Liturgy of the Eucharist

The Liturgy Of The Eucharist: Real Presence Of Christ

The Catholic Church teaches that the Eucharist is “the Source and summit of the Christian life.” (Lumen Gentium) All that we do, both at Mass and in our daily lives, should be directed toward the Eucharist.

Why does the Church take the Eucharist so seriously? Because Christ did. In the Gospel of John, chapter 6, Jesus clearly tells his disciples, “I am the Bread of Life.” In addition, He told them that all must eat His Body in order to have eternal life.

Many of the disciples said to each other, “This is too hard. We can’t accept this.” And they left. They left Jesus, the one who had  walked on water, who had cured the sick, made the lame walk. They believed He was the Messiah … but the idea of Him being the Bread of Life made them walk away.

Jesus did not call them back. He did not stop them and tell them, “No, you misunderstood me. Here’s what I really meant to say…” He allowed them to leave. If they could not handle this hard truth, they could not be His disciples.

Catholics believe that, at every Mass, the bread and wine we bring to the altar is changed: to the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ. We call this “transubstantiation,” because the very substance of the matter (bread and wine) undergoes a change. While the appearance of bread and wine remain, the very substance is changed into the Body and Blood of Christ.

Why do we believe this? Because Jesus told us it was true. Why do we do this? Because Jesus told us to. When we receive the Eucharist, we are as close to Jesus as we will be in Heaven. We feast on this Bread from Heaven that is our Savior. Because of this gift, we grow in holiness, in grace, in faith. Receive your Savior worthily, for the King of Heaven and Earth is now yours.


3 Ways To Declutter Your Soul

Many of us go through the ritual of spring cleaning. We toss garbage, drop off clothes we no longer wear at Goodwill, sweep out the garage and take the trash to the curb. We polish and shine, mop and scrub.

We sort through books, and decide which we can part with. We may decide we don’t need so many knick-knacks, that our kids have outgrown certain toys. We know we don’t need seven soup ladles. (How did we get seven soup ladles??)

And after a hard weekend of work, we look around our tidy, decluttered, shiny home and sigh. We are satisfied.

We need to do the same with our souls, with our interior life. Just as we slowly accumulated stuff in our homes without even realizing it, we often do the same with our souls. Old concerns drag us down. A busted relationship is still a source of pain. Maybe we carry wounds from our childhood that we’ve never really dealt with. Instead of carrying our cross, we are carrying around all the things that clutter our soul.

Here are three ways to declutter. Just so you know, it’s a lot of work, just like spring cleaning!

  1. Go to confession. Before you go, make a sincere Examination of Conscience. What is dragging you down? What resentments have you allowed to ferment and linger? If a relationship in your life is strained or damaged, do you bear any responsibility? Have you committed a grave, mortal sin? As painful and difficult such a confession will be, God’s grace is always more!
  2. Sometimes, we just can’t figure out what needs to be done. We are stuck: spiritually, emotionally, psychologically. When we’ve been dealing with a problem and it just never seems to get better, it might be time to talk to a professional. Many people shy away from psychological help – they think they don’t need it, or it makes them seem weak. However, a psychologist’s job is really to help us find new ways to deal with old issues. There are places to find good Catholic and Christian psychologists. However, if you can’t find one, at least make sure the person you are working with respects your faith.
  3. Our clutter may not be psychological; it’s spiritual. Maybe you’re really longing to enter into a deeper relationship with God, but you aren’t sure how. Perhaps you want to find new spiritual paths. Sometimes we want to lead a holier, more spiritually mature life but we just aren’t sure how to get there. A spiritual director can be the key. Many priests offer this type of work. However, there are also religious (think religious sisters or brothers) and lay people who are spiritual directors. The one sure way to know if a spiritual director is good is if they themselves are leading a holy life. A good spiritual director will not be there to make you feel good about yourself, but will challenge you to make that move to a holier way of living.

Do you need a bit of “soul spring cleaning?” Perhaps it is time to clear the cobwebs, go to confession, and make the move to some spiritual decluttering.