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“The priest’s voice sounded like God to me”

Mike McDonald

While sharing Thanksgiving with our family, my niece wanted to attend Mass, and I went with her. Although there are two Catholic churches in the town we were visiting, she found this little monastery of Dominican Sisters — Monastery of the Infant Jesus in Lufkin, TX.

I first noticed the tabernacle and the sanctuary light. There were about 30 people in attendance, so the pews were almost full. To the right and out of our sight, the sisters sat. I would not have known they were there but for their angelic voices during the service.

I cried from the beginning to the end of the Mass – really from before the beginning and after the end. I wasn’t sobbing but tears were flowing, and I wasn’t even sure why except that I felt the Presence of Christ. I stood when everyone stood, I sat when everyone sat, I kneeled when everyone kneeled. And I cried.

I said to myself, ‘Touch me,’ over and over. I felt His Presence like never before. He repeated, ‘Touch ME.’

And I cried.

The sisters sang like angels. The priest’s voice sounded like God to me. I tried to hang on to every single word and action.

And I cried.

I did not want to leave that room.

When we returned to the car, I looked at my niece and that is when the sobs came. I wasn’t embarrassed, and she wasn’t embarrassed for me. When I somewhat gained control of myself, she said:

‘That is the Presence of Jesus.’

Then I sobbed some more.

To finish this story, I have been seeking holiness. I have only rarely felt holiness in any church, but I have been searching.

I told my niece that I think I was errantly looking for holiness in the physical beauty of a church, but I found it in this little, nondescript sanctuary hidden away amidst tall pine trees in a small town.

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“An unexpected and incredibly humbling thought”

Sarah Barnes

This year at the Easter Vigil, I received the Eucharist for the first time. I was overcome by the reality that my heart was united with the heart of God and not merely in a metaphorical sense, but in the truest sense there is. In a single moment, the 2,000-year span that separated me from the physical presence of my savior vanished. 
Like His disciples, family, and friends who had touched His hands, feet, and face, I had held Him and embraced Him. It was an overwhelming joy. 
But that feeling gave way to an unexpected and incredibly humbling thought: My joy was nothing in comparison to Christ’s joy in that moment. 
My desire to be united to Him was a faint echo of His deep desire to be united to me. It’s as though Christ was saying, as He did to His apostles, that He had been eagerly waiting and desiring to share this meal with me. I am grateful to encounter Him in the Eucharist, and I am in awe of the fact that through the Eucharist He desires to encounter me.

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“I truly Believe in what I saw that Sunday”

Anonymous

This really happened to me. I attend church at St. Priscilla’s in Livonia. I usually go to the 9 o’clock Mass. About six years ago when Fr. Theo was still the pastor, I attended Mass. I made it a habit when the host was raised for consecration to see if I could see the face of Jesus on the host. Fr. Theo used a large host that had imprints on it. I sat in the middle of the church’s main aisle, about six or seven pews from the altar. With the sunlight and the imprints on the host, it made shadows.

After the host was raised and I said, ‘My Lord and my God,’ I looked to my right in the church. There was a man who looked different. His hair was shoulder length but parted in individual strands, about a quarter of an inch to half an inch each, banded on the end with a brass or golden like clip or ring. He was dressed with a button-type shirt with the neck of the shirt being too large.

At first I thought he was another parishioner whom I didn’t know. He looked right at me and I got the message from him that said, ‘l died for you.’ From where I was sitting, he sat on the right side of the church, about 25 feet from me. But the pew he was sitting in, if you followed it to the wall of the church, the stations of the Cross are on that wall. The station that was at the end of his pew was Christ dying on the cross.

Yes, I believe Christ is truly present in the Holy Eucharist. I do not wish my name to be given out with this testimony. People will say I was hallucinating. But I truly believe in what I saw that Sunday.

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“There is something so tangible and visible about going to adoration”

Mary Pat McDougall

When I consider why I feel so blessed to have been born and raised a Catholic, I know that of all of the reasons, the most important one for me is the Eucharist. How amazing is it that Jesus not only wants to be present in our churches, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, but He wants to share Himself with each of us in a personal way in Holy Communion!?

Although I am aware of the Real Presence of Jesus whenever I am in church, there is something so tangible and visible about going to adoration specifically. It helps me be less distracted when I can look at the monstrance. Those occasions where we have had all night adoration and I have signed up for a middle of the night hour have been especially meaningful. There is something awesome about walking into the church in the middle of the night and knowing that Jesus has been waiting for a conversation with me and that He is always there waiting for any of us to come to be with Him.

Our church has frequent adoration and I have to ask myself why I so seldom take advantage of the opportunity. During this year of the I AM HERE campaign, I am committing to spend at least an hour in adoration each week. I believe it will make a real difference in my life.

