The Church celebrates the great feast of Corpus Christi (or, The Body of Christ) now. Yesterday was the day of the feast, and we will celebrate it for eight days. In the catholic church, it’s called an ‘octave.’

It’s a special day for me for a number of reasons.

First of all, it’s the feast that celebrates (as its name implies) the Body of Christ, or the Sacrament of Holy Communion, one of seven in our faith. It’s special because we remember the night before Christ was betrayed, when He instituted His sacrifice at the Last Supper in the upper room on Maundy Thursday. Since the Church can’t celebrate this great mystery on the day He instituted It because of the foreshadowing of His arrest, trial, and ultimate crucifixion, we dedicate this day to celebrate It when we can do so with all solemnity. So we pull out all the stops and give It the prominence It deserves. This is the Body of Christ.

It’s also special because my mother died the day following this great feast in 2007. I truly feel that she was strengthened with the Body of Christ that year. You see, she was fighting cancer for years before, and that particular year was her final fight. She fought the good fight. And she was faithful. What a beautiful time to choose.

But even before that happened, Corpus Christi was special to me. I can’t really explain it outside of a feeling within me. I was always drawn to the Blessed Sacrament since I came to the catholic faith, and felt a strong devotion to It. And why not? To kneel in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament is to kneel in prayer before the Very Body of Christ (Corpus Christi). To receive Him in communion is to become united with the Godhead in an inconceivable assimilation. To understand it is to lose all ability to speak. It goes beyond reasoning.

So, for the next 7 days I will continue praying … and remembering.