A Catholic Convert in Ottawa

The Best Remedy

Posted on: March 23, 2015

At the Mass, our ritual meal, Jesus comes to us as spiritual food for our souls.

~ Life in Christ: A Catholic Catechism for Adults

When I was received into the Catholic Church at Easter 2012, I remember how happy I was to receive the Eucharist and fully participate in the Mass—and to know that I would be able to share in the body and blood of Christ at Mass from then on. No more standing to the side of the pew so that other parishioners could go up for Communion!

If we receive the Eucharist only at Easter, we’re doing the bare minimum to fulfil the third precept of the Church, as set out in s. 2042 of the Catechism:

The third precept (“You shall receive the sacrament of the Eucharist at least during the Easter season”) guarantees as a minimum the reception of the Lord’s Body and Blood in connection with the Paschal feasts, the origin and centre of the Christian liturgy.

If we look at receiving the Eucharist not as a duty but instead as a joy, we’ll understand these words of St. Ambrose (quoted in “Celebrate March 2015,” Catholic Digest, March 2015):

If, whenever Christ’s blood is shed, it is shed for the forgiveness of sins, I, who sin often, should receive it often. I need a frequent remedy.

How do we benefit by receiving the Eucharist? Sections 1391 to 1401 of the Catechism tell us:

  • We draw closer to Jesus.
  • We grow in the life of grace we received at baptism.
  • We’re cleansed and preserved from sins.
  • We’re united with the faithful, the Church, and we long for unity among Christians.
  • We’re committed to the poor.

Receiving Jesus in the Eucharist does wonders for us spiritually, and so the Church encourages us to receive the Eucharist “on Sundays and feast days, or more often still, even daily” (s. 1389 of the Catechism).

Soon Easter will be upon us. Many visitors will be drawn to attend Mass, perhaps for the only time this year. And, sadly, many of the children and youth receiving First Eucharist and Confirmation (and their families) may not return after receiving these sacraments. Not only do we want to welcome all of these individuals, we also want them to see that we take joy in coming to Mass and receiving Communion regularly.

May this prayer of St. Francis de Sales remind us of what the Eucharist means to us:

Divine Savior, we come to your sacred table to nourish ourselves, not with bread but with yourself, true Bread of eternal life. Help us daily to make a good and perfect meal of this divine food. Let us be continually refreshed by the perfume of your kindness and goodness. May the Holy Spirit fill us with his Love. Meanwhile, let us prepare a place for this holy food by emptying our hearts. Amen.

~ Quoted in The Confirmed Catholic’s Companion: A Guide to Abundant Living by Mary Kathleen Glavich, SND

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Food for Thought

(Y)ou do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that.” ~ James 4:14-15

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