He stands at our door, waiting for us to open to Him. At every moment we can meet with Him ... "At the Eucharist Christ takes us to Himself and brings us with Him into the secret heart of God. Tenderly He places us with Himself in the bosom of the Father. At the Eucharist we rise from earth to live in the very Source of our origin. We who came from the hand of Love now return to our beginnings, the heart of the Father. "At the Eucharist Christ feeds our hunger with Himself. In truth, we do receive Him who is our Beloved and the Lover of our souls. We receive Him in His immense fullness, body, blood, soul, and divinity. This is the greatest moment of union, the greatest union on earth. It is, therefore, the greatest moment of joy; we possess and are possessed. The All is with us and we are in the All, one with Him and with each other in Him. This is our greatest joy on earth. We thirst for love and Love has come to us." (Fr. Emile Briere)
-- Patricia (Mtherese2@aol.com), March 31, 2004.
David F, I'm wondering what you think now that you've received the Eucharist for the first time. Please share with us about your experience. I went to the Easter Vigil this evening and it was truly beautiful, especially seeing the people who joined the Church tonight.
-- Emily (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 10, 2004.
Anyone else who joined this Easter, please feel free to share as well! I just remembered that David F said he was joining, so that's why I asked him specifically.
-- Emily (email@example.com), April 10, 2004.
See this thread: http://www.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a- fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id=00BwU7
-- Emily (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 11, 2004.
I was just listening to the Catholic Answers radio show from Tues. 5/04/04 on "Miracles of the Eucharist." It's really beautiful and worth a listen if you want to know more about this topic. They talk about some miracles that occurred over the centuries to strengthen the faith of a priest or a group of Christians, and also what the Eucharist means to Catholics today. I found it very insightful.
-- Emily ("email@example.com), May 12, 2004.
Emily- My two cents about your question: "Why is it that most Catholics don't seem to notice or realize its greatness, like when they leave and become Protestant and don't miss it or even despise the idea of the real presence?"
My own perspective is that we cradle Catholics receive at such a tender young age that some of us cannot begin to understand. Just like reconciliation. Then, if we fall away while we're still young for one reason or another, We're never really being able to appreciate it.
And on the subject of reconciliation, our priest gave a different perspective in a homily concerning why Catholics don't just go straight to God. It eliminates the self doubt that Satan works on you (God could not possibly love me enough to forgive my mortal sins). I never heard that before, but it's great.
-- mark advent (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 13, 2004.
Did we ever hear from David F? He hasn't been here in a while. What a great addition to the church he is.
Emily, You and David F. and others like you bring me the greatest joy. You have sought the truth and it led you to catholicism. This is such a miracle compared to someone like myself who is a cradle catholic and spent much of my life taking everything for granted. I look back and wonder why I was so apathetic. Looking back, I ask myself: "Did I ever deny the Real Presence of God in the Eucharist?" My answer: "Not really, I just never thought much of it." I took it for granted. What an insult to our Lord, who died on the cross For Me. How many regrets I have. But by the grace of God here I am. He has looked after me all of this time, even as I was indifferent toward him. I realize this, Thanks be to God. So for me, now, receiving the Eucharist is like a miracle. I can't really describe it. I strike my chest three times saying silently "My Lord and My God" as the host is being raised and consecrated. I thank Him, for deeming me worthy to receive his Body and Blood. Did you ever receive something you felt you didn't deserve? I guess that's how I feel. Grateful!
-- Brian Crane (email@example.com), May 13, 2004.
Thank you so much for the encouragement! I am glad that you have now come to realize the miracle and wonder of the Eucharist. I think for me, I have a sense of awe about beholding the true presence of Our Lord Jesus. You know the feeling of anticipation that you get when there's something wonderful that you can't have? Well, I guess that's how I feel about the Eucharist. Taking it now (unworthily, as I am not yet Catholic) would be like opening my Christmas gifts too soon. It would spoil everything, and it would no longer be special to me. But when I join the Church it will be wonderful.
I am sure that it will be a good experience. I contemplate now what it will be like. All of you who can receive the Eucharist are connected in a special, intimate way. You all have Christ in the flesh, living inside of you. I suppose you could say of me that I have that intent, or Christ in the spirit living in me. But I am awed at the idea of the communion of saints -- you all are connected with one another and all the saints each time you receive Christ.
I think the fact that I can only imagine about it and I am not permitted to take it yet only builds up my anticipation and wonder. So I am urged to study about it, ask questions, and hear others speak of the wonder of receiving Christ in such an intimate way.
Thank you for sharing that beautiful testimony to God's grace. May God bless you! Tell Jalapeno hi for me :)
-- Emily ("firstname.lastname@example.org), May 14, 2004.