Last week, I started talking about what happens to marriages when spouses practice frequent sacramental Confession. Long story short, it’s a very good thing. You should do it. The next logical step is to see how the Holy Eucharist can affect your marriage. Again, the short version: it’s very good. You should receive the Holy Eucharist as a couple as often as possible.
We know that, of course. Its the single best thing about being Catholic! We get to receive the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Our Lord at each and every Mass. But sadly, I think the current plethora of crises in the Church point to the reality that while we may know that the Eucharist is truly God, we don’t really believe it. If we really did, it should be the one thing we orient every aspect of our lives around. And for most of us, it is not that, and we are missing out on so much grace that Christ is waiting to dispense to us through the Holy Eucharist.
Lord, increase our faith. Help us to understand the great gift you have left us in the Holy Eucharist, and to desire that unity with You more than anything else in our lives.
I’m really starting to think more and more that the Holy Eucharist is the key to fixing everything that is wrong in the universe, and that all of the problems could be solved simply by we the faithful coming to a deeper understanding, reverence, and love for Christ contained in the Tabernacle.
To further that argument, let’s look at what happens to marriages when the Holy Eucharist becomes a focal point for the spouses.
The primary effects of receiving the Holy Eucharist are 1) an increase of Sanctifying Grace, 2) an increase of the three Theological Virtues and 3) a real bodily union with Christ.
Sanctifying Grace is the life of God in our souls. It is why we are called “Temples of the Holy Spirit”; when we are in a state of Sanctifying Grace, God literally dwells within us. That life of God in our souls purifies us, strengthens us, and enables us to participate in the sanctification of others.
Why does this matter for marriages? Well, because when we married our spouse, we also (to a degree) claimed responsibility for their souls. As a wife, one of my primary duties is to do everything I can to ensure that my husband makes it to heaven. Sanctifying Grace then is absolutely necessary for me to be able to fulfill that duty.
Otherwise known as Faith, Hope, and Charity, the Three Theological Virtues are essential to any successful Catholic marriage. Faith enables us to believe in the goodness of God’s plan for our marriages. Hope allows us to trust that God will give us the graces necessary for our perseverance and sanctification in marriages.
We all know about Charity, many of us probably even heard a long reading about it during our wedding. Charity enables us to be patient, kind, understanding, to bear all wrongs, to rejoice in the right, and to endure all things. There’s a reason it’s the most popular reading at weddings because it is the most essential part of any marriage. And Christ left us a veritable fountain of Charity to drink from!!
Union with God and Our Spouse
God created us for communion. Not only communion with Him (the best kind) but also communion with one another. Hopefully, you long for communion with your spouse. There’s a lot of ways to achieve that, but the closer you are to God, the closer you’ll be to your spouse. The closest we can be to God this side of heaven is in the Holy Eucharist. So believe it or not, the closest you’ll ever be to your spouse this side of heaven is in the Holy Eucharist.
That thought hit me a few weeks back, and I’m still processing it. I believe that it is true, and I understand the logic of it, but I think it is going to be a long while before I really grasp the full implications of it. The one thing I do get from the thought is: WOW! How lucky are we to be Catholic and have such an amazing gift!!
My final thought on marriage and the Eucharist is just to assure you that yes, receiving the Holy Eucharist really does all these things. It sounds all too easy, but God really does want to give us all these graces. Of course, the hard part is making sure that we are disposed to receive them (did I mention how awesome Confession is?). But God is not limited. He is Infinite. He has a bottomless well of grace for us to drink from. He’s there at every single Mass, just waiting for us to come and partake of that grace!
This right here is why we’re Catholic, folks. This is by no means an exhaustive list of the effects of the Holy Eucharist. In fact, it is barely scratching the surface! Don’t sell your marriage short, use this amazing gift to strengthen your marriage, yourself, and the entire world, and do it often!