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Remembering a religious experience

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No angel visited me in a dream.

I never saw tears from a statue.

Jesus never showed me His face in the clouds.

My most memorable religious experience came in high school, compliments of my
senior religion teacher, Father Gardiner.

At Notre Dame High School, in Harper Woods Michigan, we didn’t have a formal
chapel.Yes, we held formal mass as an entire student body in the gym once a
month.But once a week our religious ed teacher, Father Gardiner, said Mass
for our class himself in a converted classroom. This was post Vatican II, so he had us
stand around the altar during the ceremony.

Father was meek and mild, a “fade into the background kind of guy. But a
defining strength and presence seemed to come over him whenever he said Mass. It
was as if he was born to perform the act of consecration. Unlike many priests,
he didn’t just go through the motions. He respected and mediated on every
nuance. At the very moment of transubstantiation he trembled as he lifted what
was now the body of Christ. As he would gain the composure to hold it steady
his belief would permeate the room and touch every one present.

As he held it there the moment held us.

In all the Masses I either served or attended since, I have never experienced
the Consecration as I did in that converted classroom with Father Gardiner.

He gave me a gift I will never forget.

He helped consecrate my belief in the Catholic doctrine of Transubstantiation
and protect it against anyone who might disrespect or dispute it.

He blessed me with a defining religious experience.

Tell me about yours.

I’d love to hear about it. So would anyone else that follows this comment
thread.

Related article:

Living the Eucharist

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