I was very defensive at first, and found myself reacting by trying to convince her of the validity of my beliefs. She would gently say, “Just take it to the Lord in prayer”—convinced that the Lord would show me the error of my ways.
I did take it to prayer. I experienced a lot of turmoil and struggle. I always believed that the Eucharist was a very important means of grace in order for us to grow in holiness. But, she didn’t partake in the Eucharist, and she seemed to be much holier than I was. I found myself faced with doubts about my faith. I began to think that maybe the Eucharist wasn’t as important as I thought it was—or—she wasn’t as holy as I thought she was. One minute I was judging her and looking for faults in her, and the next minute I was doubting my own beliefs.
It was a very painful and difficult struggle.
I put my hand on his shoulder and he pulled away in anger.
I told him I would pray for him. In the meantime, we were preparing to go on a pilgrimage to Rome. There were about 15 people from our parish going, including our Chaplain. When we got to Rome, our priest prepared to say the Mass for us in the little chapel over the tomb of St. Peter. Father started by asking us how many wanted to receive communion.
He counted out the hosts. After he began the Mass, and other people--not in our group—saw that there was a Mass going on, they began to pack into that little chapel. After communion, I said to my husband, “the Lord multiplied the hosts!” My husband said, “No, I didn’t go because I didn’t think there would be enough, and others probably didn’t go either.”
I said, “No, the Lord multiplied the hosts!”
After Mass, our priest came up to my husband and myself and said, “You don’t have to believe this, but—I counted out 15 hosts to consecrate, and at communion time, I broke 5 in half—then, I got angry and thought to myself, if there isn’t enough, they can just go without. There were at least 60 people that came up for communion and I had exactly enough for everyone.
I think the Lord is trying to tell me that all those who come to me hungry, will not go away empty.” The priest was healed of this problem of anger—it no longer bothered him if there was not enough hosts.
Two days later, my husband and I went to Sunday Mass at St. Peters on our own. Every altar in the Basilica was packed with people. Finally, I saw two young priests carrying a ciborium. I told my husband, “lets follow them—they must be going to say mass.”
They found an empty altar and began to prepare for Mass. They were American. People began to gather around the altar, and the young priest asked, “How many would like to receive communion?”
Then he counted out the hosts. After he began the Mass, more people arrived and packed around the altar. When the young priest got to his homily, he seemed to trip over his words—nothing came out right.
I thought to myself, “I’ll bet this is his first Mass.” It just seemed to me as though the priest looked up to God and said, “Why did you ever choose me?”
This priest also ended up with exactly enough hosts for everyone who came up to receive. This time, my husband recognized the miracle and acknowledged that the Lord had multiplied the hosts. The next day, our group—led by our priest—went on a tour of the North American Seminary. Suddenly, our priest came running up to us—he had been talking to one of the priests who were at the Mass that my husband and I had gone to the day before.
As far as I know, no one other than my husband, myself, and the priests that celebrated the Masses, noticed these miracles. In both of these miracles of multiplication of the hosts, the priests experienced spiritual healing—which was the greater miracle.
It amazed me that these miracles could take place right under our noses—with so many people present—yet, only a few of us were able to see it. Not only were the priests healed, but I also experienced a healing. It was as though scales fell from my eyes. I realized that the Eucharist is a gift, and my faith in it is a gift.
I realized how powerful a gift this is to those who have faith. At the same time, I realized that the Lord meets everyone where they are at—that He will use any means He can to give grace to those who believe in Him. I realized that my friend could become holy—become a great saint—as long as she is faithful to what the Lord gives to her—with or without the Eucharist. My healing was from the effects of dualism—a black and white, either, or mentality.
The best interpretation of the word “heresy” that I have heard is: “Heresy is when one truth is so magnified that it excludes another.”
When I returned home, I was able to love and accept my friends without giving up my own faith or beliefs. In fact, my devotion to the Lord’s presence in the Eucharist was increased a hundred fold.