This guy is tough.

Manly? Yes.

It perhaps may be evident to you from my last two post that I have a slight inclining to be just an absolute brute of a man. You know, a “macho man”. Like a testosterone raging super-man. Like this guy catching a fish.

The truth of the matter is that authentic masculinity is not found in athleticism, bushy beards or wingtips, rather authentic masculinity is found when a man models his life after Jesus Christ. Recently, I have been merely attempting to change my life for Christ and I have experienced a transformation from arrogance, aggression, and false confidence to humility, meekness, and vulnerability (I cry and stuff now).

“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves.” – Matthew 11:29

I write this blog for bulldogCatholic as a sort of spiritual exercise for myself. My audience is literally myself, a sinner who desires to fall into a deeper love for the Lord given life’s circumstances. Last time I gave witness to my struggle with forgetting about God’s love throughout the day. Today, Jesus is telling me to confront a new battle that I face, it is one which I think is common to many, it is that never ending bout with loneliness. I don’t think there is any need for me to explain the type of battle this is; it is that “my dog just died”, “lie awake all night”, “we broke-up”, “a month into college and I don’t know how to do my laundry” type battle everyone struggles with in varying degrees. And right now it comes in the form of “I miss my mom”.

I will admit with no shame that I am an absolute “Momma’s Boy”. It is no longer of any use to hide this fact (#realmenlovetheirmother). I stinkin’ love my Mom. My mother is smart, funny, hardworking and loving. She is everything a mother needs to be and more, and my five siblings will proudly echo this sentiment. With that being said she is not in Duluth. I miss her and my entire family, and when you miss someone or something you feel lonely.

So how do I confront this? I look to my role-model, our Lord Jesus Christ. That Man loved His Momma too. This is why St. Louis de Montfort’s consecration to Jesus through our Blessed Mother has been a pivotal moment in the lives of many who look to our Mother as a “spiritual vessel”. As I ponder the life of the Son of Man I see a life of mission. A mission away from His mother. However, in that mission their remains a fond devotion to the Mother. Then, it is at His crucifixion when he says to His mother and beloved disciple, “Woman, behold your son. Son, behold your mother.”(John 19:26) Not only does He give His life, but He also gives of His mother. (Shoot!) The challenge seems overwhelming.

As Fr. Mike said this past Sunday, “give thanksgiving and praise to God when you enter your battle.” So I thank the Lord for giving me such a wonderful mother. I thank the Lord for the love He has for His own Mother, a love so great He shares her with us all. Also, I thank the Lord for the chance to suffer in loneliness as I miss my home and my family. It was due to this suffering a deeper understanding of a beautiful truth started to fester like never before in my heart: The Eucharist is Jesus Christ, body, blood, soul and divinity.

The Eucharist, in Greek eucharistia, meaning thanksgiving. It is a sacrifice with the name thanksgiving. (Fr. Mike is on to something here, asking us to turn our suffering into thanksgiving.) What a love Jesus expresses in the Eucharist. When we sing the Tantum Ergo at Benediction, we ask “that our faith may supply for what our senses cannot perceive.”

Here is some of what we cannot perceive and why this is all connected to me missing my mother:

(These beautiful words are from Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI)

  1. We all “eat” the same person, not only the same thing; we all are in this way taken out of our closed individual persons and placed inside another, greater one.
  2. We all are assimilated into Christ and so by means of communion with Christ, united among ourselves, rendered the same, one sole thing in him, members of one another.
  3. To communicate with Christ is essentially also to communicate with one another. We are no longer each alone, each separate from the other; we are now each part of the other; each of those who receive communion is “bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh” (Gn 2,23).

“The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf.” (1 Corinthian 10:16)

Here is the truth. Every time I receive Jesus in the Eucharist, I receive my mother. Not just my mother but the whole entire communion of the faithful living and dead. How crazily mind boggling wonderful is this belief?! Every time I receive Jesus I am united with grandpa Tojo, with godfather Ralphie, with Aunt Ann Marie and Uncle Patrick. Every time I receive Jesus I am united with my mother, father, brothers and sisters. Every time I receive Jesus I am united to the person sitting beside me in the pew. Due to the Eucharist I am brought in union with Fr. Mike, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, and that bearded fisherman. It is the Eucharist that beckons the Christ within ourselves to recognize the Christ in the other.

“The Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life.” – CCC 1324

Danielle Rose has a beautiful song titled, “See you In the Eucharist”. Check it out:

Check out why she wrote it:

The Eucharist is the complete gift of love. This brings us beyond a relationship with Jesus. This is intimacy. Due to the victory of His Resurrection the Lord’s love reigns forever, in Heaven and on Earth. We become each other and we are strengthened by each other in the Eucharist.

Wherever you go, or wherever I go, all the ground between us will be holy ground because of the Eucharist. See you in the Eucharist, Mom!