My Eucharistic Fast

I am a cradle Catholic. Looking back over my life at the time, I have taken Mass and especially receiving Jesus in the Eucharist and Adoration for granted. I now cry about that. On Friday, March 18th, 2020, I sat in the first pew at Church in utter shock and silence. We had been preparing all week for this final celebration of public Mass. I cried almost the entire Mass. As Fr. Jeff moved from one part of this most blessed Mass to the next, I wanted time to stop as Fr. Jeff elevated Jesus in the Most Holy Eucharist, STOP just stop time God, so this will not end. My mind went to a conversation that I had with Fr. Jeff and Fran, a fellow daily Mass parishioner, a few months back about how we can get to another Mass somewhere in the area if we miss Mass.  I think the reason I thought of that was how nonchalant I was. Oh, no problem, there are others. That is how it sounded in my head and still sounds this way as I remember it. Flip, causal, careless. Now we are looking at an undermined period with no public in person Masses with Eucharist and Adoration!! I am sure I was not the only one crying that Friday Morning. 

Life during the few weeks I was fasting from Holy Communion was empty. You see, I received Jesus daily and sat with Him five days a week for an hour in the Monstrance.  I felt like my legs were cut out from under me. My beloved was gone from my life, and I felt the hole. Yes, I hear what some of you are saying, Jesus is always with you, but I tell you I ate His Flesh and drank His Blood and basked in His Presence. NOTHING is the same when you lose that, NOTHING! I had to fight daily to keep on a prayer routine and make sure I watched daily Mass on FB live.  I cannot believe what life is like, not receiving Jesus daily and basking in His Glory. No wonder so many souls are lost. This is what I mean by taking Him for granted. I now see with such clarity.  

Holy Week approaches and still no word about Mass returning. This is genuinely a lent to remember. The ultimate Fast.  For those who do not believe that the Eucharist is really the Body and Blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, you will not understand how devastating this is. I encourage you to attend a Catholic Mass in your area when they resume. Some Catholic Churches are still not open to celebrate public Mass. Jesus said WE must eat His Flesh and drink His Blood to have life. This really became evident during my fast from receiving the Eucharist.  There was a void.

I received a call from Jo Ann, She is in charge of St. Agnes Sacristan volunteers, and I am the Sacristan for the 5:15 Sat Vigil Mass. She informed me, to my great joy, that Fr. Jeff will Celebrate Mass for Holy Week in the Church. She told me the public will not be permitted in. I need to set up for Mass, and I can receive Holy Communion. PRAISE GOD! The date was April 4th, 2020.  I cried most of the Mass. I had to be careful with my tears as I operated the video camera that was streaming the Mass live to our FB community.  Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday, I was able to receive my beloved once again! What joy. Even writing these reflections months later, I am crying.  For me, this was a wake-up call. I pray to God I never take Him for granted again!  

Fr. Jeff celebrated Mass daily in the Church and broadcasted via Facebook.  I was able to receive Jesus on Saturdays at the 5:15 Mass because I was the sacristan. If I was not part of that group, I would still be fasting until June 2020 when Bucks County PA was allowed to open Mass to the public.  I was there, along with many of my daily Mass friends. We were a happy bunch that first day! The joy in the Church was seen and felt!  

To receive Jesus daily transforms you. He has done wonders with me. I can see such growth and development with myself. I don’t want to stop seeing the positive effects He has on me and how that spills out to others. In my weakness, He makes me strong. I come before Him, a broken Christian in need of a Savior, Save me, Lord! I don’t want to fall back into that false sense of security that there will always be a Mass to attend, and I will always be able to receive Holy Eucharist, and I will always have Adoration of the Eucharist. I don’t want to do that again. I look to my beloved to guide me and teach me not to take Him for granted. God Help Me!

God, I love to eat!

2 Corinthians 12:7-9

7 And to keep me from being too elated by the abundance of revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to harass me, to keep me from being too elated.
8 Three times I besought the Lord about this, that it should leave me;
9 but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Overeating that is out of control is a run away destructive habit. As I help you change that habit I offer to you a way to grow closer to our Lord, Jesus Christ. When you surrender your desire to overeat to Jesus, you are admitting you need a Savior to help you manage this. Some of you have told me you feel powerless over this. That you have never gotten a handle on this. I am here to tell you if you allow me to help you, you will and if you allow Jesus in to save you, He will. Jesus says:

Matthew 11:28-30

28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

We also read in 2 Corinthians 12:9

9 but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

If you overeat or cling to tightly to food for self soothing and do not manage it. This behavior will lead to unhappiness, negativity, comparison and a great deal of negative self talk. I know you want out of this. Allow this behavior to lead you closer to our Lord.

Prayer is your conversation with God. A heart to heart talk. There are many ways to pray and I share my way of praying with Scripture. It is called Lectio Divina (Divine Reading).

Settle into a quite place and quite time. You may already have a prayer space you like. Sit for a few minutes and bring yourself before God. I like to start with the sign of the Cross and I always invite the Holy Spirit into my prayer time. Have your journal near and your Bible. What is it you want to talk with God about today? What topic, emotion, issue, or situation is on your heart? Look over a few of the Bible passages I have provided and see which one speaks to your heart. Ask the Holy Spirit for guidance as you begin. When praying with Scripture there are many ways to pray. I will share with you several ways I pray with scripture.

  1. I pick my passage. I read it over slowly jotting down any word or phrase that strikes me. I then start to talk with God. I usually ask, God, what are you trying to tell me? How does this passage direct me today? How does this relate to my life today? Then I will read the passage two more times, slowly. I jot down what is placed on my heart. I usually sit with the passage all day. Answers do come through media, music, my Pastors homily, my Mom or one of my clients. Pay attention to what is happening in your day. God never answers you loud.
  2. I pick a passage. I read it over slowly, jotting down a word or phrase that strikes me. I then decide what role or character do I want to be and imagine myself in the story. I then journal my conversation with Jesus. I ask what needs to change? What do You wish of me today?
  3. I pick a passage. I read it over slowly and the Holy Spirit takes over. I really love when this happens.
    When you give your prayer time over to the Holy Spirit, stand back!
    Always end your prayer time with a colloquy. A colloquy is your conversation with God. It is usually what you will do, praise and thanks or whatever is on your heart as you bring your prayer time to a close. I end with the sign of the Cross.

Revelation 3:20

20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.

Suggested passages

2 Corinthians 12: 7-10
2 Corinthians 4:7-18
Romans 7: 14-25
John 8: 31-36
John 8:1-11
Luke 23:39-43
Luke 12: 13-21
Mark 10:46-52
Ezekiel 37:1-14
1 Kings 11

I know prayer works. If you have never prayed with Scripture before give it a try. Start with 15 mins. Pick a time of day that you will pray each day. If you need help send me an email, text, or private message me.

God Bless!