Infertility and the Eucharist
Sometimes I have a hard time paying attention during Mass as distraction gets the better of me. For whatever reason, though, I have always made an extra effort to try to set my distraction aside to unite my prayers to the priest as he is consecrating Christ’s body and blood.
Although consecration and the Liturgy of the Eucharist is the part of the Mass I pay most attention, one recent Sunday, I listened a little closer, and heard a distinct message for me in the words of the consecration:
“This is my body, given up for you… Do this in memory of me.”
I know that the words “do this in memory of me” have always meant to repeat what Christ did: not just in terms of the celebration of the Eucharist but also to love as He loved and to break my body as He did to serve many. But other than Christ’s body that was literally given up for us and continues to be during this Holy Sacrament, I always viewed the words “This is my body, given up for you” in the light of service – to be willing to be broken as He was is to serve His holy church and His people at all costs. But in light of infertility, the words “This is my body, given up for you” take on a whole new meaning.
I was confronted with this reality when I felt God asking me as I knelt before Him in the Eucharist: “Are you giving me your body, too – not just your work and your service but your physical body? Are you trusting me with it? And are you doing this in memory of me – are you allowing God’s will to be done with your body as I allowed it to be done with mine?”
Then came the consecration of sacred blood, and as the priest lifted up the chalice and said, “This is the cup of my blood, given up for you …. Do this in memory of me.” I was all of a sudden reminded of the fact that in art history, the chalice is a symbol of the woman’s womb. And again, I heard the Lord asking me, “Have you given me your chalice, your womb? Have you allowed me to fill it with my precious blood? Are you willing to trust me with it and allow me to fill it – or not – according to my loving will for you?” These words struck to the core of my heart and have stuck with me ever since I felt Him lovingly challenge me in this area. My prayer is that I may do just this.
Jesus trusted in the will of His Father and gave up His body and blood for His most holy will. Now I need to do the same, in memory of Him.