The following are some real conversation by people on a mailing list I belonged to that you might find interesting.
From: Ken Subject: Real Presence 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 me! Ken
From: Bonnie Subject: Real Presence Dear Ken, My thought is: Read _Eucharistic Miracles_, by Joan Carroll Cruz (published by TAN Books and Publishing 1-800-437-5876) 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! God Bless in your search, Bonnie From: Fred Subject: Real Presence
Dear Elizibeth, At 07:39 PM 01/12/1996 CST, 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 a Jew) 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. Your quote from I Cor was particularly meaningful: > St. Paul had this to say, "Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or >drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty >of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a man examine >himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For any one >who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks >judgement upon himself." (I COR. 11:27-29) Thank you for sharing your love of Christ. Fred From: Terrye Subject: Real Presence Dear Ken, Your post 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. During the month or two when I went to other churches, I received communion. I remember crying once afterward, because I didn't feel that Presence, and I was afraid it had been a one-time phenomenon. Then 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! Once again, I wept in joy and recognition. (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. Terrye
by Brother John Raymond
The center of our Catholic Faith is the Holy Eucharist. This should not be surprising since Jesus is Truly Present in the Holy Eucharist. Yet many Catholics do not take advantage of this great Gift of Jesus giving Himself to us under the appearance of bread.
All of us experience suffering, hardships, conflicts and even our own limitations. We all wish for happiness. We wish for someone to love us and help us. We like to be independent but in reality find we are very dependent. This is the human condition. There is no person who can solve all our problems. There is no person or object that can satisfy all our desires. Why? Because we have been made for God. St. Augustine said, "Our hearts are restless until they rest in God." Jesus gave an open invitation to everyone - "Come to Me all you who are weary and find life burdensome and I will give you rest." Jesus may not take AWAY all our problems but He will give us one thing more important - PEACE. He Himself promises a peace that the world cannot give. If we make the Holy Eucharist the center of our life we will have this peace.
Let me relate the following true story of a non-Catholic who learned this lesson. Elsie Briggs entered the Mission Church in Roxbury, Mass. for one reason only - to rest. She relates what happened next, "How long I sat there, I don't know, but I suddenly became aware of something living. There was an actual presence all around that seemed to emanate from the altar. It was pleasing and restful to feel. And without half-realizing what I was doing I moved up front until I was sitting in the first pew.
"The weariness and strain all fell away and a great sense of peace and love came over me, combined with an intense desire to sleep . . . "And right here and now I want to explain that at that time I knew absolutely nothing about Catholic teachings. No one had ever told me of the Host or the ever-present living God on the altar." This experience was the reason for her later becoming a Catholic.
Elsie Briggs' experience should be a lesson to us. How important it is to develop the habit of making visits to Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament. How consoling it is to drop into a church and spend some quiet moments with Jesus. Maybe on our lunch break or on our way home from work we pass by a church. We can stop for a few minutes or even longer if we have time. Even if the church is locked we can park the car in the parking lot and from there visit with Him! We can tell Him all about our day or sit quietly and rest in His Presence. In time this practice will bring tremendous peace into our hearts. So much so that people will begin to notice and ask "What has happened to you?"
Someone who was thinking of suicide was told by a friend of mine to start spending some time before the tabernacle. The result was new strength and happiness in his life. A woman who visits our monastery chapel is a biology professor. She was diagnosed as having cancer and scheduled for radiation treatment. She went before the tabernacle and told Jesus "You be my radiation treatment." She was completely cured. Another friend loved to go every day to sit near the tabernacle and read Sacred Scripture.
I have seen very old and very young spend time with Jesus. One day a boy, a fifth-grader, came into the chapel bringing two of his friends. The boys knelt before the tabernacle and one of them burst into tears. I do not know exactly what happened to him but it must have been good. The next I saw of him was at daily Mass bringing both his parents with him.
Once when I was with a small Rosary group that prayed before the tabernacle a woman joined our group. Afterward she told us that she was a Protestant. While she was driving by the church she felt drawn to stop in and pray. Another non-Catholic, whose wife is Catholic, was a policeman assigned to homicides. He told me that after investigating some terrible cases he would be very disturbed. He would go and just sit on the steps of a Catholic church and he would feel consolation fill his soul. Once when I was riding in a plane the steward asked me if I had a few moments to talk. I said, "Sure." He told me that he used to be a non-Catholic. He had heard about the beautiful architecture of a Catholic church in the area. Just out of curiosity he entered the church. This particular church had Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration. He said that upon entering the church he felt literally pushed toward the confessional. He told the priest that he wasn't a Catholic and did not even know why he was there. The priest explained why he was there and he became a Catholic. Now he makes a Holy Hour once a week and he told me "Jesus is instructing me in the Faith during my hour."
