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The Big Bang Power of the Eucharist

May 1, 2024
Picture of by Fr. Chip Hines
by Fr. Chip Hines

When I was younger I remember receiving Communion and not really understanding what was going on.

I didn’t fully understand the miracle of the Eucharist until much later. When I was growing up religious education was, let’s be charitable, less than it could have been. So, when did I begin to learn more? It wasn’t until I was in my late twenties, I got a serious infection which landed me in the hospital and surgery. After that I had an awakening of faith. I was living a fully secular life prior to the illness and of course it made me change my priorities. I started going to Sunday Mass again, I made a good confession and I began to study our faith. I also began to have regular conversations with my pastor which led me to daily Mass and another great priest who was able to guide me in my vocation search. I continued to work my job but was dissatisfied and felt like I was going through the motions. That’s when the priest at the chapel where I went to daily Mass suggested Eucharistic Adoration.

That was the “big bang” for me. I suddenly felt like my conversation with Jesus was real, whereas before I sometimes felt like my prayer at home was not being effective. I know now that’s not true but Adoration opened up for me a world I had never seen. My involvement in parish life became more profound, my prayer about my vocation started to solidify and I was at peace in a way I had never been before. I went on a priesthood retreat without telling my family and friends and spent some time, about an hour, with my Archbishop, yes, an hour of his precious time and at the end he encouraged me to apply for the seminary. Obviously I did! When the boss says you should do something it has a weight behind it, it’s powerful. This was all because of Adoration of the Holy Eucharist. Jesus became real to me. He wasn’t just a person in the sky or an historical figure of some kind. He became as real to me as my family and friends and in fact I began using the phrase “my friend Jesus” a lot. 

I find my time in front of the Blessed Sacrament to be the best time of any day. If I have to just pop in for a minute on a busy day I do that. Having access to the Eucharist is something I cherish and I try not to take it for granted. I’m not perfect but I try, because I know He is a REAL person, both divine and human. I can sit in the quiet of our Adoration Chapel that we have at my current parish and just be with Christ. I can dump my human frailties on Him because he knows them and He wants to help heal me as He wants to heal us all. I love quiet time in the Chapel, selfishly I love being alone in the presence of Jesus but to do that I have to go before the chapel opens or after it closes because otherwise there are many like me who want to be with Him and that is truly awesome. One of the casualties of Covid was our 24 hours of adoration. We could no longer get overnight folks to come in but we are open from 8am to 10pm every day. Christ is present in our parishes and thus in our cities and towns and it is up to us Catholics to make sure He is known to all. 

My experience tells me that more and more folks will come to a better relationship with Christ if they take a chance on Adoration. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain, literally everything. Adoration changes lives, it changed mine and led me to the priesthood and I’ll celebrate 20 years of ordination this May. The Lord wants you, warts and all, imperfections and problems, and everything else that you are or will be.

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