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“Trabajando, orando y Jesús obrando”

Maria Lomeli

En 2020 cuando comenzó el Coronavirus, me sentía muy triste, deprimida y vacía. Había dejado de trabajar como muchos. Estuve enferma, el doctor me dijo que tenía el corazón grande, es una enfermedad genética que viene de mi familia. Me recomendaron que bajara de peso. Fui con una terapista, pero no me ayudó, aumentaba mi ansiedad y subía de peso. En ese tiempo comencé a escuchar platicas de sacerdotes en línea e hice una novena de oración y consagración a la Virgen Maria. Así conocí un grupo católico misionero y espiritual llamado Ruah. Esta forma de espiritualidad me llevó a la Adoración Eucarística en línea y misa diaria durante la pandemia. Comencé a querer ayunar, durante el ayuno, daba un poco de sacrifico por amor y crecí en mi fe. Esto incluía Eucaristía diariamente, misa o Adoración y devociones. El padre Jacob de la parroquia de St. Damián me había recomendado que fuera a Adoración Eucarística y practicara el ayuno, lo que me quitó toda la ansiedad y tristeza. Aprendí mucho de mí misma. Llevo mi vida normal, trabajando, orando y Jesús obrando. Sin así buscarlo bajé 60 libras, me considero mejor persona, más tranquila y sana. Trabajo en una escuela, me dejan ir a misa diaria, todo ha funcionado bien. Además, mis hijos adolescentes están rodeados de gente buena.

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“I was more patient, kind and much easier to work with”

Robert Smentowski

The Eucharist gives me daily strength to do whatever the Lord calls me to do that day. I am a very weak man without the Eucharist.

When I was in my forties, I worked directly across the street from Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church. During Lent each year, I would give up my lunch break at work to attend noon Mass and receive the Eucharist. After doing this for a few years, I began to notice the change in me after I would return to work and finish out the workday. I saw that I was more patient, kind, and much easier to work with. I did not argue with anyone but maintained a very peaceful attitude throughout the rest of my workday. After this realization, I have been doing everything that I can to attend daily Mass and receive the Lord, my strength.

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“There is great power and healing in the Eucharist”

Jacqueline Boyer

The Eucharist is strength and connection to our Lord in the most personal way possible. I can still remember my excitement and longing while preparing for my First Holy Communion, and I've been around for half a century or so. I felt a ‘freeing’ from being a spectator to truly a participant in the liturgy of the Mass. I grew up in a very traditional parish, and so we approached and knelt at the altar. The server held the salver while Father distributed the Precious Body. I believe this helped me recognize the reverence with which we should approach the Eucharist.

From the first time I ever received the Eucharist, I had no doubt that this was something special. As I aged and understood more, I never doubted the Real Presence.

Then, on a spur of the moment invitation to daily Mass, I entered St. Cuneguna with my friend to a sparsely-filled church. The priest had admitted that the evil one had tried to stand in the way of Mass happening. This is so true and God is so powerful.

It was at this Mass that God reaffirmed everything I believe about the Real Presence. During consecration, as Father held up the host, I saw a silhouette of Christ's profile in the host. I thought I was imagining it. I blinked and glanced at the people in the pews to see their reactions. When I looked back to the host the silhouette began to change, shifting to Our Lord on the crucifix, still in the silhouette, until Father lowered the host.

I shared this with my friend as we walked to the car. I asked if he had seen anything during the consecration. It was then that he pointed out to me that God granted me a vision. The feeling was and still is indescribable.

There is great power and healing in the Eucharist, if the receiver asks for it. I always thank Jesus for the overflowing love and mercy that He pours out through this most Blessed Sacrament.

The Eucharist is truly a wellspring of grace and mercy. It's the closest we can be to Christ outside Heaven. He, at that moment, is actually and physically dwelling within us!

I really need to go to adoration more often. There is calm and peace being in the presence of Christ. It's a time to glorify our Savior and thank Him for His great sacrifice of love and mercy for the world.

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“I asked Jesus how I could boost my hope, and decrease my anxiety”

Steve Hull

Recently, I went to my church to pray with Jesus in the tabernacle, feeling good about the Roe v. Wade decision, but anxious about all of the pro-abortion, sometimes violent propaganda I was seeing everywhere. So, I asked Jesus how I could boost my hope and decrease my anxiety. I started flipping through the Psalms, looking at the titles for one that might address these feelings. And there it was: Psalm 46, ‘God, the Protector of Zion.’ Those opening lines were just what I needed to boost my hope: ‘God is our refuge and our strength, an ever-present help in distress. Thus we do not fear, though earth be shaken and mountains quake to the depths of the sea, Though its waters rage and foam and mountains totter at its surging.’ God IS ever-present, but we have to know where to find Him, and then make the effort to go there, so that He can speak to us!

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“I did not have to look very far to find the hungry, thirsty, or imprisoned”

Dennis Lipski

I have always been struck by this line from Matthew 25:44: ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’
I have learned to see Jesus in many who are sick, or imprisoned. And I feed them, bringing them the Holy Eucharist or ‘our Daily Bread’.
I visit the homebound, those who can’t get to church due to age or physical limitations. The homebound live in personal homes, assisted living centers (nursing homes or convalescent homes), or correctional facilities. At some assisted living centers, we gather together in groups, have a Rosary service and a communion service. Sometimes I visit each person in their room, usually with a group for about an hour. 
I did not have to look very far to find the hungry, thirsty, or imprisoned. They are now my friends; the hungry now fed; the imprisoned may still be bodily imprisoned but are now free in mind and soul.
I bring communion to each person I visit, say a prayer together, and talk to them for a while, telling them about the readings from Mass. Then we talk about what is going on with them. They tell me about their children, grandchildren, or plans that they may have. It’s a highlight of my day when I knock on a door and see their faces, and they say ‘thank you, for coming today.’

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