People like you who have been transformed by an encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist
The Holy Eucharist is my Lord and my God. I wake up, and I go to daily Mass, and I work praying the Rosary, and I go to bed with adoration on the TV. God is everything and the reason for my existence.
The Holy Eucharist inspires me to live like Our Lord Jesus Christ, as He is the King of our lives, and His example in the Eucharist is a model for us all. He is God's heartbeat, always with us. May His peace be with us all.
I love God because He first loved us. In Holy Mass, we experience God's sacrifice and resurrection of His life, as He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. In Holy Communion, He gives Himself to us, and we give ourselves — body, mind, heart, and soul — to Him. As we go about our daily lives, He carries us, and we carry Him.
In adoration, God promises to be with us always, and we ask God to stay with us forever. He is Emmanuel, God With Us, Eternal God. God sanctifies us in adoration, and we can bring our many needs to Him.
No matter who we are or what we’ve done, God loves us, and He’s always chasing after us. I know God exists, and I know His love is true because I’ve spent time with Him in the Blessed Sacrament.
When I sit with Jesus in Adoration, I let down my guard. I open my heart to Him and willingly share all my desires, thoughts, feelings, and ideas with Him. Once I acknowledge where I am at the moment, I ask Him to speak to me, which means I must be still. Oftentimes, I hear nothing. But even when I don’t hear His voice, I still feel His love and peace flowing through me.
This is a love that God wants to give each of us. No matter who we are or what we’ve done. I can point to many times in my life when I’ve wandered away from the flock. The wandering was spurred by an idea that life is about my will – what I want is all that matters. But every time I moved away from God, I ended up finding myself stuck in mud, going nowhere. And yet, God loves us so much that he chases after us. Every time we wander away, the Good Shepherd runs toward us, sweeps us up in His arms, and holds us in such an intimate way that says, “You are Mine.”
The Eucharist reminds me of this unwavering communion where we remain with Jesus. Nothing can break this union, as He assures us in John 10, verses 11-15: “I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. A hired man, who is not a shepherd and whose sheep are not his own, sees a wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away, and the wolf catches and scatters them. This is because he works for pay and has no concern for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and I know mine and mine know me. Just as the Father knows me and I know the Father and I will lay down my life for the sheep.”
Jesus reveals Himself to us in the Eucharist as a sign of God’s supreme love.
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.
Judith Zezai Johnson
I get such happiness each time I receive the Eucharist. I cover my face and smile in thanksgiving as I consume the body of my Lord. My inner self fears nothing and is at peace.
I became attached to Mass at a very young age. My parents took me to Mass and catechism, and I was sent to a Catholic boarding school. I received the sacrament of reconciliation and first communion. The following year, I was confirmed.
Adoration is where I have my conversation of praise, my love and gratitude for being his most beloved daughter.
In my teens and twenties, I began to do long-distance running. It was not only in the physical sense but in the spiritual sense, as well. Despite my Catholic upbringing, I ran a long distance from my faith. I didn’t need God. I could do life on my own. But without God in my life, I had no guidance, no truth, no peace, no control. I was so very lost. So how did I respond? I fell apart. I went unhinged. I ran away from my problems and into the world's pleasures.
At age 26, by God’s grace, I found my kind and loving husband, Matt. We were married by a judge in September of 2006. Seven years later, due to life choices and my unexplainable infertility, I gave birth to boy/girl twins. God, in His hilarious sense of humor, knew that I needed double the impact to bring me back to Him. I would not be standing in this Church today if He hadn’t given us the priceless gift of children. They are my path to sainthood.
We had them baptized because it was all I knew to do, but in due time I felt compelled to fulfill my Catholic initiation and finally get confirmed. I only had to attend two classes before Confirmation, but we were encouraged to go to confession to achieve a state of grace before receiving the Holy Spirit.
I hadn’t been to confession in well over 25 years, and I had an awful recollection of how I had violated God’s commandments in ways that would be a breeding ground for a reality TV show. Complete terror fell over me. But I knew that my soul needed this.
