Do you wonder how you can uncover and appreciate the gift that is Jesus’ true presence? Here are a few practical ideas.
Nothing has changed my life as much as Eucharistic adoration. The Eucharist exposed in a monstrance has been a place where I encountered Jesus Christ in a real way and has consequently defined the trajectory of my life in key moments. When I was 12 years old, and then at 19, 22, and 25 years old, I encountered His unconditional, personal love, and recognized His mercy and faithfulness so tangibly that it still fills me with gratitude. Looking back from where I am now, I see even more clearly the far-reaching effects of those moments.
Eucharist means “thanksgiving,” and this is a month where we focus on gratitude, in a year where many parishes are participating in a eucharistic revival. Gratitude is key in the source and summit of our faith — Jesus in the Eucharist. How can we uncover and appreciate the gift that is Jesus’ true presence? Here are a few ideas on how to open yourself and your family to the graces of His self-gift.
Use available resources
There are incredible resources to help us have greater understanding and appreciation for Eucharist that can be used together—adults and children alike.
- Listen to the story of Blessed Imelda. (15 minutes)
- Watch The Veil Removed. (7 minutes)
- Read a short chapter from Stories of the Blessed Sacrament (3 minutes)
- Research the Eucharistic miracles around the world on Blessed Carlo Acutis’ site (10 minutes)
Recognize your need
Simply ask for the grace to appreciate and understand the Eucharist better. I have several friends who love the Church but still struggle to understand the Eucharist. I know that for myself, despite realizing how much Jesus has changed my life through the gift of Himself in the Eucharist, I still don’t understand or appreciate Him as I should. Recognizing the littleness of my own understanding and asking for His help is the only way I can grow.
Go to Adoration together with your family. Whether you have little kids in tow, or grudging teenagers and elderly parents, spending a few minutes together in silence in Jesus’ Eucharistic presence is good medicine. If you are participating in a Holy Hour, here is a minute-by-minute guide to how to pray one. You don’t have to spend a long time, though. Even 10 minutes is a great start. Here are a few ideas for using whatever time you have in the most fruitful way.
Reflect on how you prepare for receiving Communion. I’m always humbled to hear other people’s meditations as they prepare to receive Jesus. One mom I know asks Mary to help prepare her to hold Jesus as she walks up the Communion line. Another friend dwells on her incapacity and God’s goodness at length with the Centurion’s words “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof. But only say the word and my soul shall be healed.”
One practical tip that helps me is that I know it is easy to be distracted by people walking past in line while I’m in the pew, so I try to close my eyes or hold my eyes on the crucifix before and after I receive. Reading the lives of the saints and learning about their reflections on receiving the Eucharist is also very helpful.
Here’s to a Eucharistic revival in our own hearts, now, and every time we enter a Catholic church in the future. Thank you, Jesus!