Friday, August 25, 2006

“Jesus, teach me how to give.”

Under the hot sun, twelve of us knelt on the sidewalk outside of Corpus Christi in Elsmere, Delaware. “Tantum Ergo Sacramentum,” we sang. “Humbly let us voice our homage, for so great a Sacrament.” I smiled to see a man in black with a cleric’s collar approach us. What a sight we must have been! At the end of the hymn, Father unlocked the church doors and we entered – ready to soak in a few moments with the Big Guy.

Towards the end of the summer, as we traveled through more urban areas, we were blessed to pass many Catholic churches. Even when we were pressed for time, we tried to make a brief stop to pray. “Two minutes,” I’d suggest to the group, “How about it? Just two minutes.” As “Missionaries to Eucharist,” how could we not pause to salute our Blessed Sacrament?

Not all of the churches had open doors. It was sad to think of Jesus being locked inside of His church. But it was encouraging to think that pastors would be treasuring Him in the Eucharist enough to take the care to protect Him.

If the doors were locked, we’d simply kneel on the outside. The sidewalk was as close as we were going to get. How mind-boggling it is to think that the Savior of the World is on the other side of those bricks!

Sometimes, the church doors would be open. Praise God! We liked the air conditioning. We liked breathing in the holy privilege of being so close to Christ.

What to pray during only a few minutes in church? I’d pray an Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be for my family. Sometimes, I’d pray for our group members by name. I’d ask the church’s patron to pray for us. I’d pray for the people of that parish.

Jesus’ Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity, right there – wow. I’d scrunch my nose and do a double-take. What does His Presence mean to me? The Theology of the Body teaches us how Jesus’ gift of His Body shows us what it means to give. “Jesus, teach me how to give.” Pressing my forehead as if it would help me to better comprehend, whispering, slowly: “Jesus, teach me how to give.”

As we’d be on our way, often, I’d still squint forward and shake my head. How much I have left to understand!

On hot days, rainy days, grumpy days, joyful days, God would strengthen us with the mystery of His Eucharistic Presence to go and try to spread His Truth.

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Who we are?

Every summer we, the Missionaries of the Eucharist, are walking from Lewiston, Maine to Washington, DC to proclaim the beauty of the Catholic faith to everyone we meet, specifically through the Theology of the Body.

Conversion begins in our own hearts,which is why prayer is so important to our ministry. For this reason, everyday of our ten week walk begins with daily Mass. By receiving Christ in the Eucharist, we are given the grace to be the Love of Christ not only to those in our community but also to those we meet in the streets.

We walk throughout the day to be a witness of love. We are grounded in prayer-we pray with our lips, our hearts, and our bodies. In walking an average of twenty-five miles per day, we offer our fatigue as a gift of love to Christ and the people we meet. Our walking is both sacrifice and prayer.