People like you who have been transformed by an encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist
The Eucharist is part of my identity! Receiving the Eucharist reminds me that I belong to Jesus and that makes all the difference in my life.
I have seen and experienced a breakthrough not only in my life but also in the lives of the people whom I surrender to Him during mass. I have witnessed Jesus bringing back my loved ones to church to attend Mass.
I lift my petitions up to God, throughout Mass but especially when the priest lifts the Eucharist up. It is then when I ask God to transform my prayer. And He does it… every single time.
I love going for daily Mass because I am strengthened and transformed at every Mass and with that, I am able to embrace what the world offers. The Eucharist builds me up to exercise Kingdom mindset and to demonstrate that in my daily walk on Earth.
I look forward to being with Jesus during Adoration. There's something special about being there with Him. When I switch off from everything and everyone, I am able to connect with Him and hear Him. It is a time of healing and purification for me. To be with Him at the core of my identity strengthens me and gives me hope. He sets me free and sets me apart to do His will.
The Eucharist is my life and inspiration. Without it, I am empty and nothing.
I am a “cradle Catholic” and know firsthand, after observing and occasionally participating in other sectors of religion, that the consecrated body and blood of Our Lord is my lifeline to being a spiritually honest, compassionate, and good human being. God is good all the time! My spirit and my soul feel full when I receive Holy Communion, and I am truly hungry for my daily food.
I use this analogy when speaking to others about Adoration and praying in front of the Blessed Sacrament. I say it just like this: Put your thinking cap on and tell me who in your life is someone that you would give anything to meet. It could be a movie star, a singer, a political figure or just anybody that is very special and important to you that you admire. Next, think about what you would have to go through to meet that person. Most likely, red tape, protocol, and airline tickets to get to the location, and you may have to encounter many other challenges when you arrive at your destination. Now then, picture this… Jesus, who is your Creator (without whom you would not be alive today), is sitting all alone in the monstrance (for free) in Adoration, just waiting for you to walk in the door and visit with Him. Why would anyone not jump at the chance?
I always tell everyone that one hour with Our Lord is worth 1,000 hours of any other activity they would like to do. It doesn’t get any better than that!!
I'm Sheila Lovelace, a parishioner and human just like you.
Sometime back, I was praying with Hosea 11:1-4 when verse 4 came alive.
“Yet, though I stooped to feed my child,
They did not know I was their healer.”
It is as if I could see Jesus stooping down, like a servant, to wait on me, feeding me. I realized He was feeding me the Eucharist, His very self. I realized He was doing this continually. It came so alive to my heart that I cried, “No, Jesus, it is too much; you already died for us; you don’t need to keep stooping.”
At the next daily Mass, It came alive again. This time, I realized Jesus, God, was being like fodder for me. He was the very lowest on the food chain for me. It was too much, and I cried, “You, God, stooped to become a human just like me, except without sins. You stooped further, allowing us to mistreat you and kill you. And now you stoop even further down by becoming our bread, our food, our fodder?”
He helped me understand it must be this way. He is here to save me continually. He reminded me of Psalm 139: “Where can I go from your spirit? If I sink to the nether world, you are present there.” I understood that no matter what I do or where I go, He is always there, ready to stoop and pick me back up.
What an amazing, loving, self-giving, merciful, forgiving God we have. It’s almost too much. He turns my heart toward Himself. He turns my heart to love him all that much more. He turns my heart to love others with His kind of love. Holy Spirit, help me love. Eucharist Jesus, God, save me.
Early in the pandemic when I was working at a hospital, I was preparing to visit a patient and bring him Communion. Because of his condition, all staff entering his room were required to wear a mask, a face shield, and a yellow gown. I doubted that my attire would be of comfort to him but hoped that the Eucharist would be. I knew that my name tag was covered by the gown, and I was intending to tell him who I was and the purpose of my visit. However, he dismissed me before I got the words out. Rather than just leave, I introduced myself and said that I would come back later with Communion for him. He responded, “Oh, please come in. You have the most important gift.”
This patient’s words brought tears to my eyes. They reminded me of being a patient myself one Christmas Day and the deep gratitude I felt for the opportunity to receive Communion and to the Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, especially on that special day. His words also brought to mind the time, a few months earlier, when our churches were closed, and we could not attend Mass in person or receive the Eucharist. How hard those days were! The Eucharist is indeed “the most important gift”!
When we receive the Eucharist, we are blessed with Jesus himself. How amazingly and mysteriously precious! This alone demands our thanks and praise. But Jesus’ gift to us doesn’t end at the altar or even as we leave church. It continues with us and calls us to be of service to others. As St. Teresa of Avila said, “Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through which Christ looks with compassion on this world. Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good. Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are Christ’s body.” Whenever I try to act in this way, I grow in the love Jesus has for me and for all, over and over again. Thanks be to God!
