“The Eucharist is the Sacrament of Love. It signifies Love. It produces love. The Eucharist is the consummation of the whole spiritual life.” St. Thomas Aquinas
When I started this blog I really wanted to write about how God has moved me along my journey, and to do so in a way that is relatable to the reader in their own journey. Lately, my posts have been a lot about me personally and so I hope they are not too boring and there is some fruit for you as you read how I have been discovering and discerning God’s movement within me and my journey.
Have you pondered your crosses, Jesus’ Cross, and the Eucharist and how all of these relate to your relationship with Jesus lately? I invite you to do take about 10 minutes or longer if you need to do this.
This was probably not my intention today but I’m not sure that my intentions are always aligned with God’s intentions. So, I want to share my day with you.
As I was on my morning walk reflecting, I was thinking about my journey, in particular the good that has prevailed in my journey. Looking down, as I often do when I’m in deep thought or conversing with God, I stumbled upon a cross on the pathway, which I usually do at some point in my walk. I smiled and something told me to look up. I did. The light rays from the sun were brightly shining towards me as I looked up – a bright blinding light. Of course the light didn’t blind me but it opened my eyes to truly look at all the moments God has shined His light upon me, to see the light that illuminated the cross.
This very same day, I went to the Adoration chapel at our church, which is only about 5 -10 minutes from work, depending on the traffic lights. After praying for a little bit, I started to read a little from the book “Irresistibly Drawn to the Eucharist.”
“The Eucharist makes man divine, it purifies him and makes him holy. He will always find everything he needs in the Eucharist, since it is the Nest of all that is holy, pure and divine. You, my daughter, have not been purified as much as I need you to be. You need me and you need to be made one substance with the Cross. you have to lose yourself in it, be one with it, so that you can be united with your Jesus. You see, my daughter the eucharistic rays are the ones that purify and unite the fastest, but they only go through souls that have been turned into the Cross.”
That last sentence sort of struck me and I thought just may be God is trying to tell me something and I should meditate a little on this before the Blessed Sacrament. I began by asking Jesus about this – what does this mean for me and my journey? Sometimes He needs a little time and I need to be patient…. but today I was like okay, I don’t have much of a lunch hour, you’re gonna have to move a little quicker in letting me know what You mean here.
I’ve read this book before, probably twice. And I’m sure both times I read this passage viewing the cross that Jesus picked up and carried and was crucified on. As I sat there, I started to recall my walk – the cross and the sun rays and thought to myself perhaps this is more personal to me this time. What if God is trying to dig deeper in my recent discovery in my heaviest cross. Maybe, God wants me to see that I can’t pray my cross away. I can’t expect to process and deal with it and it goes away. My cross is part of who I am. In my last blog I wrote that I am diving into a season of discovery. What if I told you that the very thing I was praying for in Adoration before reading these sentences in Irresistibly Drawn to the Eucharist was this search to discover myself. One of the things I have learned through spiritual direction and my journey is to pay attention to everything. Each encounter is a little piece of a puzzle or a directional marker on the map in the journey.
This last few weeks have brought great clarity to me. You see, my cross has uncovered strength, courage, love and joy. I began a search for purpose when I picked up this cross. What I found was a God who rescued me. I found a courage to leave a relationship that was unhealthy. I walked along a path that was trying at times but each trying moment God provided tools to strengthen me and push me forward. I found a community, a family that pours out love and joy into my life. I discovered that motherhood is a lifelong lesson of selfless love and bears great joy in the smallest of moments. Most of all I realized that God is always with me, carrying me when I need to be carried and providing me with everything that I need to bear my cross. Because of His immense love, I want to be united to Him.
It is through embracing this cross that I am united to Christ. It is important to point out that through my recent boulder flipping experience these past few weeks that this cross cannot be a burden as I carry it. It must only be a part of the journey, a part of my identity of who I am in Christ – not who I am in that cross. My cross is what has produced the fruits of my labor. And now the fruit is ripened and free to enjoy.
It’s the identity of my cross with the sacrifice of Christ in the Eucharist that I am united to Christ. As I continue to ponder what this statement means to me, I realize that as I absorb my own cross as part of me, embrace it for the fruits it has produced, I will receive the greatest reunion with Christ in the Eucharist. I must say I am looking forward to going to Mass, more than normal, to receive Jesus this week.
An added bonus – when I hopped in my car to drive back to work, the song on the radio was “Haven’t Seen it Yet,” by Danny Gokey. Listen carefully to the lyrics…. “Cause it’s only in His love that you’ll find a breakthrough.” I’ll close restating St Thomas Aquinas that the Eucharist is the “ultimate” Sacrament of Love.