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Book Review: 'Unconditionally: Finding Jesus in the Eucharist'

GREG WASINSKI,UNCONDITIONALLY

Courtesy Faith and Real Life

Nancy Ward - published on 01/09/18

Greg Wasinski's thoughts on developing a consubstantial relationship with the Trinity through the Eucharist took my breath away. 

Greg Wasinski was a successful, career driven, business executive searching for lifelong fulfillment when he heard a direct calling from God to move his talents into full-time ministry. He is now a daily contributor to SiriusXM Radio’s The Catholic Channel with his Faith & Real Life Moments, and his book, Unconditionally: Finding Jesus in the Eucharist, surprised me – in a good way.

I’ve read numerous books on the Eucharist, most of them from a purely theological perspective. Greg’s book is personal. He puts forth a well-balanced understanding of the Eucharist from many perspectives: The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), Scripture, papal documents and the experience of the saints.

The authenticity of Greg’s book hinges on his faith-filled life as a full-time Catholic evangelist. Unlike the authors of most books on the Eucharist, he explains how he discovered, was magnetically drawn to, and fell in love with the Eucharist.

In his testimony, Greg describes himself as a lifelong Catholic who drifted away from his faith as an adult that “had zero realization or respect of the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.” Then Greg realized that Christ was in the Eucharist, loving him as broken as he was. He didn’t need to change everything in his life or memorize pages of Scripture. He only needed to have the courage to surrender all that he was holding back from God.

His heart came alive as he found all of Christ in the Eucharist. He accepted that Christ wants to give himself to us unconditionally every time we celebrate this sacrament.

Greg goes deep into the Catechism and deep into his own heart to dig into the mysteries and meaning of the Eucharist. He bares his soul to his readers as he bares it to the Lord in Adoration. In fact, much of the text of the “Sharing the Journey” section at the end of each chapter, as well as in the closing prayers, comes from his Adoration meditations.

The most astounding and astute revelation for me was reading his take on the newly translated phrase in the Nicene Creed “consubstantial with the Father.” This mystery is not an easy or popular concept to tackle, since most Catholics who don’t know Latin are more familiar with the old wording of “one in being with the Father.”

His insights on the importance of developing a consubstantial relationship with the Trinity through the Eucharist took my breath away. He compared the bonding in this relationship to pouring the water from one pitcher into another pitcher. Once we do this, it is impossible to separate them. They are one and the same substance.

He convinced me that the only way we can move into this “deeper, more connected level of faith is through commitment — a commitment that doesn’t allow the things of this world.”

Greg addresses how we identify with the Church as Catholics because our heart guides us home. “To be loved unconditionally in the Eucharist fulfills every aspect our soul needs in order to return to God, who made us for eternal happiness, which we experience when our final end is met.” He further explains that we experience this unconditional love of God when we invite Christ into our being in the celebration of the Eucharist.

Greg writes much about discipleship and how the devil tempts us away from serving in God’s kingdom. The answer, he convinces us, is to find Jesus’ strength and courage in the Eucharist.

“We focus once again on Christ and allow the word made flesh to do battle with the evil one. All the struggles, as well as the grace Jesus possessed, are present in the Eucharist. … By receiving the host containing Christ we are filled with what it takes to be obedient, to remain faithful, so joy becomes our goal instead of pleasure, while the happiness we seek is of Heaven and not the temporary home on earth.”

Greg encourages us to, “Pray when you consume Him, to let nothing be more important than our faithfulness to the Father and that truth winning out over human desires.” And he assures us that, “the One who conquers death and temptation awaits you in the Eucharist.”

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