I’m Not Being Fed: Discovering the Food that Satisfies the Soul — Unpacking #MACongress

Today I continue sharing my reflections on the recent Mid-Atlantic Congress in the Archdiocese of BaltimoreFind all of my #MACongress posts online here.

Jeff Cavins

Session number four on Friday, March 8th at the Mid-Atlantic Congress found me splitting my time between two awesome speakers. Before my blog break, I shared with you about attending Brandon Vogt’s talk. The second portion of that session found me sitting in the back of the room to listen to Jeff Cavins on the timely topic, “I’m Not Being Fed: Discovering the Food that Satisfies the Soul”. Here’s the overview of this presentation, which was kindly sponsored by Ascension Press:

In this talk, Jeff Cavins will explore the reasons why many Catholics do not seem to understand and appreciate the Holy Eucharist and have gone to look in other directions for spiritual nourishment. Focusing on the clear biblical evidence for the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, Jeff explains how it is impossible to read John 6 without recognizing that the Eucharist is more than just a “symbol” of God’s love, rather it is the very heart of Christianity and the only food that truly satisfies our souls.

In fairness to Jeff, I won’t recap this session except to say that Jeff Cavins rocks. The portion of his talk that I did hear whetted my appetite for more of his wisdom. Jeff’s remarks underscored why Christians today need more than simple “feel good” bible studies and church music to have a true connection with Christ and his Church. I took the following notes (which I won’t promise are verbatim):

“We have millions of people who are spiritually on their own. Jesus said, “I will not leave you alone” – he sends the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit… He didn’t just hand us a bible and say, “figure it out, I’m praying for you.” He established a faith and a family that have gone unbroken until today.  My confidence in the Church is not in men, it’s in Jesus and his ability to create a Church.”

Underscoring Christ’s giving of “the keys of the kingdom” to Peter and Christ’s feeding of the 5,000, Jeff underscored the supremacy of the Eucharist (“not just a metaphor”) with conviction and a perspective based upon his scholarly wisdom and years ministering to the faithful.

The last words in my notes for Jeff Cavins’ talk were the following:

If you really believed, you would do everything to never allow yourself to be separated from God in the Eucharist.

This statement, delivered with Jeff Cavins’ conviction, intellect, and frankly his amazing presence, has continued to challenge me since I heard him say it. If I really believe, why do I miss daily Mass and waste time instead? Why isn’t Sunday’s Eucharist the priority around which our family schedules every other activity? Why am I not on my knees more often in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament?

I’m being fed — or at least being gifted a feeding — by a Church that loves me and that provides for the most crucial of my needs, my hunger. The gift is mine for the taking. The decision is mine for the making.

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About Lisa M. Hendey

Lisa Hendey is the founder and webmaster of CatholicMom.com and the author of The Grace of YesA Book of Saints for Catholic Moms and The Handbook for Catholic Moms. Lisa writes for several online and print publications, enjoys speaking around the country and is a frequent television and radio guest and host. Visit her at LisaHendey.com and connect with her at Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram.

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  • midwestlady

    The problem is that Catholics often have a truncated version of their own faith, which has a tendency to separate the Eucharist from the other parts of the Faith, and put it on an artificial pedestal so that it can’t do what it’s supposed to do in their lives, while minimizing the other parts of Faith, like the Bible. When this is pointed out Catholics hear about 3 words and then get upset, but what they don’t realize is that treating the Eucharist separately like this, and then not following through on the rest, undermines belief in the Eucharist. It’s not a magic charm or a superstition. It’s meant to be received in the context of a vigorous Christian life.

    • http://www.catholicmom.com Lisa Hendey

      Thanks for commenting — I hope I did not misconstrue what Jeff Cavins was saying in his talk, and let me reiterate that I did not hear the entire session. I hear what you are saying in your comment and agree.

      • http://www.catholicmom.com Lisa Hendey

        Actually, what I meant to say is that I agree what you’re saying about receiving the Eucharist in the context of a vigorous Christian life, but not your other generalizations about Catholics.

        • midwestlady

          Jeff Cavins does indeed rock. He’s a great teacher.

    • midwestlady

      Thank you Lisa. I went to a parish catechesis event recently and heard once again the questions about “sacrifice.” Many Catholics really don’t understand deep down how the Mass can be a sacrifice. They repeat piously what they’ve been told, but if you ask questions that are the least bit unscripted, they’re bewildered and off-guard. Many of them simply think of the sacrifice on Golgotha as symbolic or in some way picturesque, and cannot connect it with the Jewish temple sacrifices of atonement, and therefore it’s very common that they view the mass as a completely devotional undertaking. Important, capable of bearing grace, but still completely devotional. Most of them can’t connect the rather benign and sometimes distant picture of the Christ that they have with the bloody event of the crucifixion in any coherent way.