Loosing touch with all that matters. . .

In recent days I have found myself with more time contemplating on several matters that are going on in the world, country, state, surround me and . . . flow through me.  Topics, issues, people close to my heart I ponder and stay in prayer.  Knowing our Father is always there has been a comfort in my life that I wish all knew.  With a variety of stresses in our world, country, state and religious events/issues at hand I have heard (and read) many clergy suggest staying in prayer.  Something so easy for some, others struggle with.  Staying close to God does not guarantee and easy pass in our lives or that he will give us what we want, when we want it or that we will ever see it.    

Prayer is about offering thanks to our loving Father, asking for continued guidance, support and love.  So often (as in earlier today) I have read of prayers being compared to a Christmas time “Santa list”, yes there are many who think this way but it is only because they have never been taught or told differently.

This morning I felt drawn to a website I do not frequent. I found myself reading that a beloved Pastor  who I have read and written about passed away.  Rev. Dr. John Pelletier  passed on September 15, 2018.  His informative obituary can be found and read here: Please take a moment to read . . .

Though I never met Reverend Pelletier learning some of his story though a parishioner, then research for my article on revoking the celibacy requirement.  I have listened to a handful of his homilies, feeling torn for listening – finding a comfort from my childhood,  “bad” because I have been a practicing Catholic and I know he was not in “good standing” with the Roman Catholic church.  Details in his above obituary, he was a Priest for many years and left the church to walk a new path in and with Him.

Odd though that it is –  how so many abusers; Priests, Bishops, Cardinals remain in “good standing” and those holding them up – no?  Whom is the good example?  Who really walked the talk?  

Loosing touch with all that matters?

In truth I know our Father set me about on this path.  I have had a very close relationship with our Father and have followed where He has led though not always clear and certainly to the confusion of myself and others and sometimes I would dare to say frustration with several of us.   Still, I persist as a child I suppose – as that is what He has asked of me.   Two things that appear as one.  This article however is not about me. 

This is about a good and faithful man of God who lived his life in Christ *as Jesus taught.  His wisdom, honesty, knowledge and love flowed through the homilies I have listened to and I dare say I will over time listen to a few more.  Once a month it seems there was “open discussion” on the gospel reading which in listening to you hear women – and men offering what they took away from a particular reading with the reverend speaking mostly at the end.  Reminding me that this is how Jesus would have taught, listening to those thoughts and questions from the groups He spent time with.

These homilies are different in many ways from those we hear in the Roman Catholic church.  They offer historic and geographic insight into readings as well as the stories so that we hear lessons on proper perspective. 

I know there are clergy and perhaps others in the church who may consider Pastor Pelletier smugly for his life choices, however He lived a good life in God and abided by His teachings and lessons.   He had so much to offer and teach all of us.

“He doesn’t say I want you to be identical to me, He doesn’t say I want you to be identical to all those people, He says; I want you to know that God identifies with all those people and what you do to them, you do to me” Reverend John Pelletier

Please take the time to listen to his last published homily:  ‘Identity/Identify – Matthew 25: 31ff.’ August 19, 2018 by Rev. Dr. John Pelletier  

“loosing touch with all that matters. . . .”Reverend John Pelletier

. . . a  quote I have pulled from this sermon.  My mind thought back to yesterday, when I read a facebook post about the costs and desire to erect a statue of the “Virgin Mary” on the southern boarder wall.  Loosing touch with all that matters ~ My first thought was “why not Jesus?  Kneeling with arms outstretched as in “let them come unto me”.  Then I thought – why not spend the funds on aid to assist those needing legal help.  Christianity is Jesus Christ, Mary served her part in giving birth but the focus is always to be God.  Father, Son & Holy Spirit.

God > teachings *of God who is Love.  Always first.

Have you lost touch with what really matters in Him, in life?  Thoughts to ponder.

Prayers offered with thanks for a man who walked with, talked with and taught Jesus.  He will be missed for sure by all those that knew him personally, as parishioners and those few such as myself who stumbled across his homilies and teachings in most unexpected ways.  May he rest peacefully in His arms.

