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On the Road to Sunday: 'My Lord and my God' come into my mind, my heart, my soul, my life

Image: Sunset over the waterby Cami Mann
 
Sister Mary Cremin, CSJ, was a formidable woman. To those of us she taught during our Catholic grade school years, she was larger than life. Her Irish brogue gave her away – quickwittedand no-nonsense. One of her greatest gifts to me, for whichI continue to grow in appreciation and understanding with each passing decade, was teaching me to say, “My Lord and my God” during the consecration at the raising of the host and again with the chalice. She told us to look squarely at the body and blood of Christ and say those words in our minds – and mean them in our hearts.
 
Looking back over my long and winding road to Sunday, I realized I have continued to say those words at
every Mass. As I have grown through life circumstances, I have added additional words. I now say, “My Lord and my God, come into my mind, into my heart, into my soul and into my life.” I not only say them at Mass. I say them as I prostrate myself before the Blessed Sacrament during perpetual adoration; while I sit at the foot of the crucifix and contemplate the paschal mystery; when the sky is ablaze as colors dance across the clouds during a stunning sunset or sunrise; when my husband looks on me with love and I am speechless; and when I am humbled by motherhood and it takes my breath away. Over the years, the longing for my Lord and my God has deepened. I long for him to reign not only in that moment during consecration, but in every single moment on my road to Sunday. I’ve come to understand that the fulfillment of this longing happens through a lifetime of daily practice.
 
A few weeks ago, I was prompted to add the words “into my body,” along with the others. I had never really considered inviting Christ into my body. This is incredibly ironic. I know that every time I receive the Eucharist, he literally enters my body. Christ not only spiritually nourishes my body, but he does so physically as well, becoming part of my body and blood.
 
Knowing that Christ enters my body, I am reminded of the words of St. Paul in Galatians 2:20: “... I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me; insofar as I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who has loved me.”
 
I live by faith, however, some days it comes easier than others. Sometimes, I can be my own worst enemy; my actions and thoughts get the best of me. I have those days when I berate my body image. I can even do things that don’t honor my body. I usually become aware of these moments as I pray an examination of conscience that explores my mind, heart, body and life as I prepare to receive the Eucharist.
 
Ours is an embodied savior; Emmanuel – God with us. Through his Incarnation, he became flesh. He offers
us his flesh and blood through the sacrament of the Eucharist. We, in receiving his body and blood, are
made holy through Christ’s redemption and salvation. We become a sacramental – a sacred object strengthened through the grace of the sacrament and united with Christ in this action of communion.
I continue to extend the invitation to my Lord and my God. Mine is now the work of welcoming him and creating a space worthy of Emmanuel – God with me.
 
Image: Cami MannCami Mann is a spiritual director, writer, editor and public speaker. She and her husband, Mark, are Secular Franciscans. Contact her at cmann1897@gmail.com or visit her Facebook page (Cami Mann Spiritual Director).