I feel particularly blessed to be a Catholic, because we believe in the miracle that is the Eucharist. We believe that we have Jesus really, physically present in a way that He can enter into our bodies and fill us. For those readers who are not Catholic, I understand your lack of understanding for this concept. It is truly a mystery!
It is definitely one of those “faith things” – believing in something we cannot see. Catholics believe in apostolic succession. This means that Jesus anointed Peter, who anointed the next head of the church who anointed the next head of the church, and so on…all the way down to the pope we have now. The pope lays hands (and anoints) the bishops who in turn lay hands upon the priests. In this most Blessed Sacrament, the Holy Spirit through the words and hands of the priest changes the bread we offer into Christ’s body and the wine we offer into Christ’s blood. We call this transubstantiation.
If you doubt this incredible gift that the Lord instituted at the Last Supper, talk to any daily communicant( someone who receives Holy Communion daily), or someone who spends time on a regular basis at a Eucharistic adoration chapel. In fact, why don’t you visit one of these 24 hour adoration chapels yourself. Tell Jesus about your disbelief, and allow Him transform you into a believer! Spending time in Christ’s physical presence changes you.
There have been many Eucharistic miracles – where the bread and wine actually took on the appearances of the body and blood of Christ. Some may think that this is the work of the devil – trying to make us believe something untrue. The way that we discern the spirits is by the fruits they produce. Only good fruit comes from belief in the Real Presence, adoration and reception of the Body of Christ.
I can attest to the way that the Blessed Sacrament (JESUS, Himself!) has changed my life. I run to the adoration chapel every chance I get, because there Jesus gives me the peace that the world takes from me. I love the moment – when at mass – I can invite Jesus into my body. It is a feeling like no other.
I understand why people are drawn to churches that provide entertainment like concerts, coffee bars, and rock climbing. Fellowship is important and should be a part of each church community’s life. It’s what brings us together as children of God. No other church can offer me Jesus’ body and blood as Christ Himself commanded. I am so happy I’m Catholic!