The Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian Life. Jesus is the Savior Who feeds us with His own Body and Blood. We receive in Holy Communion the very Substance of the Risen Lord, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. Our life itself flows from this Gift. Our Catholic Faith has always held this and to be true to our Faith we must not only believe it theoretically, but we must put it into practice. We are not only meant to have a Faith that is orthodox (“right believing”), but also have a Faith that involves “orthopraxy” (“right practice”).
Eucharist is Jesus Himself. What was bread, fruit of the earth and work of human hands, is no longer bread, but the Bread of Life, the very Body of Christ, our Spiritual Food. What was wine, fruit of the vine and work of human hands, is no longer wine, but the very Blood of Christ, the Chalice of Eternal Salvation, our Spiritual Drink. It is not a mere symbol. It is the Symbol and the Reality at the same time. The Substance of the Incarnate Word is given to us as Food and Drink for our Salvation.
How do we show our Faith in the Eucharist?
We worship Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. We kneel before Him. When we come into the church, we genuflect – bend the knee – to acknowledge Who He IS.
We prepare for reception of Holy Communion. We confess serious sins in the Sacrament of Penance. We fast for one full hour before we receive the Sacrament. We adore the Lord as He becomes Present in the moment of Consecration and as He remains among us in the Tabernacle.
We seek to grow in Faith and in the grace of the Eucharist by putting into practice all that we are taught by Sacred Scripture and by the Church, practicing virtues and resisting vices.
As Catholics, we share our Faith with others and we try to help them understand how Holy the Eucharist is, by allowing them to see our reverence and by asking them to show proper respect for our Faith when they are with us at Mass. In general, this means that we ask them not to go forward to receive Communion, but to ask the Lord for a Spiritual Communion as the Catholics go forward. We invite them to share what we have in common, but to respect the differences between our Faith than theirs.
This also means that we ourselves do not receive if we are aware of grave sin or if we have failed to prepare by fasting. It certainly means that we do not chew gum in church or go forward to receive with anything else in our mouths (no candy, cough drops or the like).
It means that we make an Act of Thanksgiving after we have received the Eucharist and that we are silent in church when silence is called for. It means that we return to the church from time to time to “make a visit” to the Lord in the Tabernacle or to spend time in adoration during times of Exposition. It means we keep ourselves mindful of the Presence of the Lord in every Catholic Church that we happen to pass by.
How do you live your Faith in the Eucharist?