Revival Stories

Falling in Love with a Whom, Not Just a What

I have always considered myself a bookworm, or to be more precise, a knowledge-worm. Growing up with a physical handicap—cerebral palsy—meant that the gifts and talents God gave me were much better suited to the library than athletics. Thank God for that, because I am not very fast! Life was always better for me when I had a book to read, and I soaked up my religious education classes with the same enthusiasm and vigor I did for all my other school subjects. I was proud to be the one with the answers, the one that people turned to when they had questions about the Catholic Church. But, after I graduated college, something did not feel quite right with my prayer life. I asked God about it, and he answered with a revelation that shook me to my core. Knowledge was great, but he was calling me deeper. To put it another way, I knew a lot about Jesus, but I really did not really know Jesus on a personal level. That was a major problem. After all, St. Peter was not going to be standing there on my judgment day with a multiple-choice quiz about Catholic doctrine! Something had to be done—or, rather, I had to really meet Someone …

Open Bible

This is my body, this is my blood

As it happened, I had been going through a dry spell in my faith, seeing Catholicism as just a set of things to believe, without any bearing on the real struggles and questions that are so prevalent today, especially, “Where does my dignity come from, and can it ever be taken away?” Turning to the Gospels for comfort, I read with a new intention. I wanted to get to know Christ as a human person, not just as a God whose commands had to be rightly followed. Surprisingly, something clicked. When Christ spoke the words of institution at the Last Supper, he kept referring to the word this. This is my body; this is my blood. It was in that moment of rereading those words that I had heard so often at Mass that the words finally went from my head to my heart. Here he was, Jesus, the great man both fully human and fully divine. He was inviting me to get out of my head, stop treating my faith as just an intellectual exercise, and connect on a heart level. That weekend at Mass, I experienced the Eucharist in a whole new light. It was one thing to constantly be told that I truly was receiving Jesus’s body and blood, but it was another thing entirely to accept that in my heart. Here I was, a sinner just like everyone else, grateful to receive Jesus not just as a great teacher, but as the God-man who lived, died, and rose, for me. I could taste the one who poured out every drop of blood he had for me. I became his tabernacle, and his Presence filled every part of me.

Jesus and the Apostles

Limitless Love

The Eucharist is the closest thing to perfect happiness on this side of heaven for me. I am now more confident than I have ever been in God’s limitless love for me, and I yearn to share that love with everyone. Understanding the awesome gift of the Eucharist as a loving union with Christ has strengthened me to strive to become a more faithful member of his Body, the Church. Because of this, I can more joyfully bring Christ to others.