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Ink Slingers Michelle Schroeder

The True Presence and Our Conviction

There’s been a lot of talk lately about many Catholics not believing in the True Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Certain I was fully convicted, I hadn’t given much thought to my own conviction, until we met with our confirmation class and the topic was the Mass. One of the other adults who was leading the discussion talked about what it means to wholeheartedly believe in the True Presence and he posed a question: Would you die for a consecrated Host? It’s one thing to ask if you’d be willing to die for Jesus but it’s an entirely different thing to ask whether you would give up your life for a little round, flat piece of bread that you believe is Jesus. The truth is, American Catholics probably don’t have to ponder that question often. That is not our reality. We are not attending Mass in secret or having to attend moving churches that change locations so anti-Catholic militia won’t find us. We don’t worry about being abducted walking from our car in the parking lot to the church door. We don’t risk our lives to receive communion. And as a result, it’s easy to say we believe. We haven’t been tested. That is not to say that I want to switch places with Catholics in parts of the world where there is a very real and very significant threat, today. At this very moment, there are people in other parts of our world who are risking their lives to consume that host. I am friends with one such person who lives in India and as a Catholic priest, he is in danger. I pray for him and I worry about him, but I would not want to be in his shoes. While I’m grateful to be able to freely live my life as a Catholic, I am also aware that I’ve never had to put my money where my mouth is when it comes to the Eucharist. I can go through life believing
that I am a believer, yet I never have to prove it. This is, most certainly, a true first world problem. So, let’s take it down a notch to try to evaluate our conviction.

Let’s put it in terms that may be more relevant to our experience by asking ourselves these questions:

  1. Am I always in a state of grace when I receive Holy Communion? Many of us perceive it as a walk of shame to go through the line and receive a blessing but no Jesus. The fear of embarrassment may actually cause us to sin again if we receive Jesus while having a mortal sin on our soul.
  2. Every time I consume the host, am I free from all distraction and I completely focused on receiving Christ? We may be wrangling kids in the line or simply allowing our minds to wander as we stroll up the aisle.
  3. If I saw someone in line slip the consecrated host in their pocket, what would I do? It’s not just the job of the ushers to prevent sacrilege but it would take courage of conviction to actually stop someone and ask them to consume the host or return it to the priest. We would
    possibly second guess ourselves either because we were unsure if we really saw them pocket it or out of fear of causing a scene. As I consider my own answers to these questions (#2 got me), I realize I have to grow in my conviction.

Fortunately for me, and maybe you, the way to do that is to simply ask God to help you. “Lord, I believe, help me to believe more,” is a simple, effective prayer that shows God our humility and desire to deepen our faith. May we all grow in love for the True Presence that we so freely receive at every Mass!

Categories
Confirmation Ink Slingers Karen Liturgical Year

April: Dedication to the Holy Spirit and the Holy Eucharist

Last month, we learned about the March devotion to St Joseph. This month we look to April’s dedication: The Holy Spirit and the Holy Eucharist.

The Holy Spirit and the Holy Eucharist are both at the heart of what being Catholic is all about. We believe in the Holy Spirit and the transformation of bread into the Body of Christ.

APRILThere are many symbols used to represent the Holy Spirit, but the two most notable are fire and the dove. Fire is cleansing. Where there is fire, something imperfect is destroyed and something new arises. It indicates an intense and powerful energy capable of transforming the soul. The dove on the other hand, is used repeatedly to signal the touch of the invisible omnipresent God to the visible and limited world. Both fire and dove are powerful symbols. The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity. He bestows upon us sanctifying graces such as wisdom, understanding, knowledge, counsel, fortitude, piety and fear of the Lord. And the Holy Spirit bestows charismatic gifts, both ordinary and extraordinary, to individuals as well—most notably when the Holy Spirit descended on Pentecost and the disciples of Christ began speaking in tongues.

The other dedication this month is to the Holy Eucharist. Through the transformation of bread and wine, we receive the body and blood of Christ. What a marvel to receive Jesus in this way! The Holy Eucharist is the powerful gift of Jesus before His death, made of unleavened wheat to grant us Jesus in our body, and a reminder of His sacrifice, as well as His presence to worship. No other gift compares!

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Please join me in praying this prayer to the Holy Spirit from EWTN:

Come, Holy Spirit

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful and enkindle in them the fire of Thy love.25943972254_f2b467d469

  1. Send forth Thy Spirit and they shall be created.
  2. And Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.

Let us pray.

O God, Who didst instruct the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit, grant us in the same Spirit to be truly wise, and ever to rejoice in His consolation. Through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

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Craft

For two wonderful crafts to do with your children about the Holy Spirit and the Holy Eucharist, click the links below.

Holy Eucharist craft

Holy Spirit craft

Next month: May is the month of Our Lady!