What Is Holy Communion? How I’d like to Break It down to My Little Ones
Here is what I wish I was bold enough to say aloud about Holy Communion.
My nephews, ages 12 and nearly 10, seem to be uncomfortable around talk of religion — like their mother is and like I used to be. They go to Sunday Mass regularly because of their dad, but I don’t think they get it and I don’t think they like it. Did any of us as kids? Nobody broke it down for me when I was younger. So, here’s my attempt for them — at least on paper…
Holy Communion is spiritual food. Your soul needs the Eucharist to be healthy. Communion, or the Eucharist, gives you spiritual strength to help you to be brave, to be kind, to be merciful, to be generous, and to have wisdom to help you to make good decisions. In the consecrated bread and wine, Jesus gives you himself so that you can be powerful like him.
Now, of course, we’re only human. We make mistakes. We have flaws. And life isn’t always easy in this world. God knows. When Jesus lived among us, a human being like us, even though he is also God, he had it pretty rough sometimes. He and his family were poor. People made fun of him, thought he was crazy, spit at him, and beat him up. I mean — they even nailed him to a cross to die! But even though Jesus got scared, tired, sad, even angry at times, and even though he terribly dreaded what he would have to suffer on the cross, so much so that he sweated blood — he got through it. He even got through death. Death had no power over him. He rose up from the dead, alive again, body and soul. And he now lives, in a mysterious way, in Heaven and gives himself to us, also in a mysterious way, in the Eucharist, so that we can be strong like him and get through anything, even death, and live forever.
Spiritual food doesn’t just help us get through the rough times. Holy Communion helps us to better enjoy the happy things of life, too, like love, laughter, fun, accomplishments, even forgiveness — which is a kind of joy because it’s so freeing. Spiritually strong, we can become more grateful, peaceful, and happier, because we carry a little bit of Heaven within us.
Remember that we can’t be truly healthy and truly happy unless we take care of both our bodies and our souls. We call Jesus the Bread of Life. And that’s why Jesus invites us to the altar to receive him in the Eucharist — to feed our souls, to help us to be strong, healthy, and happy, with his never-ending love always in our hearts.
Yup. I’d like to say all these things to my nephews … but I probably won’t be brave enough. Other people’s discomfort makes me uncomfortable, too. Yes … I seem to be afraid of what children who love me will think of me. Heavy sigh.
Maybe I need to listen to my own words and receive the courage that Jesus is giving to me when he feeds and strengthens my soul in the Eucharist….
© 2015 Christina Chase
Christina Chase View All
Although crippled by disease, I'm fully alive in love. I write about the terrible beauty and sacred wonder of life, while living with physical disability and severe dependency. A revert to the Catholic faith through atheism, I'm not afraid to ask life's big questions. I explore what it means to be fully human through my weekly blog and have written a book: It's Good to Be Here, published by Sophia Institute Press.
What you have to say to your nephews is beautiful, encouraging and inspiring. Speak up! You may save a life!
I appreciate your encouragement! I’ve never thought about this in terms of saving a life… but you could be right… Maybe Christ is sending me courage and wisdom through you, here – thank you!
The Holy Spirit routinely works through others. Perhaps me to you and you to your nephews. Talking to them about your faith is one of the greatest gifts you can give them. God will bless your loving efforts on their part.
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I find that discomfort level is always present in my faith life, if I can call what I have “faith”. In order to evangelize, and that is what you are speaking of, the belief of WHAT you’re saying is of utmost importance. Not sure if the boys are ready for your task. But I have found God will provide you with the right words at the proper time.
That’s so true, faith is the first part of evangelization. As I’m growing deeper in my faith, I am finding it easier to speak about things that I used to find so awkward and uncomfortable. And yes, I can see how that is the Holy Spirit at work. When I encounter someone with my old doubts and discomforts, however, I feel myself a little bit back where I used to be, hearing all the ghosts of my doubting past. I do think I’m lacking bravery. Don’t we all need to be brave in order to take the leap of faith in the first place? Doubts and discomforts shouldn’t lesson our resolve to BE faithful.
I guess it is easier to preach to the choir 🙂
Thank you for reflecting with me! I appreciate your openness.
I’m not a “little one”, but then in a way, I am. Being new to Catholicism, I’m like a child beginning grade school. Others may read your words and it underscores what they already know and believe….like a child, I read your words and LEARN….you explain what I am feeling, or eloquently present an easier way of understanding some facet of our religion. In this particular piece of yours, I know so well the discomfort of which you refer….I’m the only Catholic EVER in my family. To explain our Communion to other family members is a task well beyond my capabilities. I always come across as lame or not believable….at least I think I do. However, with your permission I would love to print out your beautiful words, simple as Christ Himself, and send them to my sister. I think she needs them and they may open a door for her. As for myself? I need all your writings….because I learn from them. I hope one day you compile them into a book so all I have to do is wander through the pages instead of stare at the glare of a computer screen!
God bless you, Christina!
You most certainly have my permission to print this out for your sister! If you think that these thoughts that have been given to me can help anyone in any way, please share do share them.
When I ever feel uncertain about my writing, I just need to read your thoughtful words, and the encouragement of others who have commented on this blog, to give me the boost that I need. Thank you for giving of yourself in your comments, Sioux! Perhaps I will put some of my writings into a book someday… Perhaps someone that I know, someone appreciative and enthusiastic, can help me figure out what should go into that book – and push me into actually doing it! 🙂
May God continue to bless you on your journey ever closer to him,