|In Adoration during the Boys' Retreat, Red Candle in the Back|
Dear Family and Friends,
There’s something about the Eucharist. It’s kind of hard for me to explain what I mean, but here goes.
Perhaps you remember my story about finding a 5-year old fragment of the Eucharist in a service panel underneath the altar at a parish church. I wrote about that here.
That was just the beginning. A few months ago I was visiting a small adoration chapel and was asked to put the Eucharist back in the tabernacle. As I took the host out of the monstrance (a special holder for adoration) I noticed another small fragment sitting inside the monstrance. This was the only time I have ever touched that monstrance. Jesus has a way of being found!
Fast forward a few months. Recently I was celebrating mass in another parish and when I went to put the Eucharist away, I noticed something sitting in the corner of the tabernacle. It was a whole host and another half of a host. I wonder how long they had been there!
Then there was the boys’ weekend ski retreat. We keep the Eucharist in the tabernacle of our small chapel in the countryside during the retreat. During the last mass before we went skiing, I consumed the last host since we wouldn’t be using the chapel for a while. Most chapels have a red candle that is lit to show when the Eucharist is there. When you take the Eucharist away, you blow the candle out. I remember glancing at the candle at the beginning of mass that morning, and sure enough, it was lit. Then as I went to take the Blessed Sacrament out of the tabernacle before communion time, I noticed again that the candle was lit. After giving out communion and consuming the last host, I was about to tell one of the servers to blow out the candle, when I noticed that the candle was not lit. It had burned out by itself just as the last host was consumed.
What moves me to write about these experiences is what happened just the other day. I was on my way to give the Anointing of the Sick to a grandmother after school. I brought one host with me so she could receive communion. As I pulled out of the school I got a green light where usually it was red. Then I got a green left arrow where I always have to wait. Then another green light, then another, then another. Each time I would approach a light, it would be red, but just before I started slowing down, it would turn green. I went through 9 green lights in all. I had traveled that road many a time before, and this had never happened. I almost felt like Batman.
It was as if the lights were turning green out of respect for the Eucharist! And before, it was as if the candle had held out, just as long as it needed to. And finding the fragments of the Eucharist – it was like God put me in the right place at the right time.
In all of this, it seems that God doesn’t go so far as to use miracles to show us His presence, but He does use everything short of miracles to confirm it for us.
Sure, perhaps you could say these things are all coincidences. The Eucharist looks just like a piece of ordinary bread, and tastes and smells like one. Oftentimes it is hard to believe that Jesus really meant what he said when he took bread, and said “this is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me”. To believe that requires a lot of faith! But for me at least, these glimpses over the last few months have helped me see a little bit of what I usually can only believe.
Hope they help you see too!
And hope you had a Happy Easter!