How can we not spend some time with Jesus after listening to these true stories? Jesus is so consoled by our visits. He is there waiting with His arms open for you and me. Let's not spend our lives wasting much time and regretting that we never found the "Pearl of Great Price!"
Jesus Smiles When We Visit Him
Letter to the Editor (Catholic Twin Circle) by Joseph Prachar, Lady Lake, Florida:
The following profound event took place at our Ascension of the Lord Catholic Church in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois, three years ago.
This church was windowless, air-conditioned and usually very dark when I went there for one hour every morning to pray to Jesus before his tabernacle.
I would pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy in the dark before His tabernacle. This contemplative prayer time took place just before Holy Mass at noon. I was usually the only person there, all alone with him.
This particular morning, I was praying the third decade of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. Slowly, a two-foot high cross appeared upon the vertical limestone facing of the altar beneath the tabernacle, with a soft, gold light shining all around the edge of this cross.
I continued praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and asked myself, "I wonder what this is all about?"
Just as I said that the lighted cross slowly faded away. Almost immediately, the Holy Face of Jesus appeared slowly, half-smiling, looking directly at me, while I continued praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.
Jesus continued smiling while I prayed, and we simply looked at each other for a minute or so. Then I heard Jesus say in my heart, "I am happy to see you." About a minute later he slowly faded away, still smiling.
I wasn't at all alarmed or surprised at this encounter with Jesus at his tabernacle. Even before I made my first Holy Communion, I always knew he was always present there. However, I was surprised at the way and manner Our Lord appeared. First, the lighted cross, then His smiling Holy Face and then His message in my heart.
Our Lord, Savior and very dear friend is always very happy to see everyone who comes to pray before his tabernacle. You always make Him smile whenever you come to Him and pray. In His kind, gracious, merciful way He answers all of our prayers, in His own way and in His own time.
So, please, dear friends, come to His tabernacle wherever you are, spend one hour with Him and enjoy his divine presence.
From Skeptic to Believer
Brennan struggled for many of his teen years with the concept of the Holy Eucharist. To him it didn't seem logical that Christ could be present in a piece of bread some 2,000 years after His death and resurrection.
One day Brennan reluctantly agreed to attend a Eucharistic Adoration service in Steubenville, Ohio to get some answers to his doubts. He relates the following: "As I was kneeling there in front of the Blessed Sacrament, I became very angry. I started swearing and cussing and I finally just said, 'If You are what You say You are, show Yourself.'" At the moment Brennan uttered these words, he felt his life change. Christ suddenly became very present to him. Since then he has had great enthusiasm for the Holy Eucharist!
From Our Web Site
I thank you with all my heart. I wanted to share something with you. Last night I stayed up reading many of your helpful articles. For a long while I had a head belief in the Real Presence but longed for that heart understanding. (as a lifelong Protestant this was a tough one for me). I went to Adoration on Holy Thursday and experienced a glimmer of that which made me hunger for more. I started asking certain saints to intercede for me in this matter.
Well what happened is that I have recently received a great (not great enough!) belief in the Real Presence and a passionate desire to go to Adoration, only to discover that very, very few times do churches in my area do such a thing. HELP! This caused me actual grief, which is pretty amazing, considering my former unemotional response to the whole idea.
I would be happy just to sit in a church knowing the Lord is there but our local church is locked during the day. It broke my heart when you wrote about our Lord being alone in churches all day as I had never thought of it that way before. I owe you a great debt of thanks for bringing me into this better understanding. I don't know what one new convert can do to get Adoration started in the parish but I am going to write to both of those addresses. By the way I am a lawyer.
God bless you in your wonderful work!!!!
I came across your site while surfing the Net awhile ago and have been drawn back to it several times, so I thought I had better write and say hello.
I am a recently (very recently) returned lapsed Catholic, 50 years old and a recovering alcoholic of nearly 19 years sobriety in AA. I have spent most of the past 25 years in varying states of confusion about the Church and religion. I vacillated between attending Mass and Communion on my own terms and not paying attention to religion or searching for answers in other traditions such as Taoism and Hinduism and even ancient Celtic beliefs. I have gone for very long periods of time without receiving the Sacrament of Penance. Now here's the interesting part: On a deeply interior level, behind all the intellectual confusion and other moral problems, the one thing that always endured was an irrational or supra rational conviction of the Real Presence of the Lord in the Eucharist. Picture this: I was going to bad places and involved in sinful activities yet there goes Bill past a Catholic church and almost involuntarily mentally saluting the Lord in the Tabernacle.
God has blessed me very greatly over the past 8-9 months. I have made a good confession and God has not only preserved me from sin but has given me enormous consolation and delight. This is all God's doing--even going to confession was a totally unplanned spur of the moment impulse as I was going past St. Patrick's Cathedral (near where I work). I have been having such joy in saying the Rosary in the presence of the Holy Eucharist although way back when I was in a Catholic high school I never liked the Rosary.
