Discerning The Body of Christ

I became Catholic in 1972 having grown up protestant. The teachings of the Church seemed completely valid and I was very joyful (and still am) the day I was Baptized and recieved My first Eucharist.
My question:Can one "feel" the presence of The Eucharistic Lord Jesus in the viscinity of the Tabernacle? I noticed, many years ago, that when in a Catholic Church I can 'feel' the presence of Christ--and when I am in the presence of the Tabernacle or a Monstrance, I feel Him so powerfully it is as if One could reach out and touch Him. This is one of the reasons I became Catholic. Is this normal? Some of My Catholic friends don't seem to know what I mean--others do--but it is true--I feel His real presence--and that is one of the things that compells Me to remain in the Church even when the going gets tough. Please help Me here--because I cannot find anyone with whom to discuss this matter.
Pax,
Janine Therese

I think that some people can. (But I would go on to say that is is strictly my opinion. And I would also add that feelings can be notoriously unreliable.

Personally think this is more typical for converts than for cradle Catholics. I think it is because cradle Catholics have grown up with the Eucharist and often take any feelings about the presence of Christ in the Eucharist for granted. In fact, I suspect the presence of Christ in the Eucharist may be so overwhelming that Catholics can't discern the presence of Christ in the Word or in the assembly.

I've often wondered if that is why some Catholics become interested in other Christian ecclesiastical communities. In the absence of the Eucharist they become aware of the presence of Christ in the bible and in other Christians and they find this "novel" experience attractive. Fortunately some fallen away Catholics realize what they are missing and come back to the Faith.

I feel the lack of the Real Presence in protestant churches almost more acutely than I feel the Presence in Catholic churches.

I am always warm and at home in a Catholic church, whether or not it's beautiful in my opinion. Conversely, I feel cold and lonely in a protestant church, no matter how grand it may be, and no matter how warm and friendly the people are.

Betsy

I think that this is a gift God gives some people, for a time, for His own reasons. Be grateful when it happens, don't be concerned when it doesn't. Feelings are unreliable. If you stop "feeling" this, it doesn't mean you love God any less or that He loves you any less; you are just moving into a different, less sensible "phase" of your relationship with Him.

[quote="baltobetsy, post:3, topic:180392"]
I feel the lack of the Real Presence in protestant churches almost more acutely than I feel the Presence in Catholic churches.
Betsy

[/quote]

I am the same way. Most of my friends are very spiritual, good Protestants, but when I have been to their churches, they feel "empty."

Janine, I think the Lord is/has given you a wonderful Grace to feel His Presence so strongly. I think you needn't worry at all:thumbsup:

I am a convert but attended the local Catholic Church with friends at times & always noticed a difference (at the time I didn't know why). Years later, I just knew it was the Church for me. I went to Adoration this morning from 4 am thru 6 am & even though I was tired from working odd shifts the last couple of days, I was full of anticipation waiting for my scheduled time to get here (I go at other times during the day, but my scheduled time feels like my special time with the Lord as I am alone & less distracted). This morning, I was so full of joy when I got there it was almost overwhelming. Some days, I hate to leave. That doesn't happen all the time so when it does, I am most appreciative of the gift He has given me.

Jesus manifests Himself to everyone in common and unique ways. I suggest you begin to read the lives of the saints. Each saint had one or more distinct gifts from God and through that gift an amazing relationship with Him. Likewise get a book on the many Eucharistic miracles that have occured over the centuries. I believe through those additional experiences you will begin to appreciate and not fear that Jesus appears to have given you the knowledge of His physical presence within the Eucharist. And perhaps like many whom He has called from the protestant churches, He may be calling you to a life of service in the Catholic Faith, so pray that, if that is His wish, that He manifests that knowledge to you as well.

[quote="Janine_Therese, post:1, topic:180392"]
I became Catholic in 1972 having grown up protestant. The teachings of the Church seemed completely valid and I was very joyful (and still am) the day I was Baptized and recieved My first Eucharist.
My question:Can one "feel" the presence of The Eucharistic Lord Jesus in the viscinity of the Tabernacle? I noticed, many years ago, that when in a Catholic Church I can 'feel' the presence of Christ--and when I am in the presence of the Tabernacle or a Monstrance, I feel Him so powerfully it is as if One could reach out and touch Him. This is one of the reasons I became Catholic. Is this normal? Some of My Catholic friends don't seem to know what I mean--others do--but it is true--I feel His real presence--and that is one of the things that compells Me to remain in the Church even when the going gets tough. Please help Me here--because I cannot find anyone with whom to discuss this matter.
Pax,
Janine Therese

[/quote]

Janine, don't worry, this is normal and in fact a great blessing :) I'm a convert too, and this is also one of the reasons I converted. It's happened to me too.