We are all called to serve others by virtue of our baptism, but we are called in different ways, according to our gifts. Bringing Communion to the sick or those confined to their homes or residences is not for everyone, but it is for some. I personally love the ministry and always feel blessed in ways that touch me deeply.
I am a cradle Catholic; unfortunately, I fell away from the Church for 40 years. I always believed in God, but I felt too lazy to go to Mass. In 2019, I started going to Mass faithfully every Saturday at 5:00 p.m. It was a beautiful experience, but then the pandemic hit and I couldn’t go anymore. It was devastating, and my husband became ill at that time. Eventually, we were able to watch Mass online which brought me peace.
My husband passed away in 2022 and I promised God I would dedicate the rest of my life to him. I started joining as many groups as possible at my parish, St. Gabriel. My life revolved around St. Gabriel. I knew two members of the parish back then, now I can honestly say I know hundreds. My life is so full and I am so blessed!
At Mass, I saw people drink the Precious Blood but I didn’t and it weighed heavily on my heart. I would receive the host, but not the blood. I kept praying about it and then, in the early part of July, I was at Mass and I kept hearing the word “faith,” in my mind as the altar was being prepared. I drank from the cup and tears came down my cheeks, I never felt the Lord’s presence as I did at that moment.
I never wanted to be a Eucharistic Minister, I felt unworthy. It kept weighing on my heart, I finally did it and it is the best thing I ever did. I still feel unworthy, but God has built me up, he loves me and I am living proof of that!
The Eucharist is the reason I am Catholic.
I recently resumed serving as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion. I experienced several miraculous things during the first Mass at which I served. First, I felt such joy offering the Precious Blood to each person who came forward. Second, the last person had a joyful smile on their face and that smile brought healing between that person and myself—a healing that only Christ could make happen. Third, at the end of that Sunday, after walking and standing much of the day, the pain in my right "arthritic toes" was no longer present. I immediately thought I experienced a Eucharistic miracle.
I was hesitant to say anything to anyone because I thought they'd think I was crazy. On Tuesday after Mass, I was still pain free and told my Lumen Christi Prayer group because they had prayed for healing for my foot in the weeks before I resumed my service as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion.
When I saw my pastor Fr. Steffes the next Saturday before 8 p.m. Mass, I relayed my experiences at the previous Mass plus the fact I still was without right toe pain. My arthritic toes were and still are curled under and immobile, yet I'm able to walk without pain. It's now been three weeks without pain when I walk. I praise the Lord being able to walk without pain! Thank you Jesus in the Eucharist!
The Eucharist makes the difference to me knowing of God's love and how deep and personal His love is for me. By living a life of prayer I am able to grow in knowledge and understanding of how I can live in the Spirit. I never have to return to the slavery and feelings of living a life of redundancy wondering “What is my life all about? Why am I here?”.
Once I realize God's love for me I want to receive Him properly, heart, soul and mind. He longs to give me graces that work quietly, and mysteriously in my heart. Often unnoticed I am able to see Him in others and others are able to see Him in me. When Jesus said that the kingdom of heaven is among us, we don't have to go somewhere else or wait for some day because the kingdom of heaven is within us.
I love going to Mass and preparing by calling to mind my sins and calling upon God to be merciful. I listen to the readings and its theme. I love singing the Psalms. The Gospel and homily challenge me to live the life I'm called to live.
I love the early morning adoration that I have on Tuesdays at 6:00 a.m. In adoration I come and present myself to Jesus truly present. I begin with the office of the readings in the 4 volume and continue with morning prayer. It's a beautiful experience! If I am alone during this adoration time, I often sing the hymn and continue to morning prayer. I bring my journal because our Lord never ceases to inspire me with his wisdom! Amazing! It's just Jesus and I. Me and Jesus. Jesus and me. Good, bad, ugly. I'm here, Jesus is here and that's what matters. I can tell Jesus what I can't tell anybody else. I only get love and acceptance.
I grew up Protestant, and I can’t remember a time when I didn’t know Jesus. I’ve always had a close and confiding relationship with Him.
At first, I took a fancy to Catholicism because most of my friends in college were Catholic and they introduced me to some beautiful forms of prayer and liturgical worship. I liked attending evening prayer and Mass with them because the goal of my life was to draw closer to Christ and any new method of doing that was a good thing to embrace in my book!
