The Two Sacraments that Make Me Catholic—the Eucharist & Confession
There are two commandments and two sacraments that make me a devout Catholic:
- Love thy God with thy whole soul, body, mind, and strength and love thy neighbor as thyself
- The Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, present in the Eucharist; and the power of Confession, His mercy on my soul.
I believe that the best sacraments we have in the Catholic faith are the Eucharist and Confession.
I’ll start with the Eucharist, which is the source and summit of our Mass. It’s why we go every single week, if not every day, to bring the Body and the Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ into our physical being.
I know this because I have felt myself change throughout the five years of my journey. The more I receive the Lord through the Eucharist, the more I feel Him take over, and the more joy I feel, the more graces I feel Him give me, the more I find doors and people and help and confirmation that where I’m going with my life is correct.
But I need to be in the best state to go in front of our Lord and say, “I am not worthy to receive You, but if You say the word, my soul shall be healed. Oh, and by the way, I’ve got this other incredible sacrament that You gave me, which is confession, so I can go and ensure that I am at least in the best state of grace as I possibly can be at the moment that I’m receiving You.”
I try to go to confession every other week. I love going once a week, because come on, people—we judge, we talk about people, we gossip, we’re human. We sin hundreds of times a day. Those little white lies here, and there—we’re sinning all the time!
So, I want to be in my best cleansed soul when I’m receiving the Lord. And when I go to Mass on a daily basis, which is what I’m really trying to do (it doesn’t happen all the time, I’m going to be super honest with you), I can feel my day is centered. I can feel that He is going to prioritize what I’m doing, and that I am in the best state for starting that day.
Confession and the Eucharist go hand in hand. One is for the other.
Everybody used to ask, you know, “How could you be a Catholic?” I mean, quite frankly, I was leading the anti-Catholic life. I was a mortal sinner—and many, many times over. I’m human. And the bar is so high in the Catholic faith. But that’s where Jesus wants us to strive.
And if I continue to try to get there, and I continue to confess my sins, and I continue to say them out loud and embarrass myself and put myself out there more and more, I’m probably going to realize there’s a problem and be less likely to want to say that sin to the priest again. I keep coming back with the same sin and the same repentance. So, Lord, help me change my life, knowing that I don’t have the answers and the strength to do it myself. I continue to do this sin. Help me, here!
So if, again, you believe that this is the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, and you believe that the Sacrament of Confession is through a Catholic priest—the priest representing Jesus and the only one who can absolve you of your sins when you say them out loud and then repent—I have Bible verses and everything on the website. I wasn’t going to muck up this video, but this is from me: not just what I believe, but what I feel.
The fundamental change is in who I am—how I love and I live those two commandments. It’s in how I love my God and how I love my neighbor and myself. My soul is nourished and continuously renewed and refreshed and revived through confession and the Lord, every day I can receive Him into my body.
So this encapsulates, really, the reason why I am a Catholic and why I believe in what I believe and how I know this is faith—and not just faith, but how I know this is true, because I feel myself changing.
And I have to share it with the world, because the joy that I feel is bursting out of me. I can’t even explain. Some mornings I wake up and I am just oozing out of my skin to get out into the world and just share the joy that I feel. And I have been a happy-go-lucky person my entire life. I’ve always had an optimistic attitude, but what I have now is so much more than that. It’s a whole universe in three little letters: j-o-y.
And I know why joy is all over during Christmas, because it is a joyous time. Joy is so much greater than happiness. It is a feeling that I hope you find, and you can find it.
But it does only come from God. And I’ll be honest with you, I never believed that. Five years ago, I didn’t. “I don’t need God, I’m having an awesome life. I love my life. Why would I wish for something else?”—you know? “What’s God going to do with it? And oh, by the way, I don’t want to be changing, especially not to that Catholic style. It’s way too rigid for me!”
So again, let’s remember, love thy God with all your mind, body, and soul and your strength, and love thy neighbor as thyself—which means everybody, not just the people you like, but also the people you don’t like, the people who annoy you. Shower these people with love.
But the Sacraments of confession and the Eucharist make it possible for us to live these two commandments the way God calls us to. And in order to receive Jesus in the Eucharist, so He can transform you, you need to make yourself ready for Him. You do this by letting Him renew you by absolving you of your sins through the Sacrament of Confession.
Then, with purified souls and with the gift of the Eucharist, we draw not on our own strength but on His, and we can live those two commandments much better than when we rely on our own good will.
I’d love to hear from you. Send me notes, have me start up a blog, whatever you’d like. If you’d like a chat or a community discussion around this, that’d be great, too. I’m here to serve you, so if this isn’t helpful, I’d like to know that as well. Have a very inspired and blessed day. Take care.