Following Jesus ~ The Gate

I have tried to think of a time in my life when I have felt as overcome by sadness as I feel today, if there was a day it alludes me.  The recent news of clergy sex abuse in the Roman Catholic Church has hit the news again – and again in recent days.  I will be honest and admit the scandal of 2002 went unseen by my eyes, unheard by my ears.  I really first learned the depth of it just a few months ago after reading about the movie “Spotlight” in American Magazine and watching the movie.  It has torn away at my heart for the innocent and even the very, very broken guilty.

Over time I gradually came to realize the stories I had heard of a now deceased Priest were most likely true.  It has touched my own home and family in ways I never would have imagined.  Because I refuse to speak ill of this deceased Priest and to protect any innocent I will say nothing more than I do know he was moved from one parish to another.  I see other moves that have been made over time and even, sadly made the comment to one Priest that they always move him to the trouble spots to clean up.  I said that long before I had a tiny clue.  I am so, so very sorry.

I have spoken out against mandatory celibacy for clergy and religious after this topic came up, years ago now at a summer retreat. Today I extend that to include female and male.  There are multiple reasons that clergy should be allowed to be married; the first being this is how Jesus founded His church (which was not even really a word at the time, I do find myself wondering what the word was and how He has intended its use).  I have written extensively on this topic and most of that writing can be found in a link on the menu of my home page.

I have not had the time to read the full report that was issued from Pennsylvania, but I have read several   excerpts that make it very clear inside the walls of the church, lies and secrecy – anything to protect the appearance of a holy church.  This has gone on for decades and honestly, I would wager this has gone on for centuries.  There have always been rumors, and proofs of abuse.

Recently we hear the news from Pennsylvania – over 1,000 children, 300 Priests and the claim this happened long ago.  These are confirmed cases, they expect the numbers would be much higher but for lost records, and those who never came forward. – Then we learn it’s not all so long ago.  Then more news on Buffalo, then one seminary, now two or three even in my state – and it is just exploding.  Behind the lines, off the national and world-wide news for the most part.  It seems some must be assisting in keeping things as quiet  as they can.

Those seated within the church have known all along how deeply rooted the sin against sexuality has been.  Raping of children, novices, nuns, seminarians, priests being “hit on” (raped?), by even Cardinals, tunnels in Europe between the nuns and the Priests, A Bishop funding the abortion of a Priests child and then offering condolences on the child’s death.  The sin of forced complicity.  The sin of telling Gods children they are not to have their (as created by God) emotional, spiritual and physical needs met by a spouse, but :wink: :wink: it’s okay to take in an elder, widow housekeeper etc.  The church has made it “dirty” to act like Jesus.

Innocent clergy have been looked at skeptically for decades – now it is worse.  It is not Godly and it is not what our Father wants.  Today I read a piece from a Priest who stated “Anyone who wishes to be saved must risk the hostility, punishment and humiliation that our rescuer first experienced. Whether that risk leads to the death of the body or only the death of the ego makes no difference. Any who follow Christ must accept that to rescue others, one must first accept a cross. The temporary humiliation of some can ensure the eternal salvation of many.  In regards to this Sundays readings.

The issue I have with this is I know that God does not want those who love Him to feel humiliated for the sin of others – and no – the sins of others are not their cross to carry.  Jesus Christ has already done that – there is and will ever be only one Jesus Christ. We must all be responsible for our own sins, this includes those responsible for what has happened within the church.  Loving children of God who entered a church and took or made vows or promises were also deceived – this mess is not theirs to carry.  Their task is to follow God forward on whatever path He leads them on, and trust that the act of His discipleship at the end of the day is all Jesus really asked for.  Go forth and spread the good news, Love the lord our God with all your heart, mind and soul, Do unto others and you do would do for yourself.  The beatitudes.  Jesus – was simple and loyal to God.  That is all He asks.

I don’t intend to rant about the details, the sin, the ruined lives.  Only a dolt would be unable to grasp the seriousness of this though  in all seriousness, saying that it is also clear there are many ranking clergy who do not “get it”.

