Two Miracles: The Eucharist and Reconcillation

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I am a very much the academic type. I enjoy studying a topic and discussing the different ideas that are presented within its frameworks. I enjoy debating schools of thought; however, I often feel like I am missing the spiritual aspect of faith. For those who read posts on this blog, one can easily see that I write about academic ideas with a bit of research, but I very rarely discuss my own faith. I do participate in an excellent blog by the name All Along the Watchtower, which I often become very personal in my comments; however, my blog is usually missing the personal element.

I had what I believe to be a very deep spiritual experience this last Friday. I have been reflecting quite seriously about my faith recently. I have finished Jesus of Nazareth by Pope Benedict, which I hope to continue to have posts to add to that series—as well as have friends also write their thoughts on that magnificent treatise. I have also been reading during my free time Brideshead Revisited (almost finished) by Evelyn Waugh. The book has been great to reflect on the importance of my Catholic faith and morality in a world that seems quite averse to it.

Recently, I feel that I have been battling with some of my own sins—which I ask for your prayer. After discerning my conscience for quite some time during this Year of Mercy, I ultimately felt the greatest power my sin had over me was that I was afraid to confess openly it during the sacrament of reconciliation. It’s true that I may have gone to confession and Christ forgave me for my sins, but it was never genuine until I legitimately asked for  Christ’s forgiveness and moved on from it. My parish had this last Friday a 24-hour Eucharistic Adoration as part of the initiate for the Year of Mercy instituted by Pope Francis. It also had on the same day a special session for confession.

 

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The Adoration began in the morning, which I was there and something was very odd. I couldn’t really look upon the Eucharist. The Eucharist with the presence of Christ felt blinding. In my head, I kept saying over and over, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” (Lk. 5:8) I continued to pray during the time I was there only looking up so often at what seemed to be the blinding Eucharist. It reminded me when Moses couldn’t look upon the face of God.

(Ex. 33:18-24)

18 Moses said, “I pray thee, show me thy glory.” 19 And he said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you, and will proclaim before you my name ‘The Lord’; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. 20 But,” he said, “you cannot see my face; for man shall not see me and live.” 21 And the Lord said, “Behold, there is a place by me where you shall stand upon the rock; 22 and while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by; 23 then I will take away my hand, and you shall see my back; but my face shall not be seen.”

It’s interesting that I felt this way towards the Eucharist—towards Christ’s body. I felt the words of Peter, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man.” However, Christ’s forgiveness is greater than his resurrection of Lazarus. My conscience kept telling me, “Simply ask and you will be forgiven.”

So I asked for forgiveness.

The amazing part is that I after I had admitted my sin, I felt forgiven. When I came out of the confessional, The Eucharist during the Adoration seemed to pull my attention towards it. The Eucharist no longer felt blinding. I felt at peace with the presence of God. It was a magnificent feeling, I thought, “This is what Grace feels like!”

Two Miracles—The Eucharist and Reconciliation— simply, amazing.

4 thoughts on “Two Miracles: The Eucharist and Reconcillation

  1. Beautiful! I had a similar experience just last week in confession. The priest absolved me and told me to think about how God is proud of me. I thought “No, God is not proud of me. Why would God be proud of me?” I find it challenging to accept God’s love. The great thing about the sacraments is that they are outward signs we can trust. If I tried the me and God alone route I would be forever convincing myself that God doesn’t love me. But the priests are trained to say the right words to the penitent. How tragic then when one encounters a terrible confessor (either one who takes lightly what you tell him, makes assumptions about your sins, or even makes you feel worse about yourself). Pope Francis’ emphasis on confession is wonderful!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Pope Francis’s message has been fantastic on forgiveness and mercy. It’s too bad that far too many Catholic’s focus on what they believe Pope Francis is doing wrong and not taking the time to praise what he’s doing right.

      I spend a great amount of time pondering my faith. I enjoy the academic theology of Catholicism, but I often ask myself do I believe it? I still feel a pull towards the Church and towards the sacraments no matter how far I’ve journeyed away from the Church. I spent a significant amount of time around atheists and New Agers during college that it should have forever turned me away. However, the foundation always remained. Christ used the image of the muster seed, his Saint St. Theresa of Avila used the image of drawing water from the well that further explains my faith. My prayer allows the water of my faith to spring forth, and thus the drawing becomes easier and easier. My faith becomes deeper and deeper with prayer.

      Why do I pray to God? Why do I celebrate his sacraments? I do these actions, because he is God.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes. I wonder too sometimes if I have faith. If theology is not balanced by prayer then Christianity becomes nothing more than an intellectual exercise. I love the Augustinian perspective of your blog. God is the source and end of everything we do. Peace.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I too had an astonishing experience which brought home the truth of those words. On the morning of the Sunday after Ascension Thursday, I saw the letters in Greek which denote the Alpha and the Omega along with a pillar of cloud going from the ground to the skies above. Other people saw it too.

    I was in Medjugorje. It was 9 am in the morning and I was leaving that day. I was born on an Ascension Thursday so had been expecting to see something that day. Ascension Thursday is celebrated on the Thursday in Bosnia-Hercegovina. I couldn’t get into the evening ceremonies as the church was packed and was wandering outside. It was a glorious evening. Far away from me and towards Miletina I saw a small cloud about the size of a man’s fist and a pinky, purply, mauvey colour. It grew bigger and bigger and spread itself out across the sky into the form of a dove! I was disgusted. No, no I said in my head, it’s not Pentecost yet, it’s still Ascension Thursday… those must be the clouds of evening….. !!!

    I had no sooner thought this than the cloud immediately spead itself out into the familiar shape of a evening clouds, still beautiful and keeping its colour but not growing or moving towards the church anymore. I was astonished and turned to a young couple who were standing beside me and asked them if they had seen the cloud turn into the shape of a dove. Yes, the had indeed seen it but told me that just before I had come to stand beside them they had seen towards the covered picnic area a small tree appear to burst into flame beside the people seated in that praying area. I was stumped and went away puzzled.

    I had read somewhere that some people had seen their names written in the sky over Medjugorje so on the following Sunday when I saw a capital A form in the sky over Bijakovici, I thought ooh! … is the Lord going to show me my name written in the heavens?? As I was thinking this the N appeared but it was shaped like a lower case n and my critical mind said “that is the wrong n…” then, come on with the rest!! I was keen to see if the Lord gave me an e or not after the second n. Nothing happened. No more letters. I was conscious of the pillar of cloud and the people standing around me looking at the same sight. We were at the foot of the Risen Christ statue. I had gone there to check if the Lord’s knee wept at that time or later. It was covered in dew so it wasn’t possible to be sure.

    I crept away from the group and went back to my lodgings chastened at the thought that by my critical attitude and selfishness I had interfered again with the Lord’s work… or was I being mocked…. an is the indefinite article…. etc. I mulled it over for some time and couldn’t get to the bottom of it. About a year later, I was in a church ar Knock where Mass was about to commence. I looked towards the Tabernacle which was freestanding and had two letters on each of its doors – the Alpha and the Omega – the First and rhe Last – the name Christ gave Himself. I also discovered that the Pillar of Cloud was a sign of the presence of God from ancient times.

    We are a blessed people.

    Like

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