It may seem like a bit of a stretch, but society needs you to spend more time in Eucharistic Adoration.
When I think of the direction our society is headed, it really makes me question how I’m living my life. I am constantly concerned and frustrated because it seems like no matter how many prayers I pray, or how many people I try to help, I feel like the downward spiral that our society has been in for a while now just keeps getting worse.
But in the midst of all this uncertainty, there is one thing I don’t question: and that is my need to be, well, me. Yes, as a matter of fact, it starts with me. On a daily basis, I am repeatedly trying to figure out how to “fix” the people around me or “convert” the masses who have fallen away. I think, “If I could just change them … if they could just see what they were created for … then our whole society would improve”… but here’s what I’ve come to realize: It should never start with a “you” mentality; it should always start with me.
Michael Jackson Calls for Change
Michael Jackson said it, or I guess sang it, well:
“If you want to make the world a better place, take look at yourself and make a change.”
A likable man in many ways, even Michael Jackson had many of his own demons and I’m sure, like all of us, could have made some changes within his own heart. That aside, I believe that he hints at something very crucial—and that is the need for self-reflection and growth starting with ourselves.
It’s interesting because when you think about it, it seems counterproductive to self-reflect. Egocentrism is arguably one of the biggest problems of our society as a whole right now. Most people you meet have a view of the world that starts and ends with themselves. Many people say it’s all about “number one,” meaning themselves. But the beguiling thing is—most of the time, we only scratch the surface of who we really are.
Under The Surface
Who am I? Atheists, Buddhists, Christians, philosophers, Catholics, and many others have been pondering this question for centuries. To really know ourselves we need to look beyond the surface. I think all of us are very good at seeing ourselves with an aerial view. We paint a picture of perfection on the outside, but are not concerned with what is really under the surface. This mentality is the root of egocentrism in our society.
None of us want to take a good, clear look at what is buried deep within, because if we did I’m not so sure we would like what we find. In fact, I know that to be true because I’m the same way. Very few are willing to take the plunge and see the brokenness within and then have the courage to make necessary changes. But if we all made those changes, wouldn’t that really set the wheels in motion for an even better society?
So what does our society really need? We all want to help our society by doing our part. Some of us are even willing to take these hard steps and start with ourselves—but what’s step one?
Here’s where I get super Catholic. If it starts with me, then I need to become who God created me to be. Yes, that rhymed. Yes, that might be lame. No, this is not a poem, but is it true? Yes! St. Catherine of Siena famously said:
“If you become who you were created to be, you will set the world on fire!”
God created us to be world-changers, truth-seekers, leaders—but before we start critiquing and helping the world around us, we have to always start with ourselves.
In my previous article, “Why Adoration Is Essential for the Soul and Body“, I listed some of what I consider to be the greatest benefits—including those for the body, mind, and soul—to being in the Lord’s presence in Eucharistic Adoration. Here’s the thing, no amount of blogs ever written could hold all of the abundant graces and benefits of being in the presence of Christ, but there is one correlation I want to touch upon in this article that I had mentioned in the previous one, and this is the good that comes from placing ourselves before the Eucharist in Adoration—and as a result, the good that is rendered in our society.
Necessary for Society, Necessary for Me
A better society starts with a better—more specifically, holier—me. So how does the Eucharist play a role in this?
From the beginning of our existence, we were made in the image of God. The beauty of spending time before the Eucharist is that what we see on the altar is the truest version of ourselves. We see the image in which God created us.
St. Augustine says:
“’You are the body of Christ, member for member’ [1 Corinthians 12.27]. If you, therefore, are Christ’s body and members, it is your own mystery that is placed on the Lord’s table!”(Sermon 272)
First, we see that Augustine points out that we are a part of something greater than ourselves—we are members of the mystical body of Christ. But then he goes on to explain the reality of our own personal mystery. When we come face to face with Jesus in Adoration, we behold the mystery of ourselves fully realized in Christ. If we have ever had any doubt about why God created us, the Lord comes to meet us in that doubt. He looks at us and we behold him.
We Become What We Receive
In that exchange, our creator transforms us into an even truer image of ourselves and a reflection of him. Jesus sees the depths of us—even the parts that we try to hide—all of our brokenness and insecurities, and he fully knows us—and fully loves us—from that place. With Christ before us in Adoration, we can enter those broken parts of ourselves with courage, because we know that he loves us and is with us when we do!
Jesus reveals himself in Adoration just as he did at Emmaus in the breaking of the bread. He reveals to us our identity when we feast our eyes upon him in Adoration, and also when we take into our body his presence through Communion. What a mystery! And we, in turn, receiving the bread of life, become food for our broken and hungry world when we receive the Lord’s presence. And isn’t that exactly what our world needs?
The world doesn’t need more critics and overly-pompous Christians who make it their life’s goal to fix everyone. We need more Christians who are food for the broken and hungry in our society—so that when others receive our presence, they come into contact with the Eucharistic presence of Christ! If we become what we receive, then we become broken bread for the broken world.
Food for the World
“You are the salt of the earth … You are the light of the world.”(Matthew 5:13-14)
The world needs you! You are irreplaceable and indispensable, and all the gifts you possess contribute to the betterment of our society. You are first called to become a saint, called by the Lord himself to an eternal life full of never-ending joy and happiness in heaven.
The beauty in becoming fully who we are in Christ is that it calls those around us to a higher way of life. It reminds our brothers and sisters who have forgotten this call upon their life as well. Encountering Jesus in Adoration changes the world—starting with us. When we see him and accept the grace he offers, we can become saints. During Adoration, our hearts become disposed to doing the will of Christ and our actions thereafter reflect his love and mercy.
Through this interior transformation, we can play our role in changing our society into a community in Christ as the mystical body. Don’t believe me? Open up Acts of the Apostles and read how twelve nobodies changed the world! Read about Saul, a man who murdered thousands of Christians, then converted after one encounter with Jesus, and from that one encounter changed the world!
We have the opportunity to encounter the same Jesus everyday! So let him change you through the Eucharist first. Through you, he can change the course of our society. And remember, it only takes a few grains of salt to change the flavor!
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About Taylor Tripodi
Taylor Tripodi is a 24 year-old cradle Catholic from Cleveland, Ohio aspiring for sainthood. Taylor graduated from Franciscan University, majoring in theology and catechetics and is now a full-time musician, traveling all over and spreading God’s unfailing love through word and song. In her spare time she enjoys making scented candles, seeking adventure, and being present to her large, crazy, Italian family. Want to hear her sing? Check out www.taylortripodi.com.