Reflection by Margaret Ann Stimatz
Today's Gospel: John 6:52-59
(Editor's note: this was written prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.)
I was attending Mass only occasionally to appease my parents. My life-long battle with compulsive overeating was surging out of control; and finally, I entered a 12-step program which targeted the emotional and spiritual components of my disorder along with the physical. I was stunned when a member I’ll call Callie described God as a caring and attentive “coach,” who guided her with precision when she teetered on the brink of eating compulsively. I’d always considered God as aloof and disconnected from the miseries I faced. Callie’s stories stirred my heart. I began longing to know a God who was close and caring.
Another group member suggested that I “re-visit” the church of my childhood. I ignored this, instead throwing myself into full-time efforts to change my eating. But when my struggle tanked, new depths of desperation drove me to start attending daily Mass. There, I implored God to help me to eat moderately and to stop the self-sabotage of compulsive binging.
Although I was clueless at the time, attending daily Mass was a turning point. There I received the true food of Eucharist. There, hidden and in silence, Jesus began transforming me inside and out. Daily reception of His Body and Blood, coupled with my daily efforts to practice moderate eating, gifted me in time with full recovery from disordered eating. And through the fountain of graces flowing from His Heart at every Mass, I’ve come to know Jesus as the close, caring God I had longed for, One who feeds my every hunger.
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Into which area of struggle, compulsion or addiction in my life will I invite the Eucharistic Jesus?
Jesus, please send Your Holy Spirit to teach my heart more deeply that Your flesh is true food.
Copyright 2020 Margaret Ann Stimatz
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