“I was 57 when I first received Jesus in the Eucharist.”
As a later-in-life convert to the Catholic faith, I was 57 when I first received Jesus in the Eucharist. The joy that filled me with this sacrament changed my life and fulfilled the life-long desire of my heart. I was raised in a loving Protestant home, but from the time that I was very young, I had questions about the many different faiths. Which one was authentic? I wanted to know the truth. They all claimed to be “truth,” but how could they be by virtue of their differences? My dad’s lineage is 100 percent Ashkenazi Jewish. There was a huge missing piece of the puzzle, and I vowed to find it.
From studying Latin, I knew my college’s motto, “Doce Me Veritatem,” meant “Teach Me Truth.” I felt I must be in the right place! (Interestingly, it was a Catholic college, Mount Saint Mary College, Newburgh, New York.) As years passed and I was busy raising a family, I floundered in my faith, not knowing how to respond to God properly. Looking back, there were many ways that God was leading me to the truth. One way He did this was through a dream that recurred at three different times in my life. I dreamed that I was in my own house, and I discovered a door in my house that I never noticed was there before. I felt compelled to find out what this door led to. So I opened the door and then stood in amazement at what lay before me: It was a huge, banquet-sized room, and toward the center was a very large table adorned with beautiful white embroidered linens. On this table was the most magnificent, priceless, golden treasure. I was in awe, shocked that all this beauty and splendor was in my own house all the time, and I never knew it!
Our youngest daughter, Jessica, who was on her own spiritual search, came home from college one weekend and announced that she wanted to become Catholic. Her and then our family’s spiritual journey was about to take an unbelievable turn.
I was shocked and asked her many questions, the main one about Transubstantiation — how could the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Jesus? At that moment, the Holy Spirit worked through our daughter to evangelize me because as she answered my questions, my objections melted away and vanished. The Holy Spirit swooped in, giving me the grace of belief that He had given our daughter just months earlier. After her catechesis, Jessica was confirmed, and she received the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord Jesus and the following year after going through RCIA at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parish, I, too, received Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. Many tears of joy flowed over the next 10 years, continuing today in Sunday and daily Mass and in Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.
It wasn’t until I attended a Christ Renews His Parish weekend and was writing my witness for the next group of women that suddenly, the meaning of my recurring dreams rushed into my heart. God was showing me that His treasure of the Mass and Eucharist was right there all along in my own heart, and all I needed to do was open the door and see it! He knew I was hungry, and He fed me with truth, gift-wrapped in love, along with grace to behold and believe.
Jesus continues to change me by putting in my heart the desire to go deeper in my faith. I joined our parish’s St. Paul Street Evangelization team to share it with others who are hungry and searching for truth.
Jesus, I pray that all come to believe Your Word that the bread which You give is Your flesh for the life of the world.