I know my very “simple” Christian background is fully responsible for my strong faith in God.  My grandparents took me to the “Gospel Hall” for a reason – for me to love Jesus and all that He represents.  I’m not sure today what they would think of my spirituality and our Trintarian God. I have practiced to the best of my ability and conscience the Roman Catholic faith for decades now.

When we read the bible it is really quite clear, from the beginning of the bible through out that our Trinitarian God – The Father, Son and Spirit intended a married clergy for the church.

The original disciples/apostles were all married.  Even in those days where that meant traveling to spread the word these men had wives.  God valued/s joined unions.  He saw the need and value of a life partner for Adam and going forward two by two – pairs in Noah’s story.

Our Father created us.  Refer to Psalm 139, He created us to complement each other, lifelong companions, family, growing through life in Him.  His gifts to us.  His gifts no institution, no church has the right to even consider to suggest a celibate life is the only way one can serve the church as clergy or religious.

I read a blog earlier today on marriage.  It was a short story – a love story.  Telling of meeting each other, staying up more than half the night talking, sharing, breaking up and getting back together in Him.  Marriage – a call to wholeness, a call to holiness.  When two become one in Him.

Intimacy in marriage is not “sex”, it is those late-night hours one spends staying up late talking, getting to know each other.  It’s dinner – and it’s dishes!  Who’s taking the trash out and where will we go on vacation and explore together, physically caring for a sick family member, serving at the soup kitchen, sorting through clothes to donate, helping a single parent care for their children.  It is planning  (and praying) a future together with each other and with your family and friends.  It is something to carry forward with you in all of your day thru to our physical death in His Kingdom on earth with the joy and hope of carrying that love forward in your heart.  Marriage in Him changes a person.

A married clergy offers our clergy life experiences and it offers others the witness of life and love, marriage in him.  Men who have close intimate relationships with women, who have children in their family would not fare well with the secrecy and lies of the church.  A Priest who is a father would not tolerate a clergy or religious who abused someone, because living Gods life of family you learn and see things differently.  You grow in ways you cannot as celibate.  In marriage there is the trusted wife/husband.  The pillow talks at bedtime, the quiet time of night conversation that may not offer any real details but a confession of problems or issues of  sorts, sharing and support as that is what spouses do in an emotionally intimate relationship.

This church as greatly failed its people.  It has failed laypersons, but it has also failed its religious and clergy of both sexes.  It has stolen away a life given by God by telling His children this is the only way you can serve God as religious or clergy is to be celibate (unless you are a “chosen” convert).  It is a lie.  We know that.

I know I am sounding like a broken record but Jesus founded His church on a married clergy.  If He wanted a celibate clergy, the story would have been written that way and it was not.  Perhaps marriage is not for everyone, but it is for a large majority of His children.  It sickens me to hear the Pope will allow bishops to ordain married men – and know the church has literally thrown away over 120,000 Priest who married.  They have gone off to live and teach Gods love in new ways.

I have a habit of reading some of the daily readings ahead of their days.  I almost always read the following Sundays by mid-week.  This week two of the readings really stand out in my heart and my mind – my soul.

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The second reading for Sunday August 26th

Reading 2EPH 5:21-32 (adding 33)

Brothers and sisters:
Be subordinate to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Wives should be subordinate to their husbands as to the Lord.
For the husband is head of his wife
just as Christ is head of the church,
he himself the savior of the body.
As the church is subordinate to Christ,
so wives should be subordinate to their husbands in everything.
Husbands, love your wives,
even as Christ loved the church
and handed himself over for her to sanctify her,
cleansing her by the bath of water with the word,
that he might present to himself the church in splendor,
without spot or wrinkle or any such thing,
that she might be holy and without blemish.
So also husbands should love their wives as their own bodies.
He who loves his wife loves himself.
For no one hates his own flesh
but rather nourishes and cherishes it,
even as Christ does the church,
because we are members of his body.
For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother
and be joined to his wife,
and the two shall become one flesh.

This is a great mystery,
but I speak in reference to Christ and the church.

33In any case, each one of you should love his wife as himself, and the wife should respect her husband.