You might be interested to read the writings of the Saints, many of them felt HIs presence in the Eucharist too :)

God bless you!

[quote="baltobetsy, post:3, topic:180392"]
I feel the lack of the Real Presence in protestant churches almost more acutely than I feel the Presence in Catholic churches.

I am always warm and at home in a Catholic church, whether or not it's beautiful in my opinion. Conversely, I feel cold and lonely in a protestant church, no matter how grand it may be, and no matter how warm and friendly the people are.

Betsy

[/quote]

Betsy, I feel the same way! I used to be Protestant.. but now when I visit services with my friends, it feels so empty without the Eucharist :(

[quote="Janine_Therese, post:1, topic:180392"]
I became Catholic in 1972 having grown up protestant. The teachings of the Church seemed completely valid and I was very joyful (and still am) the day I was Baptized and recieved My first Eucharist.
My question:Can one "feel" the presence of The Eucharistic Lord Jesus in the viscinity of the Tabernacle? I noticed, many years ago, that when in a Catholic Church I can 'feel' the presence of Christ--and when I am in the presence of the Tabernacle or a Monstrance, I feel Him so powerfully it is as if One could reach out and touch Him. This is one of the reasons I became Catholic. Is this normal? Some of My Catholic friends don't seem to know what I mean--others do--but it is true--I feel His real presence--and that is one of the things that compells Me to remain in the Church even when the going gets tough. Please help Me here--because I cannot find anyone with whom to discuss this matter.
Pax,
Janine Therese

[/quote]

Yes, you are correct. One can definitely be spiritually attuned and actually 'feel' Christ's Presence in the Tabernacle, because He is there. You have a very great devotion to our Eucharistic Lord, and He is rewarding you through the Spirit by your recognition of Him in the Tabernacle.

As a former Anglo Catholic, I think that our priest was ordained by an Old Catholic Bishop, which I believe that the Eucharist was consecrated validly, but illicit. When he left and many of us left to become Catholic, another priest who was ordained probably by just Anglican Bishops, they were part of the Continuing Anglican church, I noticed that when I went to visit the church with my daughter and felt an emptiness that was not there before. I knew it was that Christ was no longer present in the Eucharist.

One day at our Catholic Church we had a speaker and when I entered the pew felt that same feeling of emptiness. I wondered why I had this sensation. Just before the speaker began, our priest got up in the back of the church and said he had removed the Sacrament from the tabernacle in respect for our Lord while the speaker was there.

I do believe that a person can actually feel the Lord's presence, although we are so use to knowing that He is there we don't think about it. It was an odd experience for me, but it strengthed my faith in His Real Presence in the Catholic Church.

I just attended a funeral at a mega church and it was so empty. The building was like an a big building with nothing to remind you of it being a church. Several people spoke about my friend and they piped in music and that was the end of the service. There is nothing like a Catholic Church to make you feel close to our Lord.

Yours in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary

Bernadette

wow that's very interesting Bernadette! thank you for sharing :)

God bless

[quote="BernadetteM, post:11, topic:180392"]

One day at our Catholic Church we had a speaker and when I entered the pew felt that same feeling of emptiness. I wondered why I had this sensation. Just before the speaker began, our priest got up in the back of the church and said he had removed the Sacrament from the tabernacle in respect for our Lord while the speaker was there.

[/quote]

Why did they have the 'speaker' there to begin with? It seems odd that a priest would remove the Eucharist from the Tabernacle in deference to the speaker. Rather odd....

The speaker was a well known apologist. Our priest is very traditional as is our parish and great reverence is given to the Real Presence of Christ on the altar.

I guess you would have to ask him why, but I think since he was standing in the middle, outside of the sanctuary, directly in front of the tabernacle during his speech, the priest felt it would be irreverent. You would have to understand the great love for Christ in the Sacrament shown at our parish to understand.

Many people almost prostrate themselves when going into their pews or leaving them. I find nothing wrong with this. I have been in many churches where people don't show any reverence at all. No one speaks outloud and they only whisper to ask if they can sit in your pew. People pray before and after Mass. We have a dress code, although some don't follow it. I love our priest and know that he is of the old school, but he is very pastoral and cares deeply about his congregation.

