In honor of the Feast of Corpus Christi I am re-posting this for you.
The word "Amen" means "truly" or "I believe." Jesus said this word many times, and we do as well quite often. This word has always been very important to me... when I say that I believe something, or that something is true, I mean it with all my heart. When I hear the words coming from Christ's Mouth containing this word, Amen, I am filled with a trusting that only that single word can offer. Faith in truth comes long before understanding... believing in truth is seeing truth... for before He can reveal to us the greatness of God, Jesus must know that we are prepared to hear and believe what we do not understand. For who could truly love Him and not believe His Word? By loving Him and believing Him implicitly, we mature spiritually and come to a greater wisdom than all human pondering could offer. Until we have had faith in small things, we cannot come to see greater things.
If you have not read "The Pearl City",then I suggest you do so before reading this next portion of this post. I want you imagine for a moment that you are in The Pearl City... the city is not our concentration, but the King. If you were standing before Christ Himself, what would you do? What elaborate feelings do you think you would have? Imagine, for a moment, what you would do if He suddenly appeared to you in a vision? If the King of Heaven and Earth... the Son of God... the Beloved... the Man of Sorrows, who died on the cross for our sake... the Perpetual Sacrifice... if suddenly, this Divine Man appeared to you, what would you do? Would you cry? Would your heart burn with fire? Would you repeat over and over that you love Him? Would your reaction be like Rebecca's in The Pearl City?
Jesus is ever present spiritually... but our human persons cannot always grasp this. Often, our hearts grow used to His presence... and our communion with Him is no longer as deep as it might have been when we first underwent our conversion of heart. But, amen, He IS present in the Blessed Sacrament... He is just as real and physically present as He was to Rebecca in The Pearl City. He is just as there, perhaps more so, than He could be in a vision. When we walk up that isle to receive Him, it is the same as in "Flower Petals" when the girl was wedded at The Foot of the Cross. He knew that the world would not last long with an invisible God... so He is truly physically visible.
When we kneel before the Eucharistic Sacrifice, we are kneeling before Jesus Himself. But this is not all... we are also witnessing that sacrifice of so long ago! We are witnessing the perpetual sacrifice of Christ for our salvation. No, He is not a far away Deity... He is present, He is real, He has our nature of humanity... When we kneel in Eucharistic Adoration we are kneeling before Him in heaven. When we receive Him in Holy Communion... He is truly in us and we in Him... do you mean it when you say "Amen" when the priest raises the newly consecrated Host and Chalice? Do you truly understand, do you truly see Him there? The light of grace, too pure for us to see, is traveling directly into each of us at that moment. At the moment that we tell Him we believe, we truly believe, He is filling us with the purity of the heavens in order to prepare His home in our souls. My Lord and My God, by Thy Most Precious Blood You have redeemed the world! Let the eyes of your soul see these rays of light, let the eyes of your soul recognize your God there... for His Presence is His greatest gift to us.
When Jesus sat down with His disciples at the Last Supper... preparing for His Passion and preparing to give Himself to us and for us... He said "I have longed to eat this meal with you." Look at those words for a moment, and see what they mean. How great is His Love for us! Each Mass, hear these words again "I have longed to eat this meal with you." For every "Amen" say in your heart: "I believe, my Jesus, I truly do!" Do not be afraid, let this realization of Christ's Presence hit you full and strong. Who, after saying Amen with full realization of its meaning, does not tremble with feeling while approaching the Alter to receive Him?
What are your feelings when you receive Him? I will share mine with you. As I kneel there and say "Amen" I am preparing myself to meet Him... I am looking at my soul as if it were a Tabernacle, and preparing it for Him. I pray to the Blessed Mother to strengthen me and make me pure with her purity. Then, kneeling there, I begin to tremble and my heart is full of love. The moments before receiving Him are both torturous and sweet. As I walk to Him, the Church transforms before the eyes of my soul. I am no longer walking on carpet, but flowers. I am no longer approaching a host, but Jesus. The Alter has become the heavenly throne, and the crucifix has come to life. As I kneel down to receive Him nothing could explain the expression of my eyes, for I am seeing for a moment my Jesus entering into me.
As I kneel again in my pew, my faculty of "soul-sight" is working fully. I can feel Him very near, and my soul is very warm. I close my eyes "Soul of Christ, sanctify me. Body of Christ, save me..." and I no longer hear or see the Church... rather, an image of Jesus, always a different one, becomes clear to my mind. One day, long ago, He was the sky with clouds. The day I discovered my vocation He was a light shining in the body of St. Clare, teaching me. One day, it was His Mother comforting me as I saw her Son, the Man of Sorrows. These moments and images are sweeter and more meaningful to me than can be described. It is my way of engaging in my heartfelt "Amen" and showing Him that I truly believe He is there.
So when you receive Jesus, real and present... when you receive the God whom you adore... what goes through your mind? When you speak the word Amen, when you say that you believe, do you believe fully enough to see? Is your heart so strong in faith that Jesus' words "I have longed to share this supper with you... Amen, This is My Body... This is My Blood" echo in your heart like the sweetest trickle of the harp? Are you filled with gratefulness and love when you look upon He Who Died?
But, this is not the end of it. For if we could only feel Him near within the chapel, we would never have strength to leave. I could not leave the Church, I could not leave the Adoration Chapel, if I did not have His sincere promise "I will be with you, and My Spirit will come to help you." This nourishment and short period with Him in the Monstrance would not be enough to sustain me if I could not trust Him to remain near me within and without His Church. When the Light of Grace comes into us, it never has to leave, although Jesus may physically drift away. He loves us, and He wants to be intimately close to each of us at all times.