RELIGION & MY LIFE SERIES-THE EUCHARIST-THE REAL PRESENCE

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I write because yesterday amongst friends it was said that praying at home and listening to podcasts is enough for spiritual growth. I think that’s a great way to enhance your spirituality but incomplete, here’s why?

Today as we live in a more secularised society it requires supernatural strength to overcome the many temptations. The eucharist then for me becomes a font of energy to love as Christ loved, the see people as Christ sees them. I believe that receiving the eucharist strengthens me and helps me on a daily basis.

Jesus, at the “Last Supper” on Holy Thursday instituted the mass and the eucharist as a way of connecting to Him and for us to grow in love of Him. So, the more we partake in this mystery, the more we receive the real presence in the eucharist, the more we become like Christ.

Jesus didn’t mean for this to be a once only. He wanted us to continue with the mass and the eucharist long after He was gone, so that we may be strengthened by His body and by His precious blood, His way of passing His saving power.

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Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. . . . Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me.          (Jn 6:53-57)

(click below for podcast on the meaning of the real presence)

The presence of the risen Christ in the Eucharist is an inexhaustible mystery that the Church can never fully explain in words. We must remember that the triune God is the creator of all that exists and has the power to do more than we can possibly imagine.

Through the power of the Holy Spirit, the transformed bread and wine that are the Body and Blood of Christ are not merely symbols because they truly are the Body and Blood of Christ. As St. John Damascene wrote: “The bread and wine are not a foreshadowing of the body and blood of Christ—By no means!—but the actual deified body of the Lord, because the Lord Himself said: ‘This is my body’; not ‘a foreshadowing of my body’ but ‘my body,’ and not ‘a foreshadowing of my blood’ but ‘my blood'” 

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By his Real Presence in the Eucharist Christ fulfils his promise to be with us “always, until the end of the age” (Mt 28:20). As St. Thomas Aquinas wrote, “It is the law of friendship that friends should live together. . . . Christ has not left us without his bodily presence in this our pilgrimage, but he joins us to himself in this sacrament in the reality of his body and blood”Summa Theologiae, III q. 75, a. 1).

(Courtesy USCCB Logo)

This is what Jesus intended for us as a way of remaining close to Him,  accepting His saving power and salvation, then why wouldn’t I partake in it?

PRAYER

Dear Jesus,                                                                                                                              We praise you and thank-you for your precious gift of your sacrificed body on the cross.  Because you so loved us, You wanted to keep us close to You through the eucharist-your real presence of your precious body and blood. Please help us to believe and partake in this special offering and gift to us. AMEN

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RELIGION AND MY LIFE SERIES_Why I go to church

 

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I have heard from family and friends that mass can be boring. That we can pray alone. I can understand why people would think this,  but as I remember……….. going to meetings at work was boring, going to Professional Development sessions was boring, going back to study at university was boring, my graduation was boring, waiting to see my doctor or specialist for 1 hour sometimes 2 hours was boring.  I get it! But think of the purpose and the greater good.

Sometimes we do things because we have to, sometimes we do things because we need help in some area, sometimes we do things because it will add something to our lives. I would like to think that all the above reasons can add to our lives. So I go to church because of what it can add to my spiritual growth and the chain reaction it may effect in my life .

Without church then  it just becomes a Jesus thing, not that there is anything wrong with that, however, Jesus lived a life that encompassed the hebrew tradition of His forefathers and He refers to our Old Testament fathers in the New Testament.

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Reading the bible can be difficult and confusing, I don’t always understand the context, the message nor the Hebrew traditions. Going to church helps unpack all of these and then I go to a bible study group to fellowship and chat with friends for greater understanding.

The truth matters and it should matter to all . If I can do something to help myself then why wouldn’t I do it? When I think about how so many people waste their time in gambling venues, on their phone, watching soap operas and going to beauty therapists, I ask, where is the balance?

At Holy Thursday, Jesus instituted the eucharist and the mass, He said…..“Do this in memory of me.” – Jesus (Luke: 22:19). Jesus didn’t say if you have the time, or whenever…. He commanded it.. DO THIS! He said.

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For Jesus to say this, He must have known how important it is, how life saving it can be.

If you really thought about who you are, who God is, and how much thanks you owe Him, you would want to go to Mass. The Mass would become the source and center of your spiritual life.” – James Stenson

The great Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, when conducting a retreat for teenagers, once gave a talk on the meaning of the Mass. He said, “If you don’t get anything out of Mass, it’s because you don’t bring the right expectations to it.” The Mass is not entertainment, he said. It is worship of the God who made us and saves us. It is an opportunity to praise God and thank Him for all that He has done for us.

If we have a correct understanding of Mass, Bishop Sheen said, it will become more meaningful for us. We will want to go to Mass. We will understand why the Mass is God’s precious gift to us, and we wouldn’t think of refusing that gift.             (Courtesy of CERC)

“Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I” (Matthew 18:20). Image result for Matthew 18:20

When God is with us in prayer, God’s favour and healing is bestowed upon us, and when it’s done in multitudes, it has a magnifying effect.

If we give God a chance, He will help us experience the tremendous benefits of the Mass and the Eucharist. James Stenson writes: Be patient. Bring an attitude of prayer and thanksgiving to Mass, and you will reap great spiritual riches: consolation, confidence, peace, deep happiness, and spiritual strength for the challenges of life.

I do not want to lose on my salvation. Do you?

Dear Heavenly Father,

Instill in us a hunger for You, a spirit of seeking the absolute truth and to keep holy the Sabbath Day all for the glory of heaven. AMEN