Starting back on June 19th, 2022 (the Feast of Corpus Christi), the Catholic Bishops of the United States began a call to action for a national “grassroots effort” for members of the Church—Christ’s Body—to place the Holy Eucharist at the center of our lives. You can find great supporting material for this call at the National Eucharistic Revival: A Grassroots Response to God’s Invitation.
As the website indicates, it’s an invitation “to return to the source and summit of our faith: his Real Presence in the Eucharist. The National Eucharistic Revival is a movement to restore understanding and devotion to this great mystery here in the United States.” As Catholics, we are all members of the same body and so there is a great opportunity for each one of us to say “yes” to this invitation.
In the rooms of AA, some newcomers struggle with the concept of God. The throes of addiction may have left us angry toward or in denial of Him. In this situation, it is common for an “old-timer” to help open the door of willingness for the person, explaining that they choose to have a God of their own understanding, that they can consider their “Group of Drunks” (G.O.D.) as their higher power, or that they can hitch their belief to those further along in their spiritual journey who believe in God.
Taking this practice of hitching our belief onto someone else’s belief, we can do the same when it comes to the Eucharist. If we don’t personally know yet of the power of the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, then perhaps we can hitch our belief onto that of our universal Church.
Statistically speaking, many Catholics do not believe in the Real Presence, which means that there is an ocean of healing, mercy, and grace that is available but not being drawn on. Many documented Eucharistic miracles have taken place as well as many others that aren’t reported. Even when we can’t see God’s grace, we can trust that God is working in our lives by believing in the Real Presence and doing whatever we can to get to the Eucharist.
Going to daily Mass draws us closer to Christ as we receive him in the Eucharist and is one of the most underrated assets and sources of healing in our Catholic faith. It keeps us closer to our brothers and sisters in Christ, not only to those in the pews next to us but to everyone in communion with the Catholic Church (as Catholics, we all celebrate the same way and read the very same readings every day no matter where we are in the world).
Daily Mass also keeps us immersed in the living Word of God. In Scripture we read, “Indeed, the word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). The Word of God is one of our greatest tools we have in strengthening our faith.
When it’s not plausible to get to daily Mass, being able to tune into EWTN’s daily Mass is always a great option. If you can’t catch it live at 8 am EST or during the subsequent broadcasted time slots throughout the day, you can always watch it “On Demand.” EWTN offers options for the full-length Mass or a shortened version that includes the readings and homily. The Franciscan Missionaries of the Eternal Word do an amazing job celebrating Mass from Our Lady of Angels Chapel in Irondale, Alabama.
Spending time with the Blessed Sacrament in Eucharistic adoration is a powerful way to put the Eucharist first in our lives. I often think of the first sorrowful mystery, “The Agony in the Garden,” when Jesus asked Peter, James, and John to keep watch with Him for an hour. Jesus gave his whole life for us and the least we can do is spend time with Him in the Eucharist.
I often recall the first sorrowful mystery when I am experiencing resistance to going to a meeting. The sacrifice that any of us make attending a 12-step meeting or being of service to our fellows is nothing compared to what Jesus did for us. Sobriety and faith are both gifts from God, and we should be grateful to Jesus for these merciful gifts.
In AA, I have heard that whatever we put before our sobriety we are sure to lose. The same goes for our faith in Christ. If we don’t have our own house in order by putting the Lord Jesus Christ as our front and center, then we will end up ultimately losing what we incorrectly put before him.
May we all contemplate what our lives could be like if we put the Eucharist first and gave God the space to work His wonders in each of our souls.
Allison is sober and a self-proclaimed “cradle convert” who has received a great deal of grace after coming back to her Catholic faith. She is so grateful to have the opportunity to be a sober Catholic wife and mother and loves nothing more than being with her family. She loves daily Mass and connecting with God outside through nature.