My college had an Adoration chapel and I often went there to pray, feeling a deep sense of peace in Christ’s presence. One Catholic friend explained Adoration to me this way: “When I pray outside of adoration, it feels like talking to Jesus on the phone. When I’m in front of the Eucharist, I’m talking to Him in person.”
Her words struck me deeply. I loved Jesus more than anything but I thought He could only be present to me in a spiritual sense. Could it be possible to encounter Him truly in this life? It sounded too good to be true, and it took another eight years or so of reading, prayer, and fellowship with Catholics for me to become convinced of it.
I finally decided to enter the Catholic Church last September, and after almost 10 years of considering Catholicism, I wanted to enter right away. But RCIA at my parish was a nine-month process. During that time, going to Mass was very painful. I hated awkwardly sitting in the pew while everyone else took Communion. I hated knowing that Christ was present in the room and not being able to receive Him. I went to Adoration for hours each week during the month of November. I did a holy hour every day.
When I’m in Adoration, I enjoy sitting in silence just looking at Jesus and asking Him what He wants to tell me that day and then writing it down in my journal. It’s amazing how long we can go–days, weeks, months–without experiencing total silence, and that silence is so important for clearing our minds and making them a place of receptivity to God’s word. In Adoration, I also list all my stresses, concerns, and hurts and imagine myself placing them on the altar in front of Jesus and Him gathering them in His arms. I also bring a prayer book or two along: I love praying Catholic prayers like the Divine Mercy Chaplet, and also prayers from other church traditions, such as Eastern Orthodox hymns and collects from the Anglican Book of Common Prayer. I have a heart for ecumenism and these prayers are a way for me to offer Jesus worship on behalf of the entire Christian church and my Protestant family and friends.
While I was going through RCIA, Jesus often spoke straight to my heart in Adoration, and I knew that short of actually receiving the Eucharist, this was the closest I could get to Him in this life. People ask me why I became Catholic, and the short answer is the truest answer: I’m Catholic because I love Jesus more than anyone or anything, and my deepest desire is to be close to the One I love. If the Eucharist is the closest we can get to Jesus, then I have to be Catholic so that I can receive Him in that way.
The night I was confirmed at the Easter Vigil this year was one of the happiest nights of my life. My Protestant family drove 10 hours to be at my Confirmation and throw me a party because they love Jesus, too, and were happy for me because they recognized that in becoming Catholic, I was drawing closer to Him. After months of feeling heartbroken about not being able to take the Eucharist, it was wonderful to receive Christ’s Body that night. I do have to admit that something still felt like it was missing because I still had a longing to receive the Precious Blood as well. When that finally happened a month later, I felt a deep sense of completion and wholeness, and I try to receive both Body and Blood every week.
After growing up without it, I will never take the Eucharist for granted. The Bible tells us that “we love because He first loved us,” and we draw closer to Christ through the Eucharist, because He first drew close to us by giving Himself up for us. Knowing His great love for us and His desire to unite with us in reality, how could we not receive this gift and ponder it with great joy and thanksgiving?
Dcn. Paul Tschann
As a deacon assisting at the altar, I am so blessed to be so close to the consecration of bread and wine when Our Lord Jesus allows himself to appear as these elements so that we are able to be nourished with His body and blood. In Our Lord's prayer He asks us to pray to God the Father, "give us this day our daily bread" and if we are able to go to Mass daily, we can receive and carry the Lord Jesus in our bodies to give us strength in pursuit of living a holy life.
Attending daily Mass was not something I ever considered doing nor did I feel a need to attend Mass more than the obligation on Sundays and Holy Days. I was challenged by a bishop at a retreat some years back to make this commitment to receiving Eucharist daily. Logistically this was going to be difficult because I work as a nurse and had varied start times that would be different from one week to the next. Also I live in a rural area and daily Mass is not always offered at the same church. So I set out on my quest to see if I could actually do this and see how many days in a row that this would happen. I lost count after a while, it did not matter. This was the best thing I could have ever done. I had the bonus of being fed by the Word of God and following the amazing stories that sometimes took the week or even a few weeks to complete. On days when I could not attend, I turned to the Word Among Us or the Magnificat to fill in the gaps. This proved to be so needed when COVID disrupted an already challenging mission to find a daily Mass that fit my schedule.
Over the years, making this commitment to God has transformed me beyond anything I thought was possible. I know I have changed, becoming more loving and patient with those around me. Receiving Eucharist, especially daily, has helped me become a better husband, a better father, a better nurse, and a better servant for God in all that I do. And I know my weaknesses, my faults, and ways that I can do better. I am often my worst critic, but with the strength I receive from Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar the pursuit of holiness is aided far greater than if I tried to do this all on my own.