Sadly, though Christ is to be the head of the church He is not treated as such as there are so many man made rules and laws that have been made.  He weeps.  There is nothing clear or pristine about the Roman Catholic church – to me, this evening.  It has caused a worldwide hurt (which the church  appears to be hiding again, I will state it does seem that this huge news is being squashed by someone.  Those “across the pond” were not aware).   Also, St. Paul reminds us of Genesis and how God stated a man will leave his parents and take a wife – and cherish her as Jesus will cherish the church. “two shall become one”.

The Gospel reading for this week:

GospelJN 6:60-69

Many of Jesus’ disciples who were listening said,
“This saying is hard; who can accept it?”
Since Jesus knew that his disciples were murmuring about this,
he said to them, “Does this shock you?
What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending
to where he was before?
It is the spirit that gives life,
while the flesh is of no avail.
The words I have spoken to you are Spirit and life.
But there are some of you who do not believe.”
Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who would not believe
and the one who would betray him.
And he said,
“For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me
unless it is granted him by my Father.”

As a result of this,
many of his disciples returned to their former way of life
and no longer accompanied him.
Jesus then said to the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?”
Simon Peter answered him, “Master, to whom shall we go?
You have the words of eternal life.
We have come to believe
and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.”

Who cannot grasp this writing?  Jesus told us living  as God asks is not easy. The beatitudes would not be easy and there were those that left His teachings.  I submit there are those that run the church – that left a long time ago.  Centuries.  They have forgotten how to be every day citizens of the world, men.  Walls and secrecy – walls between the church and the world, between the walls and God.

Do you want to leave?  Should I leave, or should I stay?

I wrote a portion of this on a post online yesterday and I believe it is fitting.  We have been called by church leaders to pray and fast.  I believe that does nothing more than pat everyone on the head and force innocents (clergy included) to pray for the guilt of others, a practice that is made for Priests in that they must serve penance for each confession they hear.  (Jesus has already forgiven, and the sinner must grasp their own sin, correct their ways, make things right).

Jesus, believing in and loving Jesus is very simple, pure.  It has become muddled and mucked up and sullied through this church.  His teachings are simple, kind and loving – the church is not.  There have been so many hurt.  I see many wanting to try to fix this mess.

This scandal will bring portions of the Roman Catholic church to its knees.  It may drop it to the floor.  Perhaps this is a time to consider the “what we want” and “what we need”.  We may “want” to fix something incredibly intrinsically broken.  We may “believe” we can do that, we can make it happen – but the very truth is that the Roman Catholic church has carried this luggage around for close to two-thousand years.  Is our Father leading us somewhere new?

Seeing the depth and knowing more of the sins against child and man – against God and the continuation thereof. Men in high places who will not admit where the issues began and laugh at the thought of a married clergy which would have given us many Priests. The inability to see outside of a box with the love and joy given by our Trinitarian God.

With each day passing we see more and more deceit and sickness within the church revealed. – I do not believe the church will make the true corrective necessary changes at this time.  For some strange reason they seem to think a shrinking faith is what God wants.  The tares and the wheat, those that believe in less followers, squelching the growth of His Kingdom – or those that follow the path that leads to God in His growing Kingdom.  There are so many who need to learn of and experience God’s love out there.

The church is not fully our God, that is the blessing we have. Our Father loves each one of us as created in Psalm 139.

We have hope in our Father when we accept His gifts and walk with the Son. I do not have an answer today.  I am overwhelmed with information and rather than make a rash decision to flee, I am following my heart and know to be what God asks of me. I also know He offers us many paths that lead to Him, all with wide and narrow gates.  14717049_10209299619395248_4202024409840928460_n~ Laurie

Light of the World

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Cannon Law -Roman Catholic

“Can. 940 A special lamp which indicates and honors the presence of Christ is to shine continuously before a tabernacle in which the Most Holy Eucharist is reserved.”

Over the years, I have spent many hours before the tabernacle in prayer. Raising three boys along with other household issues, it was difficult at times to find a peaceful area to commune with God.

