I can learn a lot by watching my dog. For example, whenever I am eating she is always so attentive. If I have a single scrap, or if she even suspects I do, she is underfoot, staring with anticipation, hoping that I drop something for her. And lately I’ve seen in her a kindred sensation, similar to the feeling of joyful anticipation I sometimes feel at Mass. I don’t always feel this sense of expectancy, but when I most fully appreciate Who it is that I am about to receive, I start to get that thrill of hope. And so I try to be more attentive during the Liturgy of the Eucharist when the priest raises the host and repeats the words of Christ,
At times I have to remind myself of the significance of the event. I have to admit that, while I am a cradle Catholic, I don’t always appreciate this sacrifice, nor the power of the physical, real presence of our Savior. But when I begin to more fully appreciate the reality of His presence, I enter the Communion line with a sense of anticipation, like a child ticking away each day of Advent until Christmas Eve. And as the line ahead of me dwindles, and the Eucharistic Minister–the Christ Bearer– is nearer, I find the experience humbling and exhilarating to know that He gave himself so fully and so completely for me. I just hope that He sees in me the same excitement to see Him as my dog shows for me. And I hope I am just as attentive, just as focused on the morsel that will fully satisfy me, as Rudy is on the little scrap that will barely whet her appetite.