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I also crave the Eucharist.
It's hard to explain, but I crave the Body of Christ the same way I crave chocolate, but deeper in my soul. The Eucharist is like a balm to me and every time I receive Him, I heal a little. I am a little calmer. Like candy, I crave more and more of the Body of Christ- to sit in His presence, feel His comfort, marvel at the love He has for His sheep. Yet unlike chocolate, I can take as much as Jesus as I need to and it will help me, not leave me shaking with a sugar crash.
I thought and prayed and pondered if we should change churches. I nixed the idea of going to a different domination PDQ. They don't have the Real Presence, something I crave so that's a no-go. I don't feel called to go to another parish. For one thing, it would be hard to enroll in a parish if we are not within their boundaries. For another, the children like our parish and have friends there. Plus, the reasons we would have for changing is not related to anything that has been said or done by the higher ups. (Ie, it's personal)
I've been plugging on, needing the Eucharist, going for my children but not growing. Healing a little with each Communion but not enough. Until Saturday.
One of my best friends had a squishy, lovely, snugly little boy this past month. Camille and I went to visit them in the hospital. I got my baby snuggles in without having to give birth, nurse or change diapers! Score!
We stayed about an hour and towards the end of my stay, a Eucharist Minister from a local parish came in. I asked my friends if they wanted me to step out and they were like, "Um, no, why would you?"
The Minister was an elderly gentleman who clearly adored what he was doing. He praised my friend for breastfeeding and said, "That's why I'm so healthy!" He read the Gospel reading for today which oddly (or maybe not so oddly) contained references to all their children's names. I had the honor of receiving Communion with them and he blessed their new baby and my daughter. It was so wonderful, so perfect we were all left with a warm glow.
I've received Communion in the hospital 3 times and none of those times was a perfect as this. The reading held the new baby's name. The Minister clearly loved what he was doing. I could tell he felt honored and thrilled to be there. He treated Jesus was reverence and respect. When he left, we all had tears in our eyes.
I totally enjoyed my baby snuggles and visiting with my friends. When I left, I felt calm, relaxed. Even though Adam was grouchy with me since I was running late, I felt like I was at peace.
Mass still isn't the joyful struggle it used to be. Going every Sunday isn't a non-issue; it's an issue. I still half hope that someone gets sick so I don't have to go and I can stay home. But those feelings are passing, being shoved to be back, drowned out by the power of the Body of Christ.
There's something there when people say to keep going, keep taking Jesus even when (especially when!) you don't feel like it. You will get there. I promise. I am getting there.