When I found you had established an Order of Adoration of the Lord in the Holy Eucharist, I felt I must share my story of the Eucharist's transformation of my life. I unite myself to you in adoring Him. I pray to Our Lady that through you her divine Son, our Lord and Brother, may be glorified in the Most Holy Sacrament in these days when perhaps this great Sacrament is not so honored or even known.
God prosper your work!
I have been studying the articles and prayers in your prayer section for several months and yesterday, burdened and weeping as I read one of the articles, I prayed for Jesus and Mary to please take the burden of my griefs from me so that I might find a way to be a better contributor to life's grand, creative dance - and as I continued to read I noticed the heavy weight on my chest was gone, that when I thought of the past pains I had been carrying, the pain was gone - IT IS GONE!!!! I have been looking around for the pain today, and can't find the focus to dwell on my own problems. Instead I have been filled with the song of the Our Father and the Hail Mary and the prayer of the littlest way - Jesus, Mary, I love you, save souls!! My grief and pain has been washed away by my Lord and his most blessed Mother. My Episcopalian upbringing has run it's course, and the holy Catholic church is calling me to convert.
I long for the Blessed Sacrament. This may not seem like much to you - no miracle cure in the medical sense - but certainly potent medicine for a heart that has ached for over thirty-five years for a cure to the pains of living. Mary brought me her beloved Son and I have been freed. Roll away the stone, for I have been saved by He who has triumphed. My heart has melted with tears of joy for His pain and sacrifice.
Rose Ann writes:
I've been meaning to send you the following for some time. I hope it will serve as a testimony to the Real Presence and the Holy Spirit at work.
A brain tumour was detected in our son, Carlos, almost 7 years ago. Unfortunately, it was discovered too late and we had 2 weeks preparation for his departure. He underwent 2 surgeries and during his stay in hospital, he showed a real strengthening of spirit. The surgeon had told us his life was at risk and ,as parents, we signed the necessary documents. On the afternoon, prior to his major operation, Carlos and I had occasion to visit the chapel where Mass was being said. I took the opportunity to go to Communion and when Mass ended, one of the Sisters came up to Carlos and asked him if he would like to receive Holy Communion. He was, of course, delighted with the idea so we went down to the first pew when everyone had left. Having received Communion, we both sat arm and arm in a peaceful silence. Suddenly, he started talking 'differently' and I instinctly felt the dear Lord was giving me a 'goodbye' message as a mother. Carlos began very slowly and distinctly,
"God has been very good to me since I've been in hospital. (Pause) I'm very HAPPY. You know, Mum, I've been going to Mass out of obligation but not now, NOT NOW! (Pause) I'm very HAPPY. God brought me my uncle from Canada and gave me Adriana." ( a young friend).
We fell into a peaceful silence again while I tried to compose myself, then we left and he continued to talk 'normally' as if nothing had happened.
During the night he suddenly said to his Dad, in a "different' tone of voice, "Dad, let's say the Our Father." when they had finished, he picked up a booklet of psalms at his bedside and said, "I'm going to read Psalm 26 "The Lord is my light and my help etc.,"
The following morning, Carlos had his operation and, according to the surgeon, the tumour had been an ugly one indeed and all that could be done was chemotherapy for the secondaries, I saw him in the ICU, sleeping peacefully for about 2 minutes then we had to leave as we're not allowed to stay in Brazil. I was getting desparate so when we went home I locked myself in my room and started praying to Our Mother of Sorrows. I asked her to stay at his side for me in the ICU, knowing as a Mother she had gone through tremendous suffering and would attend to my request. I also turned to the Father and thanked Him for giving us Carlos and pleaded with Him, if it were His Will, to relieve Carlos of his suffering. The next morning (1st.Saturday of the month) we were called to the hospital at 8.30am. The surgeon came out of the ICU with tears in his eyes and said, "I'm so sorry, he's just passed away. I can't understand it. I was changing his dressing and Carlos was talking and smiling when he just slipped away. we did all we could to revive him but it was useless."
I started consoling the surgeon. Why? I knew deep down, our dear Mother went to get him and in my heart of hearts, I was with Carlos before the Blessed Sacrament listening to his words, "I'M VERY HAPPY." The wonderful gift God gave to me as a mother, and Psalm 26 for his Dad. These were our parting gifts in preparation to say goodbye, " Until we meet again!" Blessed be God! Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament and Blessed be His Mother of Sorrows!
My wife and I are Christians in the Assembly of God Church
here in Idaho. However, some friends of ours who are Catholic have been witnessing to us
over the years. I have read and listened to many of the materials that were given to me.
