A Meditation for Corpus Christi

June 9, 1996
Brother John Raymond

	June is a month traditionally dedicated to the Sacred Heart of
 Jesus. It is not surprising that the Feast of Corpus Christi should
 fall within this month__the Holy Eucharist is the Sacrament of Love,
 the love of the Heart of Jesus. Our Lord asked for this feast
 because on Holy Thursday, the institution day of this sacrament, the
 Church is caught up in thoughts of the Passion. By having a separate
 feastday, Our Lord wanted us to focus on this great Sacrament.
	For cradle Catholics it is possible perhaps to take for granted
 the gift of the Holy Eucharist. Non-Catholics and non-cradle
 Catholics both can offer us food for thought. So for this Corpus
 Christi I wish to share with you some "live" conversations I have
 taken off the Internet for your prayerful reflection.
	Ken, a non-Catholic, said this, "As a Protestant, I've received
 communion many many times in my life. I've even served it in my
 childhood Methodist church. But I have NEVER felt anything
 so powerful as receiving the Holy Eucharist in the chapel at Seton
 Hall university. A small chapel, but the power is there! I don't
 know what it is, there's got to be a name for it, or perhaps you've
 all been saying it all along... but during the Eucharist, and the
 kneeling afterwards, I find I leave the chapel with an amazing
 peace, a happiness, a sense of being part of something vastly
 greater than myself and my immediate surroundings. And the feeling
 lasts all day (and it's NOT the wine either! Before
 receiving communion in the Catholic Church, I assumed the Holy
 Eucharist was so powerful because everybody was drunk! How naive of
	Bonnie, a Catholic, answered Ken with the following, "The reason
 to join the Catholic Church is Jesus himself. He is really, truly
 present in the Holy Eucharist! At every Mass, you can receive HIM,
 Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity! You can 'church hop' all you want,
 but the buck stops here!"
	Elizabeth, in response to Bonnie had this to say, "You responded
 to Ken's comments on reception of the Eucharist. I did not see his
 letter, but wanted you to know how much I appreciated your comments.
 I have been a Catholic for almost 14 years (born and raised Jewish)
 and have fallen head over heals in love with Our Lord and Messiah. I
 know of no other experience in life that is so profoundly humbling
 and miraculously awesome as coming before the Lord and receiving Him
 in the Eucharist."
	Terry had this to say to Ken, "Your letter brought back so many
 memories! After my conversion experience (which happened during the
 first Mass I attended), I visited many churches in an effort to
 bargain with God ('OK, I'll be a CHRISTIAN, but do I have
 to be a CATHOLIC?') Like you, I received Commmunion at
 that first Mass, and was flooded with joy, peace, and, most of all,
 a Real Presence I knew could only be Christ. I knew
 NOTHING at all of Catholic theology at that point; it
 wasn't that I "believed" in the Real Presence__I FELT
 it...One day, when the roads were icy, I stopped in at the Cathedral
 for the 12:10 Mass. There were perhaps a dozen people in the vast
 nave, mostly elderly. I didn't know how to follow the Mass, so I
 just stayed in a corner and knelt all the way through it. The priest
 was not particularly inspiring__he rushed through the liturgy in a
 monotone. The church (at that time) was hideous__gloomy and in poor
 condition, with ugly green carpet and a loudly clanking furnace. Yet
 HE was there! (I did not receive on that day. I had been reading
 books and had learned it was not allowed.) I called the only
 Catholic I knew and got the name of a priest. He was the chaplain at
 a small university chapel. We met a few times and I began going to
 daily Mass. I had read so much by this time that he soon said I had
 a sufficient grasp of Catholic doctrine to make a decision as to
 whether to enter the Church. I did__almost 16 years ago. I know a
 couple of people have reminded you that it is not licit for
 non-Catholics to receive Communion. That's true. I also know what it
 felt like for you when you did. Ken, with faith like yours in the
 Blessed Sacrament, you will never feel satisfied in any other
 Church. Ask to be received and soon! You'll be in my prayers."
	With these reflections let us spend this Corpus Christi in
 adoration of, gratitude for and prayerful meditation concerning the
 Holy Eucharist. Oh, by the way, you non-cradle Catholics can too!