I live in a country where medically, issues surrounding gluten intolerance is strange even to the best of doctors. I was only fortunate because during the period I was suffering from all the bloatings, abdominal pains, body aches etc I had a discussion with my Aunt who lives in the States and who suggested I eliminate gluten from my diet. I did, and felt relieved, it was like a miracle, well, or so I thought until I went for mass and started feeling funny again. The mass is my life, just like so many people in this forum, and I go everyday, it keeps me sane. Receiving Holy Communion is the high point of my day each day so you can imagine how I felt when I realised that each time I received communion I reacted, I cried.
My Aunt suggested I go gluten free for two weeks and then reintroduce gluten just to ascertain if its gluten intolerance. I also went to the hospital here and the physician also advised the same thing. I had to stop receiving communion by day 3 of the gluten free trial days and rely on Spiritual Communions pending when a lasting solution can be found.
I did mention that gluten intolerance is strange in my country right? My Spiritual director was more understanding and is helping to find a solution to the issue for me. My confessor believes that I am reacting to it because of my lack of faith, he and a host of other people…as far as they are concerned, its no longer bread and should have no “bread” effect on me. My parish priest said he has to speak to the Archbishop first, its three weeks since then and no news. Christ has been good to me and for this past three weeks of only Spiritual Communion I still feel His presence like I received Him physically.
Based on my local physician’s advice, I was to reintroduce gluten today as the test and trust, my first gluten was Holy Communion at afternoon mass today. Still same thing, migraine, foggy feeling, joint pains, abdominal pains just between the distance of the Church and my office. So, I guess why I am telling all this story is because, I am now having to face the reality that I may not be able to receive “Communion” like and with everyone else.
Here are the issues, in a week I attend about 3 to 4 different parishes. Weekdays I go for afternoon mass at the Cathedral which is a stone throw from my office. Saturday, if morning I go to St. Gerald, if evening I go to St. Agnes. Sunday I go to my local Parish. What do I do, go to the Archbishop’s office myself and get a letter addressed to these Parishes? The Archbishop’s Secretary believes I am lacking in faith so I wonder if he will allow my case get to the Archbishop? Then, secondly, we do not have approved low gluten host here in Nigeria, so I will need to ship it from the Benedictine Sisters. Will they agree to ship it to a shipping company that will ship it to Nigeria and I pay? I read from their website that it has a life circle of 6 months, but I am wondering if its 6 months with steady power supply for freezing cause here we still have serious power challenges. I also need an interpretation to the cost; what I saw on their website is “Low-gluten People’s Bread (30 Ct.) $5.25” is that the cost of 30 pcs or 1 pc? I know ordinarily the wine alone should suffice but I doubt if any Parish will be willing to give it on a regular basis to anyone, its expensive here.
I guess I just needed to pour my heart and ask that you pray for me. In all of these, I know His grace is sufficient for me.