My wife has totally refused on the grounds that Catholics are not Christian. I have
come to believe in the Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist as the real presence of
Jesus...Please pray that my wife would be tender to the Holy Spirit
and would be open to what the Catholic Church has to say...I want with all my heart that my family would be united in faith and would come to know the fullness of the truth.
I am Catholic by birth and upbringing... and as an adult -Catholic in name only. It has been over 11 years since I attended and participated in the Catholic Mass. I am writing to share an "experience" with you that occurred approximately 11 years ago while attending mass at a small church in Tempe, AZ. At what I believe was the moment of intrinsic transubstantiation during the consecration, i saw to my surprise above the altar, a fleshy human heart pulsing rhythmically. as I peered at the image, I noticed that contained within this fleshy human heart was the image of our planet... slowly spinning on its axis. the "vision" lasted a few brief seconds of time but has remained to haunt me. Did the experience motivate me to become a "better" Catholic? Obviously not. Quite frankly, I dismissed it as fantasy and moved on with the drudgery of daily life. And weeks or months later I stopped attending mass. DRC
Note: David's e-mail is included as an example of a non-practicing Catholic's witness to the Real Presence.
Hello, I'm with The Monks of Adoration, 2241 Englewood Road, Englewood FL 34223 and I would like to be taken off your newsletter mailing list. I did happen to notice in your Volume 4, Issue 4 an blatant attack on the Catholic belief in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. If you really are "biblically" based in your beliefs you will notice that whenever Our Lord was speaking symbolically and the apostles took it literally He corrected them. For example, when Lazarus was dead Our Lord referred to him as "sleeping" and the apostles took that to mean Lazarus must be okay now. But the Lord corrected them and so no, Lazarus was dead. And there are many more such examples that I could refer to.
Now we come to John chapter 6, verses 35 to 69. Jesus refers to eating His flesh and drinking His blood. Now we are told that many of His disciples turned away from Him at that time. Now Jesus turns to the apostles and instead of rephrasing what He said about eating His flesh and drinking His blood or saying He was speaking symbolically He continues with the literal understanding and challenges them by asking them if they were going to leave Him also. This is totally uncharacteristic of Jesus with His apostles when it came to something they misunderstood. So He did mean it literally and we have the doctrine of the Church on the Holy Eucharist as the whole Christ, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity.
Now we come to St. Paul in 1 Corinthians chapter 12, verses 17 to 33. Paul refers to the early Christians coming together for the "Lord's supper." (verse 20) Now if this was an ordinary meal why would verse 27and 28 be so strong about examining oneself before partaking of it less one be guilty of profaning the "body and blood of the Lord?" Further, in verse 33 he tells these early Christians that "if any one is hungry, let him eat at home - lest you come together to be condemned." Interesting that one would have a meal get together and then tell people to make sure they had eaten beforehand? Does this not tell us that the meal they were partaking in was not an ordinary meal. And why be so stern in verse 29 about "discerning the body" before eating and drinking less one bring judgement upon oneself? Strong words for an ordinary meal don't you think? And a little un-Christian of St. Paul if it wasn't don't you think to speak like this?
Now we come to St. Justin Martyr defending Christianity against the Roman pagans. He wrote letters of defense of Christianity of which we still have in our possession from somewhere between the years 148 to 155 AD. In his first letter called his "First Apology" meaning defense he states and I quote:
"We call this food Eucharist; and no one else is permitted
to partake of it; except one who believes our teaching to be true and who has been washed
in the washing which is for the remission of sins and for regeneration, and is thereby
living as Christ has enjoined. For not as common bread nor common drink do we receive
these; but since Jesus Christ our Savior was made incarnate by the word of God and had
both flesh and blood for our salvation, so too, as we have been taught, the food which has
been made into the Eucharist by the Eucharistic prayer set down by Him, and by the change
which our blood and flesh is nourished, is both the flesh and the blood of that incarnated
"The Apostles, in the Memoirs which they produced, which are called Gospels, have thus passed on that which was enjoined upon them: that Jesus took bread and, having given thanks, said, 'Do this in remembrance of Me; this is My Body.' And in like manner, taking the cup, and having given thanks, He said, 'This is My Blood.' And He imparted this to them only. (The Faith of the Early Fathers, Volume 1, The Liturgical Press, p. 55)
Now if all this isn't enough for you go look at our web site at http://www.monksofadoration.org and read the testimonies of non-Catholics who without knowing the Church's teaching have experienced Jesus' presence in the Holy Eucharist. You can also see video tapes of miracles of the Eucharist in our time for those like you who are a "doubting Thomas."
Please come to the realization of the truth we Catholics enjoy of the living and real Presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. Don't be like His many disciples who turned their backs on Him because this was a "hard saying."