Every Sunday, from the time I was seven years old, I would walk up the aisle of my local parish Church. When I got to the front of the line, the priest or auxiliary minister of communion would hold up a flat, round, white host and declare reverently “The Body of Christ,” to which I would reply with equal reverence “Amen.” What did all of this mean? I don’t know. What I do know is that afterwards, I was to return to my pew, kneel, and say a prayer of some sort.
In spite of the fact that I had attended Mass from the time I was a child, and that my parish priest had tried (in vain) to explain to me what was really going on at the Mass, this ritual was meaningless to me up until my teenage years, when I found myself on a retreat asking someone what the term “Blessed Sacrament” meant. The answer?