It came down with a wrecking ball, and as I stood in it for the last time, I realized how hard it hit in love. All the space ever did was break down my walls.
– Tagged "Eucharist"
Catholic author and psychologist Walker Percy was interested mostly in exploring the minds of a group of which he was a member: people he described as “ex-suicides”. This group, he said, had looked at life, realized the difficulty and pain which it could hold, accepted the possibility of leaving it, and had chosen not to. He explained that there was a certain freedom these individuals now enjoyed, because, unlike the vast majority of their peers, they had chosen to be alive. Any sorrow, trial, or suffering life could throw at them was something they had reckoned with and chosen, because they decided it was better to be alive.
At every Mass, we cry out with the people of Jerusalem. We sing the same words with the angels and the saints during the liturgy of the Eucharist as we proclaim, “Hosanna in the highest!”
It’s pretty easy to understand the word “hosanna” as a hymn of praise for a king. It accompanies Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem, and it is the sound of a people acknowledging their Lord. The word expresses the magnitude of Christ’s strength, power, and sovereignty.
As I approach graduation from Kansas State, I am confronted daily with the ways I have changed since arriving here my freshman year. I remember being excited, nervous, and unsure of where exactly I would find a sense of belonging. Quickly, within the first week of my time at Kansas State, I realized I would find solace in a church on Denison. That church became a place where, even though I didn’t know a soul there most days, I felt comfortable. It was as if God kept drawing me near to Him in St. Isidore’s because He knew I would make friends there and come to share my love for that place with friends of my own that had yet to visit.
Thinking about the future made me super excited as a kid. I wanted to be a scientist, and then a paleontologist, until I wanted to be a movie director and… That zeal eventually ran out as I grew up. I learned about how every career I wanted was competitive and uncertain. I instead longed for something more abstract and basic - a life of meaning, purpose, adventure, and honor. I wanted a simpler and humbler way of life, one where I could grow in my relationship with God and help others. And, here I am discerning the priesthood now!
Hey, I have a fun idea! Let’s talk about something that can be agonizing! Have you ever wanted something so intensely that you can feel it in your gut? I mean, you know when you can feel your stomach turn and stretch and ache? Let’s be real. It can be agonizingly painful.
This is an experience I’m sure many of us have become a little too familiar with over the past few months: aching for people, aching for experiences, aching for justice, aching for health, and aching for the Eucharist.
To live in step with that rhythm is one of my most frequent prayers. How can we live with a pace that allows Him space to enter into our days? Our modern schedules are rarely places where His rhythm finds welcome. Back-to-back meetings, looming deadlines, and hurried chores all make it easy to rush through our day with the promise of a moment of rest during the evening as our goal. Or maybe days spent cooped up inside have left us lethargic, slow to act, and resistant to new adventures.
A friend recently asked me how my relationship with Jesus has changed since deciding to become Catholic, and it is impossible to answer that question without talking about the Eucharist. Receiving the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ contained in that tiny white Host has introduced me to a level of intimacy I did not know was possible on this side of Heaven, but, oh my goodness, how in the world are these dirty hands worthy?
Oh, my Lord, they are not.
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