I am a cradle Catholic, so I have been one all my life. There were years when I thought I knew everything in my youth and strayed away from the church....and from basic Christianity for that matter....but thankfully, my family and friends prayed me back.
On my birtheday this year it hit me how much I love my Church as it is such a powerful force in working on my spirituality and gives me so many tools and aids to helping me grow closer to God. My faith keeps me grounded and helps with the anxiety and depression that can seems to chase me.
I started a list of the 44 reasons why I love being Catholic - one for each year on earth. So as not bore my faithful few blog followers, I will do one at a time with a goal of having them all listed by my 45th birthday. They are in no particular order.....so here we go.....
#1 Transubstantiation.....aka The True Presence of Christ in the Eucharist
It is such a blessing to be able to physically receive Christ 2ooo years after his body was crucified and he died. While we aren't lucky enough to hang out in person with Jesus as the first disciples did....which I bet was WONDERFUL as he must have been such a nice, loving and fun person to be around - we can still recieve him after his death. Our communion is not a symbol of what he did, our Eucharist IS the body and blood. When we receive him, we are filled with Christ and His love and it fuels our desire to further look for him in our lives and to listen to the will of our Heavenly Father.
For any non catholic readers.....The Catechism of the Church states:
The mode of Christ's presence under the Eucharistic species is unique. It raises the Eucharist above all the sacraments as "the perfection of the spiritual life and the end to which all sacraments tend." In the most blessed sacrament of the Eucharist "the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ and, therefore, the whole Christ is truly, really, and substantially contained." "This presence is called 'real' - by which is not intended to exclude the other types of presence as if they could not be 'real' too, but because it is presence in the fullest sense: that is to say, it is a substantial presence by which Christ, God and man, makes himself wholly and entirely present."
- The Catechism of the Catholic Church: paragraph 1374
I came across a website recently that really did not like the catholic church and stated we just made stuff up....which is not true. All beliefs, teachings and rituals of the church are scripture based. Here's is one on Eucharist....
John 6:53-58, 66-67
"So Jesus said to them, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me and I in him. As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me. This is the bread which came down from heaven, not such as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever.' After this many of his disciples drew back and no longer went about with him. Jesus said to the twelve, 'Will you also go away?'"
Its very hard to wrap logic around this belief....its a tough one to accept - no wonder when Jesus said this, many people no longer followed. To be honest, I have wondered sometimes....what if it is just a wafer and wine....but you know, then it always hits me.......CHRIST SAID THIS IS MY BODY AND BLOOD. He told us to remember him this way. And as a Catholic I believe and Thank God for giving us his Son.
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