The commercial below reminds me of the fact that the Eucharist is our necessary food for the journey; it is the food of wayfarers. In John chapter 6, Jesus teaches that the miraculous manna described in Exodus and Numbers was the food that sustained the ancient Jews in the desert and strengthened them bodily for their journey to the Promised Land. While most of them did not make it to the Promised Land because of their unbelief, their children did. The manna was the food that fed them for that long journey.
Jesus then says that He is now the living bread come down from Heaven for us:
I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that anyone may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And this bread, which I will give for the life of the world, is My flesh (Jn 6:48-51).
If for some strange reason the ancient Jews had refused to eat the manna given them, they would have died of hunger in the desert. So, too, for us. If we do not receive Holy Communion, we will not have the strength to make it to the Promised Land of Heaven:
Truly, truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of Man, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day (Jn 6:53-54).
So, the Eucharist is our true and necessary food to sustain us. Without it we are starving ourselves and do not have strength for the journey. Even if God has other ways to feed those who cannot reasonably know of or receive the Eucharist, that is no excuse for those of us who know better.
In the commercial below, a young man eats his oatmeal while staring dreamily out the window. Astride his bicycle and seeing a steep mountain before him, he feels strengthened for the journey, an epic journey. For us, the mountain is Heaven and the epic journey is the drama of our life through the hills and valleys of this world. We are wayfarers and our food is the Eucharist.
Art for this post on the key characterisitcs of good spiritual direction: Feature Image: Ein ernstes Gespräch (A Serious Conversation), Ludwig Johann Passini, by 1902, PD-US author’s life plus 100 years or less, Wikimedia Commons.