I have a confession to make, ladies: I am allergic to wheat. I have been ever since college, but it feels like it’s been like this for a lot longer. In spite of my wheat allergy, I am still able to receive the Communion Host every Sunday. I think it says a lot that I can still receive the Body of Christ in spite of my allergy being so sensitive that I can’t even pig out on a sleeve of Ritz crackers.
The Israelites had similar dietary issues when they were out in the desert, but it had nothing to do with food allergies. Instead, they whined and complained about the fact that they didn’t have any food to eat. They looked upon their days in Egypt with nostalgia, completely forgetting the fact that they were slaves. Thankfully, in spite of the whining, God had a solution in the form of manna. The bread that fell from Heaven would only be good for a day, but it fed the Israelites throughout the forty years they spent wandering through the desert.
Let’s be honest though, who wanted to slap the Israelites upside the head for all their whining and complaining? I honestly would if I wasn’t subjected to my own periods of spiritual dryness. There are times in my life that I’d whine and complain even though I have so many blessings and freedoms that others don’t have. #firstworldproblems! During these dry periods, my desire to pray is at its lowest. Thankfully, Jesus is there to smack me right upside the head and remind me about what’s really important. In the Gospel from John, Jesus says “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.”
Whenever I pray during my dry periods, I find a great sense of relief. I’m basically like a stubborn kid who won’t take a bath. I don’t want to pray, but then when I finally do, I don’t want to stop praying. One reason why the Catholic Church has all these traditions and rituals is that they take us out of ourselves and keep us from going through the motions completely. It feels like a routine sometimes, but other times, I would pray the Rosary and feel a sense of fulfillment and relief from the dryness.
There is a reason why “give us this day our daily bread” is part of the Our Father. Prayer is the daily bread that nourishes our souls. It’s more than just asking God to provide for us in a material sense. When we ask God for our daily bread, we also ask for spiritual nourishment as well. Thankfully, that prayer is always answered. We’re just not aware of it sometimes.
The daily bread that God gives to us is more often than not found in the little blessings we have every day. The fact that we live to see another day. The roof that we have over our heads. The internet that lets us communicate with people around the world. The faith that we live by. The family that we have and the friends that we cherish. These things and more are part of our “daily bread.”
Most of all, every Sunday, and even whenever we go to Daily Mass, we receive the Eucharist. Most religious orders celebrate Mass daily, which means that for them, the Eucharist is their daily bread. Back when I was in college, I was lucky enough to have Daily Mass offered three times a day. I usually went to the earliest Daily Mass, which started at 7AM. I would be greeted with a sunrise after the Mass was over. In my honest opinion, the campus was at its most beautiful during sunrise, with the sky being a rosy pink that matched the flowers that grew on the trees and in the prayer garden. Now that I’m out of college, Daily Mass is a bit more out of my reach. I often joke that living on campus at a Catholic university spoiled me spiritually. I didn’t always go to Daily Mass or to Confession because they were always there and I took them for granted. They have now become the things that I missed the most about my college days. Oh the irony! Thankfully, I still have Adoration at my local parish and can celebrate Daily Mass during young adult retreats. I consider it a great blessing whenever I go to Daily Mass.
I hope that you can either go to Adoration or Daily Mass today, dear sisters in Christ! God bless!