Why do you cry during communion? And what devotion is this, to cry out for Our Lord, sacrificed and dying?

I have been asked “Why do you cry during communion? And what devotion is this, to cry out for Our Lord, sacrificed and dying?” Let me explain:

I was not always pulled so strongly to the church.  It was a dream that brought my heart home.  A dream of the Chalice, full of the Blood of Christ.  The chalice floated toward me, and radiated, shimmering light, and the red blood flowed in the cup.  I was seventeen when I first saw the chalice. 

I grew up in a home with a Catholic mother and a protestant father.  We attended mass occasionally, usually Christmas and Easter.  As a young child, from ages four to six or around there, we attended a church near our home more frequently, and I have memories of playing with toys in the nursery, or sitting in the pew with my brothers, whispering to my dad, and leafing through a book full of words and music.  But other than baptism, I had received no sacraments.  I really did not know what the Eucharist truly was. 

Thus, when I received the dreams of the chalice, for I truly believe they were given to me as a gift, I asked my mother what it was that I was seeing.  She told me it was the Blood of Jesus Christ, and suggested I attend RCIA.  She attended with me as my sponsor, and I received my sacraments the following Easter.

I have heard of many devotions in our faith.  Some to the Virgin Mary or other saints.  Some to specific prayers or novenas.  I have read of saints who had visions of the infant Jesus, or who battled demons.  Other saints have floated to the tree tops.  They seem other worldly, strange even.  While I would love to see the infant Jesus, and rock him like Padre Pio did, I find it unlikely that I ever will, because for me, my heart will forever be connected to the Blood of Jesus Christ.

At mass, from the moment the simple bread and wine are transfigured into the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, until the host is tucked away safely in the tabernacle, and the remainder of the Blood of Christ consumed, my soul cries out for Jesus.  Many times I have cried outwardly in the presence of the Eucharist.  Once I was told the tears are a gift.  They may be.  But to me, they are mourning.  They are sadness.  They flow with the women at the foot of the cross who mourned the death of a son, of a friend.  And yet, they are beauty, and healing, and thanksgiving, for all Christ has given, for me. 

A priest once told me that I shouldn’t mourn the sacrifice over and over, that we should celebrate His resurrection.  We as Catholics do not believe that Jesus Christ is crucified and killed over and over at each mass, although some protestants will teach that this is our belief.  Rather, we believe that each mass is a re-presentation of the sacrifice at calvary.   The Church says that Christ does not die again, for Christ died once, and for all.  But in the mass, Jesus continues to offer himself up to the Father as a living sacrifice. He gives us the very body and blood that was given up on the cross for us (CCC 1365 and 1367).

Why then should we not remember his death, his sacrifice, his suffering?  It is truly an appropriate time, during the sacrifice of the Eucharist, to remember, to mourn, to grieve, to be sorrowful for the one who sacrificed it all for you and for me.  In this moment, I am drawn to his pain, his torture, his agony. I feel the sorrow of the women at his feet, his disciples who clung to one another, to John who took Mary as his mother.  I can see in my mind the sweat on His brow, His dripping blood, His last breath.  I can feel the sorrow as He slipped away.

As I walk toward the altar, toward my Lord, I feel unworthy, and grateful for all He has done for me, even in my unworthiness.  How could I not cry out?  How could I not be broken in the presence of my Lord?  How could I not shed tears for the man who gave it all, for me?

I do not know what this devotion might be called, or if others experience the same.  I have not seen any Catholic books, leaflets, or devotions describing this.  I have wondered if this may be a form of the devotion to Jesus Crucified that the Franciscans write about.  To me it doesn’t matter.  All that matters is that Jesus Christ died on a cross for me, for my terribly sins, and He still presents His body and blood week after week, day after day, as a living sacrifice.  For me. 

Oh how beautiful, how terrible, how sorrowful is His death, His sacrifice, His pain. My Jesus, my precious Jesus, suffering and dying on a cross for me, His blood flowing from the wound in His side, covering me.  May He always accept me, and grant that I, unworthy of His sacrifice, unworthy of His presence, may receive His body and blood, poured out for all sin.

What is your devotion?

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