Gratitude for the Eucharist

Believe and adore. Believe that Jesus Christ is in this sacrament as truly as He was nine months in the womb of Mary, as really as He was nailed to the Cross. Adore in humility and gratitude.

St. John Vianney

As a Catholic, my gratitude and appreciation for the gift of the Eucharist is difficult to describe in words. The Eucharist, for me, is a sacred thread that weaves through the intricate tapestry of my life, connecting me to Christ and to His Church. This precious gift reminds me each Mass that I am a part of something so much larger and more profound than myself.

First and foremost, the Eucharist is a source of peace and consolation. St. Padre Pio has said “Always remain close to the Catholic Church, because it alone can give you true peace, since it alone possesses Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, the true Prince of Peace.” In moments when the overwhelming challenges of life become too much to bear, receiving the Eucharist at Holy Communion is like being embraced in total and complete Love. I am reminded that God is always with me, but in a unique and special way in the Eucharist during Mass. There is nowhere else that I can receive the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ as He sits in heaven at the right hand of the Father.

When we receive the Eucharist we are united with the entire Communion of Saints; the Church Triumphant, Church Militant, and Church Suffering. When I approach the altar I know that I am sharing a ‘sacred meal,’ a communal act of partaking in the Body and Blood of our Lord, Jesus Christ. At that moment I am reminded that I am a member of a community that spans space and time. It’s a beautiful realization that I belong to something much greater; the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church with a shared history and shared hope together for the future.

The act of receiving Holy Communion, Christ in the Eucharist, is a truly intimate encounter with the Divine. It is a wondrous moment of quiet reflection, a sacred pause in the midst of the hustle and bustle of life. A powerful sense of awe flows through me because I recognize the incredible depth of God’s Love, and the enormity of the sacrifice He made for me. A deep sense of gratitude rushes through my veins for a love that can only begin to be grasped with our human intellect and by the grace of God.

In the remarkable moments of joy and happiness, I realize how blessed I am that God has chosen me to be a Catholic. He has hand picked me to partake in the Eucharistic celebration that offers praise and thanksgiving to God.

Gratitude for the Eucharist is a deeply human experience. It is the most intimate encounter that we can have on this earth with our beloved Lord, Jesus Christ. We are called as Catholics to be in a relationship with Christ, and we can only deepen the relationship by receiving Him at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. It is a beautiful experience, and I am incredibly appreciative to be able to attend Daily Mass, and I encourage my fellow Catholic brothers and sisters, if possible, to receive Jesus Daily in the Eucharist. Christ invites us to receive the Eucharist, and have eternal life with Him, so why should we not wish to receive Him daily at Mass, if we are able to do so? Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati has said:

With all the strength of my soul I urge you young people to approach the Communion table as often as you can. Feed on this bread of angels whence you will draw all the energy you need to fight inner battles. Because true happiness, dear friends, does not consist in the pleasures of the world or in earthly things, but in peace of conscience, which we have only if we are pure in heart and mind.

It is a true gift of thanksgiving to have the opportunity to receive Christ in the Eucharist everyday of our lives. We do not know what we have until we no longer have it, and many of us experienced such sadness and desolation when we could not attend Mass and receive Holy Communion during the Covid-19 pandemic. My heart was breaking during the Triduum when for the first time in my life since I received my First Holy Communion I could not celebrate the most holy liturgical days of the year, and receive the Eucharist.

A beautiful quote by St. Maximilian Kolbe reads:

You come to me and unite Yourself intimately to me under the form of nourishment. Your Blood now runs in mine, Your Soul, Incarnate God, compenetrates mine, giving courage and support. What miracles! Who would have ever imagined such!”

Let us never forget the Real Presence, and how God left us with this most precious gift to draw us closer and closer to Him.

Photo by Maria Oswalt on Unsplash

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Christina M. Sorrentino resides in Staten Island, New York, and is a freelance writer, theology teacher, and author of the books Belonging to Christ and Called to Love - A Listening Heart. She is the Editor-in-Chief of Ignitum Today and has contributed to various publications including Word on Fire, Radiant Magazine, and Homiletic & Pastoral Review. She has also appeared on Sacred Heart Radio, and has been featured in the National Catholic Register's "Best in Catholic Blogging". Christina blogs at Called to Love - A Listening Heart and can be followed on Twitter @cmsorrps4610.

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