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I took this photo one evening of a winter passed.   During a trying time in which I found it difficult to find the connection I sought with the Holy Spirit. Extra house guests, youngest son, his young lady and Ella my gran-pup were staying with us and my apartment was bustling with activity.

While the room was in darkness, save for the light by the tabernacle, the love and light of our triune God filled my heart and soul.

Published 2016- As I republish this tonight, I recognize, with sadness that a lamp being light inside a church is an actual church law… For a church that is loosing it’s members.  Tradition, Law, rules – over God.  In a way, if you see what I mean.  The simplicity of what Jesus taught in the Gospels – gone.  My class of eighth graders tonight who don’t really know who or what God is, how could they even have a prayer life? 

Wait, Isn’t God Everywhere?

I have been a practicing Roman Catholic for almost twenty-nine years.  Raised as a Protestant Christian and converting to the Roman Catholic religion in my mid-twenties.  I had little Catechism given at that time.

I have raised my sons in the church, taught several years of CCD/Faith Formation, volunteered and currently I have been attending Mass in the morning before going to work.   I love to go to Church.  Over the years, I have spent hours there alone in prayer with our triune God.

I had a Catholic friend, years ago, tell me I should say I am “going to Mass”, not I am “going to church”.  I didn’t get what he meant.  Today I do.  When I enter the church for services, it is for Mass.  Even on Good Friday, when no Mass is celebrated it is called “Mass of the Presanctified” as the host was consecrated on Holy Thursday.

My focus has always been on the readings and more so the homily.  I realize now that is due my Protestant upbringing.  As a child/young person, I went to church to study the bible and pray.  As an adult Catholic, I attend Mass and read the bible readings, listen to the homily but I also partake in the Liturgy of the Eucharist.

His question. . .

A few weeks ago, I read an article written by a Pastor.  The following is a clip of that article:  “why is it so difficult to believe that same presence in the Eucharist we celebrate so frequently? Is it that farfetched to think that God can take simple elements of bread and wine and transform them, wholly and completely, into the Body and Blood of Christ?”

Talk about an “aha” moment.  What have I been missing?  What is the link?  I am a person who puts great faith in the power of prayer.  I pray often (several times a day though to see me you may not even know it).  First thing in the morning before I ever get out of bed, driving to work, at work, at my desk.  Prayer can be anywhere and anytime.  The more often we make a conscious action to move closer to God, the easier you will find it to be.  The particular passage above really caught my attention.  I began chatting to God about this and listening for answers.  I also began to question more people.

My turn to ask . . .

A very large majority of my friends were raised Roman Catholic.  Many have left the church for a variety of reasons.  I keep a short list of friends on Facebook.  Under 60 and all but two are people I know in “real life”.  One is a friend of several friends and advertises his wares (harmless), the other is a young Catholic Mom I “met” on a Christian woman’s Facebook page.  We chatted a few times and she asked if we could “be friends”.  Indeed.  She has been a real asset in my quest to learn more about my religion.  I digress.  A little off topic there but not too far.  I decided to pose the question on my Facebook wall and see who would respond.  I was truthfully very surprised at the response (more than 10 people responded, some directly on my wall, some via private message).

Serious question. Reading something this afternoon . . .and I know the answer to this in my own heart and soul – but am really interested in hearing what others think. Please feel free to inbox me your reply.

Roman Catholics are taught that the Eucharist is the very body and blood of Jesus Christ, this is something that historically dates back just a thousand years or so (transubstantiation). We are taught that the very real presence of Jesus Christ becomes present in the Eucharist at Mass. Thoughts on this?

In box is open. I am not tagging anyone but will in-box some for your thoughts. Indulge me if you will. Feel free to post your reply here also – it’s up to you. Thanks”

I greatly appreciate the response that I had.  It pushed me further in my own reflection and belief.  I know I also surprised myself with my own answers.  More on my own beliefs a bit later. . .

The response varied . . .

“yes, i believe it. although it has occurred to me often that our entire religion is based on cannibalism. Hmm”

“but I always took it symbolically & spiritual rather than actually “physical.”

“Don’t you believe this is all figurative?”

