I went to Mass on Sunday, and I receive. I receive the Eucharist. I can’t not. I want to be a part of it. I’ve been baptized, I believe. I go to Mass. No, I haven’t had first confession, but still. In Sunday Mass, where I’m unknown, in a group of hundreds, I go with the flow of the group. I receive.
I don’t always receive, because, it can be totally awkward. Standing up there with my arms crossed over my chest. The Eucharistic minister lifting the host, and then surprisingly putting it back for a hasty blessing. Several times I’ve not even received a blessing. They just stand there like, “Why are you even in line?”
I usually don’t receive in daily Mass, I just enjoy. Bask in the presence. I meditate. I consider what it would mean to go through Confirmation. Why I may, or may not, do it. I let myself be seen there, not receiving, amongst what I assume must be the most needy and committed Catholics. In the more intimate, daily Mass settings, maybe I’m making a statement. Maybe I’m being honest with myself and everyone around me.
I’m not being dishonest on in Mass when I receive on Sunday. The experience of receiving Eucharist is very meaningful. The experience of going up to a Eucharistic minister and being blessed is meaningful. The experience of just sitting in my seat and not going anywhere, nor receiving, during Eucharist is also meaningful. Whatever you believe, do what the Spirit leads you to do.
My Catholic journey began pre-conception. My dad’s family is Catholic. However, through the entirety of my childhood, my dad was not Catholic. We would occasionally go to Mass with my extended family, and we all awkwardly stood in the pew during Eucharist time. People would be squeezing between pews by seven giant redheads, and then again as they returned to their seats. One time, when my Grandma was too weak to get up and go to the front to receive Eucharist, my brother went up, got a host, came back and gave it to her. She was pretty sure that wasn’t allowed, but took nonetheless. It was still the body of Christ, someone had to consume! All that to say, our Mass going was rare.
Besides, my mother, her five fiery children, and sometimes her husband, had other church to attend to: Wednesday night, Sunday morning, and Sunday night, Church of Christ services. Every. Week. Forever. Well, it seemed like forever sometimes. Though it seems almost silly now, especially since I’m going to Mass everyday. Church of Christ really isn’t all that different from Catholicism.
(More thoughts on this in the present here: Receiving Eucharist and Catholic.)