By Heather; Faith Co-Director
Hello everyone! Today, I want to share with you another reason as to why I love being Catholic! I have two words for you. The Eucharist! Oh, the Eucharist! It makes my heart sing with gratitude! It uplifts my soul and refreshes me! Since I have experienced it, I can not imagine going through life without it.
If you are wondering what the Eucharist is, then wait no more! It is the Body and Blood of Christ, given to us during Holy Communion, under the appearance of bread. During the Liturgy of the Eucharist, the priest says a Eucharistic Prayer in which he consecrates the bread and wine that were offered as gifts. Through Transubstantiation, the bread and wine amazingly become the real life Body and Blood of Christ. The Body and Blood of Christ are still under the appearance of bread and wine but the substance of the bread and wine has changed.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church, Paragraph 1323 states: "At the Last Supper, on the night he was betrayed, our Savior instituted the Eucharistic sacrifice of his Body and Blood. This he did in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the cross throughout the ages until he should come again, and so to entrust to his beloved Spouse, the Church, a memorial of his death and resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a Paschal banquet 'in which Christ is consumed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us.'’
If you have ever had doubts as to the validity of the Eucharist, then be encouraged by this miracle that I am about to tell you. This miracle happened in the city of Lanciano, Italy during the 8th century. It involves a priest who was having doubts about the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. After he said the Consecration prayer, the bread was turned into live Flesh and the wine turned into 5 pellets of live coagulated Blood. Needless to say, everybody was amazed! We will now fast forward to 1970-1971 and 1981. Scientific tests were performed and the results will blow your mind! The Flesh was found to be human and consisting of muscular tissue from the heart wall! The Flesh and Blood were both found to be of the same blood type - AB! The Blood consisted of proteins and minerals of fresh normal blood! Notice how I said fresh! This miracle happened more than 1200 years ago and the Blood is still fresh even though it is coagulated!
If you are interested in witnessing this miracle for yourself, then get ready, because you can! Stop by the Sanctuary of the Eucharistic Miracle in Lanciano, Italy! If you go, prepare to be in awe! The ways that God reveals Himself to us are truly amazing! You can read about this miracle, and plenty more, in the book Eucharistic Miracles by Joan Carroll Cruz.
As I conclude, I want you to meditate on this! When Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, they lost the gift of sanctifying grace - God’s life inside of us. As a result, we are all born without it. Because God is so merciful and full of love, He gives it back to us through the Sacrament of Baptism! God’s love for us is so intimate that He generously gives us His whole being, Body and Blood, in the Eucharist! The Eucharist also bestows on us the gift of sanctifying grace and strengthens us in times of trouble! The Eucharist brings us closer to God and gradually transforms us into who we were originally meant to be!
Melissa is Co-Director for CHE. She is the mom to six children (one in Heaven). She has been homeschooling for eight years and is beginning her third year at CHE. Melissa has been Catholic all her life and attended Catholic schools. Before marrying her husband and starting their family, she was the Business Manager and Compliance Director for a charter school management company.