The dreaded moment finally arrived a few days later. “Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned.” In one fleeting moment, these seven words uttered in that confessional changed my life forever. I instantly felt the presence of God. After unearthing my ugly sins that I had kept buried for far too long, I was overcome with the gentle touch of mercy that caressed my shoulder, wiped my tears away, and held my hand, which led me far away from that pit of shame I had been stewing in. I received restoration and I savored the radiance of God’s grace. I had not realized the weight of my sins until that moment. My transformation began.
A week later, I was sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit, and I became rabid for Jesus. I had a hunger to know Him more, to love Him more intensely, and I had a rich desire to please Him. Holiness and virtuosity appeared more and more attractive to me. It could not be just a phase. My attitude, manner, style, path, life, and entire being must be the way of Jesus Christ for eternity.
These inspirations necessitated convalidating our marriage in the Catholic Church. But our pastor advised that I abstain from receiving the Eucharist until the day because, technically, our marriage wasn’t valid in the eyes of God.
In the beginning of my abstinence, I didn’t fully understand the meaning of the Eucharist. So what did I do? I studied and read and studied some more about it. I wanted to need Him, to yearn for Him, and to desire Him with all my heart in the Blessed Sacrament.
Once I finally understood the true meaning of the Eucharist, that by God’s Almighty Power it is Jesus Christ, body, soul and divinity, really, truly and substantially in the appearance of bread and wine, I longed to receive him, so I could have Him in me, so close to my heart and soul, as one body, and ready to receive any little grace that he was willing to give me, but I couldn’t. Not for several months. Spiritual Communion had to suffice until then. Matt was going through RCIA at this point, but we could not have a full Mass for our convalidation ceremony because he wasn't baptized yet. I counted the days until then.
After what seemed like an eternity, our marriage was finally made sacred. (Matthew 19:6) We were “no longer two but one flesh; joined together by God, in which no human being could separate.” The next day my heart ran to Jesus on the altar. With my daughter in my arms, I received my Lord, and I felt his warmth and his love wrap around my heart just as my daughter was wrapped around me. This initiated attending daily Mass with my 2-year-old twins in tow. It was difficult to go with them, but I was determined to receive my Lord as often as possible. I deeply hungered for Him.
The flame of my faith went from a birthday candle to a bonfire within the next year. Matt finally became fully initiated into the Catholic Church. I sought guidance through spiritual direction and began attending Eucharistic Adoration to be near Jesus more. This transformed my prayer life. I had never felt such peace and interior silence as I did when I adored Christ exposed in the Blessed Sacrament. It soon became my weekly sustenance. In time, I was personally convicted of receiving Jesus on the tongue with childlike humility. Before long, I then felt compelled to assume the posture of kneeling. I did this to acknowledge that He is the King of my heart and of the Universe.
Several years later, despite past infertility issues, without any help from a medical doctor as before, the true Doctor, Jesus Christ, gave us the gift of another child, and it was solely due to the Eucharist. I spent countless hours in prayer and Adoration, imploring the intercession of Mother Mary, St. Joseph, and St. Anne to have another child. And I received the Eucharist as often as I could. God did the seemingly impossible and made it possible. A baby boy was born to us on Easter Sunday. We named him Joseph after our dear father, St. Joseph, who was as true to fulfilling my request as St. Teresa of Ávila said he would be. Saint Joseph has never let me down.
Since then, through spiritual reading and guidance, but mostly through my daily hour of prayer, I have grown into a deeper intimacy with Jesus, especially in the Eucharist. I can only describe my time with Him as an old farmer once said when asked by St. John Vianney what he did in the church, looking at the tabernacle, “I look at Jesus as He looks at me.”
Today, instead of running away from my problems, I run to Jesus. (A friend gave me a shirt that actually says that!) I run to receive Him at Mass in the Eucharist. I run to be with Him in silent Adoration. I take all of my worries and bring them to Him by placing them at His feet. Then He takes me and holds me in the warmth and strength of His arms, and all of my anxieties disappear. I am left with nothing but His love and His peace penetrating my heart. I then proclaim the words from the Song of Solomon: “Let Him kiss me with the kisses of His mouth… My Beloved is mine, and I am His.”
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.