“I prefer to think of the Church’s teaching that God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are everywhere all the time. Good question — thanks for putting it out there “

“One friend responded that when  a child they believed it however as an adult no longer does,”

“I do believe communion said In The Name of Jesus according to The Word is the same in any church.”

“No, I don’t believe it is really Jesus.”

“NO!  What do you mean the blood of Christ?”

“One of my in real life responses was pursed lips, raised eyebrows and a slight shake of the head to signify “no”.

 Where is the disconnect?

For just around one thousand years the Eucharist has been presented the way it is today.  There was a time in history where it was very simple, even in the Roman Catholic Church.  The breaking of the bread and drinking of the wine was stated as such and “take this in memory of me.”.  I am not going to dive into more detail on the history of this sacrament today and I will only briefly touch upon the Sacrament of Holy Orders today.  I am following along on the path set before me and there is a lot of information and a lot of facts/details on the sacraments.  It is however important to take at least a very abbreviated look at Holy Orders.

Only men baptized men can receive this sacrament.  There are a lot of details and requirements surrounding this sacrament and in truth I am not completely sure how I feel about this but that is not on the table for discussion today.  The very truth is this; When a man has met all the criteria, studies, age, and they become ordained Priests the church teaches that the “grace of the sacrament imprints an indelible character on the soul of the recipient and configures him to Christ”.   This can be more than a little confusing when one considers we are also taught that those Baptized and Confirmed also receive the sacramental character is an indelible spiritual.

Per teaching I reference the Catechism of the Catholic Church” The three sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders confer, in addition to grace, a sacramental or “seal” by which the Christian shares in Christ’s priesthood and is made a member of the Church per different states and functions. This configuration to Christ and to the Church, brought about by the Spirit, is indelible, it remains forever in the Christian as a positive disposition for grace, a promise and guarantee of divine protection, and as a vocation to divine worship and to the service of the Church. Therefore, these sacraments can never be repeated. ”  

We are taught that each marking is weighed differently.  Each “level” of Holy Orders receives a new or higher level marking.  This teaching does not go back to the simple teachings of Christ; however, it has been taught for hundreds of years, dating back to writings of Augustine of Hippo.

Once Baptized a Catholic you will by Baptism always be considered a Catholic and no other Baptism would be recognized.  Once Confirmed a Catholic, you will have always been confirmed as such and there would be no second confirmation.  Once ordained a Priest in the Catholic church that never becomes invalid, even should a Priest choose to leave for any number of personal reasons which may include a breaking away from teachings of the church or marriage.

Not fully on the table for discussion here but important to mention as this is in relation to the Eucharist which is the topic at hand.  A Priest who leaves the service of the church, either by choice or suspension, even if laicized (per  http://canonlawmadeeasy.com/about/  -simply put released from clerical duties and permissions to represent oneself as Priest).   In this case the only sacrament a man is “allowed” and required to perform would be to hear the confession of a dying person.   The instructions given to a laicized Priest is they are prohibited from exercising holy orders.

I would question or argue the point (being the apparent Cafeteria girl) that being told to not bless anyone or preach to be rather confusing because it is my understanding that all Catholics can Bless and Preach (not at Mass), and in reading about Baptism – anyone, even a non-Christian can perform a valid Baptism.  I will also note perhaps most pertinent to this article, that a laicized Priest will be told they are not to celebrate Mass can still do and it will remain valid “but” it is considered illicit as it is without the permission of ecclesiastical superiors.

Further reading tells me something that I believe to be true and that a Priest belongs to Jesus Christ/God/Holy Spirit and that is who he truly answers to.  Priests have and do leave the church, it is a difficult decision for most and how they chose to deal with or balance their life as an active Priest with that of a laicized Priest varies and is not on the table for discussion here.  I am sharing this information because I believe it to be pertinent to the discussion of the Holy Eucharist – the body & blood of Christ and why it is taught that only a Priest can prepare and consecrate the Eucharist.  That relationship with Christ does not change no matter the circumstance.

