*Warning: Adult subject material
My husband and I had a much needed 'date night.' We enjoyed each other's company, in every way. Later, we lay together, holding hands and experiencing that sweet oneness that follows the marital embrace. The next morning, I awoke smiling, looking forward to the calm understand and glow that usual follows such a night, but to my surprise, hubby was in a bad mood. He grunted a quick, "Hello," and even snapped a little that morning. I was hurt. I had given him the gift of myself and he was not relishing in the peace of the union with me. I felt a little abandoned. In my head I was saying to him, "Didn't you appreciate the gift we shared? Why hasn't it changed your attitude about today?"
As I sat in Mass, the realization hit me! I do this to Christ all the time! He gives me His Body, a gift of Himself. I appreciate it for the moment and then get annoyed in the parking lot, or impatient as my child stops to chat instead of making their way straight to the car. I am snippy and short-tempered only moments after receiving Him. Could He feel as hurt as I did that morning? I can imagine Him saying, "We were just one; I gave you my Body. Is our moment of shared glory over so quickly? Didn't you appreciate the gift we shared? Didn't it change you and your attitude about today?"
Love is supposed to transform us, do I let Christ's love and presence truly transform me?
I pondered anew the teaching in Humanae Vitae; on July 25, 1968 Pope Paul VI stated that married love is for procreation and unification.
"(12)This particular doctrine, often expounded by the magisterium of the Church, is based on the inseparable connection, established by God, which man on his own initiative may not break, between the unitive and procreative significance which are both inherent to the marriage act."
So too, is the Eucharist. It gives us life, 'Bread' for the journey.
"Jesus said to them, "Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you." John 6:53
It also unites us to Christ and to the entire Church (the communion of saints). The Eucharist is life and love giving, in a similar way to the act of the marital sexual union.
Each Christian is called to bring Christ to others in a special way, however, if we do not keep Christ with us when we receive the Word of God and the Eucharist, what will we have to give? How can we bring life, if we do not appreciate that very life in us? It is a challenge to be sure.
The antidote may be, as with our spouses, to recognize the gift that was given to us. To spend time with Jesus. Perhaps increasing time in Adoration or by trying to dedicate time after receiving the Blessed Sacrament to praise alone and a calming of our hearts. So that Christ's life and love can multiply in us, in the afterglow. God bless.
Copyright 2015 Mary Lou Rosien.
Photo courtesy of the author. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Mary Lou Rosien is a Catholic wife, mom to seven, educator, writer, and speaker. She is the author of several books including Three Things Divorced Catholics need to Know and The Joy-Filled Broken Heart. She is known for her love of all things cooking and baking, especially “Friday cookies.” Visit her at CatholicFamilyBootCamp.com.