Yours in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary

Bernadette

Jesus said blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:

Peace to All! All of Your responses are truly blessing to Me. They are very, very helpful. What some of You have mentioned in the experience of emptiness in protestant churches I have to concure as true. My parents church the communion service is like a dead ceremony that has a vague echo of what it should be.
When I converted, I recieved tremendous opposition from My protestant Father and My Agnostic Brother. He did everything thing to convince Me that Jesus was not virgin born or ressurected---and My Dad opposed My Catholic faith because it was not 'liberal' enough for him. My Mother was delighted! She was raised a Baptist with a Catholic best friend. My mother bought a statue of Our Lady of Grace at Her friends parish bookstore--but had to keep it hidden from My grandmother who was a Southern Baptist. Every day Mom would take the statue out to enjoy its inspiration--and I pray that She will become Catholic before She dies. I think, perhaps, these Eucharistic consolation alone gave Me the strength to stay in the Church and not let the devil remove the seed--and in Her own way, My mother nurtured Me as a Catholic. She even says the rosary....and had it not been for that statue of Mary in Her childhood, perhaps I would never have knocked at the door of the Church....I am certainly grateful that I did..Thank You My Brothers and Sisters for very good councel.

[quote="BernadetteM, post:14, topic:180392"]
The speaker was a well known apologist. Our priest is very traditional as is our parish and great reverence is given to the Real Presence of Christ on the altar.

I guess you would have to ask him why, but I think since he was standing in the middle, outside of the sanctuary, directly in front of the tabernacle during his speech, the priest felt it would be irreverent.

[/quote]

I attended a presentation by Dr. Ted Sri at a nearby parish in NJ, and he gave his talk in the main body of the church, in front of the sanctuary. The priest removed the Eucharist from the tabernacle and reserved it elsewhere during the presentation. I assume it was for two reasons: 1) because there was a non-liturgical function taking place in the church (rather than simply the absence of a liturgical function, it was a non-liturgical function), 2) to facilitate adoration while the presentation was going on.

The observation about Anglican Liturgy is interesting. I remember when The Episcopal Church in My home town was very Anglo-Catholic-and Our Catholic Parish and their Episcopal parish shared a common Seder on Holy Thursday--seperating for their respective Masses according to Canonical norms. But I attended a lot of Masses as a visitor to that Episcopal Church and You could feel the presence of Christ in The Aumbry or wall tabernacle. Now--when their Rector took another assignment, the new one, who was very liberal and more morning prayer oriented, came to their parish, it took on the dimmesnions of a protestant church--and it just felt real empty when I went with My Episcopalian friend to Evensong. He eventually became an Episcopal Benedictine, and in the Abbey Church where His profession is lived out, You can feel the presence just like in a Catholic Church. Some of those priests were Canadian Anglicans, and everything was very, very solemn, with genuflections at the words of institution, and The Angelus three times a day....so I think that it is nice that The Holy Spirit sometimes uses the more 'catholic' of other eccsesial organizations to bring people to The True Church--kind of like John Henry, Cardinal Neuman. Also, When I attend Greek Orthodox Liturgy (My Spouse's faith) I can feel the presence in the 'throne' or Tabernacle in that temple...and of course Canonical Orthodox do have valid apostolic succession as our Pope has said.
Anyway--I have to re-iterate, that being in valid Roman Catholic Liturgy that presents Jesus as ressurected, alive, and in the Eucharist, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity, establishes Him on heavenly and real terms--so He is not just a topic to be debated by liberal theologians. Do I believe in the literal ressurection? How can I not when He is in the tabernacle as alive as the parishioners around me? I want to say to everyone responding to My original post that I am grateful for Your guidance--and I feel such joy--even though life is difficult for Me as for so many at this time. I want You to know that I pray for You all to have a truly blessed Nativity.....and Thank You for this ongoinng conversation about The Lord.......
Janine Therese

[quote="BernadetteM, post:14, topic:180392"]
The speaker was a well known apologist. Our priest is very traditional as is our parish and great reverence is given to the Real Presence of Christ on the altar.

I guess you would have to ask him why, but I think since he was standing in the middle, outside of the sanctuary, directly in front of the tabernacle during his speech, the priest felt it would be irreverent. You would have to understand the great love for Christ in the Sacrament shown at our parish to understand.

Many people almost prostrate themselves when going into their pews or leaving them. I find nothing wrong with this. I have been in many churches where people don't show any reverence at all. No one speaks outloud and they only whisper to ask if they can sit in your pew. People pray before and after Mass. We have a dress code, although some don't follow it. I love our priest and know that he is of the old school, but he is very pastoral and cares deeply about his congregation.

Yours in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary

Bernadette

[/quote]

Your church doesn't have a parish hall? Or even a parish basement that the speaker could have used rather than inside the church?

[quote="peary1, post:19, topic:180392"]
Your church doesn't have a parish hall? Or even a parish basement that the speaker could have used rather than inside the church?

[/quote]

Come on, now. Lots of Catholic speakers (I think even Father Corapi) do a lot of their teaching engagements inside churches.

There are times when this is permissible. The pastor did the right thing in reserving the Blessed Sacrament in a different place out of reverence.

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