Liturgy of the Eucharist

This is one of three sacraments of initiation in the church.  The other two are Baptism and Confirmation.  Church teaching is that Jesus Christ instituted the Holy Eucharist at the Last Supper.  This is a sacramental sacrifice of thanksgiving and praise.  “In the sacrifice of the Eucharist, through the death and resurrection of Christ presents all of creation to the Father as an offering of praise and thanksgiving.  The church gives thanks to God in the Eucharist for all the blessings God has accomplished in his works of creation, redemption and sanctification.”  “of Christ’s death on the cross and resurrection from the dead; the Eucharist makes present again the sacrifice of the cross in an unbloody manner.”

I would urge anyone with a sincere desire, to read and learn more detail about the Eucharist.  The quotes in the above paragraph are taken from “outlines of the Catholic Faith Teachings, Beliefs, Practices and Prayers”  https://www.leafletonline.com/outlines-of-the-catholic-faith something in truth I left gathering dust for a little too long.

Church teachings are that the Priest by ordination is acting as Christ, having received the indelible spiritual mark.  In truth, I think these words come across too simply and find myself struggling to impart the deep spiritual connection I believe the Priest has standing at the alter with our Lord God.  It is through the actions of the Priest that the bread and wine become the true body and blood of Jesus.

“This is my Body. This is my Blood. God tells us, at every Eucharist, I am real! I am here! I am no less than I have been in the past, am here today and will be in the future! This is my Body, which is broken for YOU. This is my Blood, which is shed for YOU. Do we think so little of ourselves that we cannot believe that God can and does come to us in this way?”

I have an incredibly beautiful personal relationship with God.  God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.  I live an everyday life but my life is filled with keeping Christ close to my heart, mind and soul.  I share my love of God with people throughout the day, be it a counter server asking me for the name I would like them to put on that $1.00 donation tag (God), or sitting in my office with one of the bank Vice Presidents for small business.  In a way, I eat, sleep and breath Jesus – and I have taken no vows or promises to a religious order or diocese.

Sitting here I can say I do believe that the celebrating the Eucharist is a holy and sacred event.  Knowing the devotion, a Priest has to Jesus there is no reason really for me to not to believe that a miracle transpires before our eyes during Mass and that when we receive, that we do receive the body and blood of Jesus Christ as explained and taught by the Roman Catholic Church.

What do I think of other religions breaking bread and offering communion in the name of Jesus Christ?  I think that this is something very difficult to compare, if you really can.  It is a bit of apples and oranges.  In church’s other than Roman Catholic they break bread and drink wine “in memory of me”.  They too are honoring what is taught in the Bible at the Last Supper.  This is simple and pure teachings of Christ before his death on the cross and before the church became “the church”.

The presence of Jesus.

Now, here is where I get more than a tad bit stuck.  We Catholics are taught that receiving the body and blood of Christ brings us closer to God.  How do I reconcile this with knowing God is with me and in me every day – Mass or not?  My own background is Protestant – though converted I own every bit of that relationship that I have with God on my childhood education of Him.  My darkest days have been after I converted to the Roman Catholic religion, at times I was feelings quite lost and alone (though I know now He was always with me).  I am no more holy today than I will be tomorrow if I miss the morning mass, am I?  If Christ is already present within me?  So, this is where I get hung up.

In truth, I accept the miracle of the Eucharist.  I believe the miracle that changes the bread and wine into the body and blood of Jesus Christ.

“but”

I cannot say today that I truly believe this brings me closer to God.  I also wonder at those good Catholics who live in areas where they are unable to receive communion regularly or the elderly who don’t get out or I suppose anyone in general unable to receive this sacrament physically. I am sure there are cases where this happens and there are people that are holy and living good and moral lives in the name of God who do not receive the body and blood regularly – just as there are those who receive regularly as rote behavior or who, like many mentioned above, receive but do not believe this is the body and blood of Christ.  All thoughts worthy of further examination and consideration I am sure.

Myself?  I will continue to attend Mass and celebrate the Eucharist.  I am glad I came across that short article posing these questions as it gave me pause to reflect and learn more.  I will continue my quest to further deepen my faith, and honor God.  I own my life to Him.