In only four to six days after being deposited on a milkweed leaf, a Monarch caterpillar hatches from its shell. Guess what. It’s very hungry!
But what it eats is of utmost importance. It can only eat one thing, milkweed. And what is so mind-boggling about that, is this: milkweed is poisonous to most of the caterpillar’s predators.
That means that as the caterpillar feasts on crunchy milkweed leaves, it is not only becoming bigger and fatter, it is actually becoming impervious to its enemies as well.
Did you know that we, too, have a God-given hunger inside of us? The world has done its best to numb us to the rumblings in our souls, but, try as we may, we just can’t find that one thing that will truly satisfy.
We have experimented with all kinds of things to try to stop the gnawing, attempting to fill the empty spot inside. We have gone to extreme lengths: excessive shopping, exercising, working, educating, volunteering, drinking, drugging, consuming, consuming, consuming—you name it, we’ve done it. But the hunger just does not go away. Why?
Because there is only one food that will satisfy our souls, make us grow properly, and stop the hunger pains. The most amazing thing is this: it, too, makes us impervious to our enemies, the thieves that come to rob us of a blessed life— namely dissatisfaction, anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, and the like. When we finally start eating healthy, we, too, become strong and unstoppable.
Want to know what the much longed for soul food is? It’s our bread from Heaven—Jesus. When we intentionally take Him in—body and blood, soul and divinity—through the Eucharist, then, by God’s grace, the aching subsides. When we prayerfully read His word, which is Jesus himself on every page, our eyes are once again opened by grace and our hearts set ablaze with an all new feeling of satisfaction.
The Catcheism of the Catholic Church states this: “The Eucharist is ‘the source and summit of the Christian life’”(1324).
And in 103-104 it states: “For this reason, the Church has always venerated the Scriptures as she venerates the Lord’s body. She never ceases to present to the faithful the bread of life, taken from the one table of God's word and Christ's body.
In sacred Scripture, the Church constantly finds her nourishment and strength, for she welcomes it not as a human word, ‘but as what it really is, the word of God.
‘In the sacred books, the Father who is in heaven comes lovingly to meet his children, and talks with them.’”
Brilliant! God speaks to us and feeds us . . . himself—true perfect food.
But because God is mindful that we are “but dust” (Psalm 103), and often make poor choices about what we feast upon, in His great loving kindness, God has made a way for us to rid ourselves of poisonous soul toxins.
We are able to receive this “juice cleanse” of the soul each time we engage in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Beautifully, it not only destroys the toxins, it brings on the graces!
The CCC states this: “The whole power of the sacrament of Penance consists in restoring us to God's grace and joining us with him in an intimate friendship” (1468).
Reconciliation with God is thus the purpose and effect of this sacrament. For those who receive the sacrament of Penance with contrite heart and religious disposition, reconciliation “is usually followed by peace and serenity of conscience with strong spiritual consolation.” Indeed, the sacrament of Reconciliation brings about a true "spiritual resurrection," restoration of the dignity and blessings of the life of the children of God, of which the most precious is friendship with God.
Are you hungry? Feast upon the only one who can bring you true life. Binged on a tasty temptation? Go to Reconciliation and be restored to the fullness of life and health, God, himself. And then—by God’s grace, continue to embrace your transformation, because you were BORN TO SOAR!
This is part two of a six-part series. Read the full series here: