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 | By Joey Reistroffer

A Vision and a Promise for the Eucharist

People point to Sister Briege McKenna and claim she has the gift of healing. The Poor Clare sister defers, however, points to the Eucharist and says Jesus does all the work. She is just his instrument.

“The Eucharist brings us the gift of the Real Presence,” she said. “Jesus is alive, body, soul and divinity,” and priests bring us the gift of the Eucharist. “It’s not possible to speak about the Eucharist without the priesthood.”

Both, however, are under attack today, she said at the ninth annual Marian Eucharistic Conference in Greenville.

She gave one example of a priest who became so depressed that he decided to quit, to walk away from his vocation. At the time, Sister Briege was teaching first-graders. She told her class that the priest was ailing, and they needed to send him get-well cards.

According to Sister Briege, one girl wrote, “Father, if you are sick, who will bring the Eucharist to all the people?”

The priest brought that get-well letter to Sister Briege and said he had a change of heart and stayed with his vocation.

“God can do anything. All he needs is our cooperation,” she said.

Sister Briege said we need to lift up our priests and to support them.

“There are so many good priests who are so discouraged,” she added. “We have to pray for vocations, and don’t be criticizing the priests. Criticism is like cancer. It eats away at you. Pray for the pope. Pray for the bishops. Just keep praying.”

A perfect place to pray is eucharistic adoration.

“I love eucharistic adoration,” Sister Briege said. “You can tell him exactly how you feel.”

During one of those moments, she asked, “What’s wrong with the priests?”

According to Sister Briege, God showed her how he chooses men for the vocation.

“I saw the process from the moment of conception,” she said. “The priesthood is not a job. It is not a profession. The priesthood is [God’s] gift. You don’t choose the priest … the Holy Spirit chooses this man.”

She said since God chooses the person, and we must take care of the gift, we have to nurture and support men discerning the priesthood. They need to see that we care.

Sister Briege said that priests lift up the True Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. Christ gave his apostles “the power and authority over sin and death” on Holy Thursday and that “every Mass is the recreation of [and participation in] Calvary,” she said.

“Every time you look at the host, it is The Person. This is Jesus, the same Jesus who walked the Earth. And receiving Jesus is awesome. The Eucharist is communion with the Savior . . . He keeps saying to us, ‘Come to Me,’” she added.

He is waiting for us in eucharistic adoration, which Sister Briege called “radiant treatment for the soul. You don’t have to say anything. You just have to be there and sit in the presence of someone who loves you.”

Once you know the power and love of Jesus, this will change your life, she said.

“Remember that Jesus is not limited. There is no limit to what he can do.”

Let him heal you and use you as an instrument of his grace.