Beautiful Eucharist: Inspiring Testimonies of Faith and Encounters with Jesus in the Eucharist

“From the Poor Clares, I learned spiritual discipline and intentional generosity. From the Franciscans, I learned God loved me unconditionally and that our Church needed my gifts and participation, even in my childhood. From Fr. Collins, I learned that Scripture was meant to be read, shared, and lived. Father taught us that the Eucharist was the True Presence of Jesus Christ …”

Beautiful Eucharist: pg. 25, Ch. 3
“Do you know where you’re going?”


Have you ever had the experience of wanting to read a book, knowing that it would most likely be a good idea to pick up the book, but something always seemed to “get in the way”? If you have had that experience, I hope you have also had the experience of FINALLY getting around to finding the time to not only get started but also continue and have the great feeling that it was not too late, that the book was even better than you expected. That was my experience with Beautiful Eucharist by Matthew Kelly.

I had often heard of Matthew Kelly and Dynamic Catholic, the organization he founded. I had read some of the books he had written. I vaguely remember having seen or heard about the book Beautiful Eucharist as a resource for the National Eucharistic Revival. I believe that it was last December (2023) when Sister Theresa Lee, F.M.A., our Chancellor and Delegate for Religious, asked if I was familiar with the book. She also told me that Dynamic Catholic was offering the book to dioceses, parishes, and church groups at a bulk rate and significant discount. Sister Theresa asked whether I thought it was a good idea that we buy some copies that we could distribute. I thanked Sister Theresa for her good idea and we purchased 120 copies of the paperback (three times over). I remember that we distributed them to some of our diocesan leaders at a Lenten Retreat Day in February and at a number of other gatherings. All along, the book sat on my desk. I brought it to a conference and on retreat. I had it on a table in the chapel in my residence. I picked it up a couple of times and read a few pages… Lent became Holy Week, then Easter (a.k.a. confirmation season) … March, April, May. I put the book in my bag as I prepared to travel to Lourdes … I guess Lourdes was “the right place, at the right time.” Over the course of a few days in Lourdes, I read one testimony after another and had a real experience of Eucharistic Revival.

Beautiful Eucharist is a collection of 12 brief testimonies, stories, and experiences of how Catholics (and a few non-Catholics) from many different backgrounds and vocations came to appreciate what we believe about the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist: Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. From the Introduction to the Conclusion, there are 106 pages, but in each of the 12 personal testimonies, there is something that truly “speaks to the heart.” If you have read this far, you know that I am recommending that you find a copy of this book and read it. You can order it online. I would recommend ordering from the Dynamic Catholic website. If you are willing to pay $6.95 for shipping, Dynamic Catholic will send you SIX copies of the book for FREE!! You can find that offer here.

There are testimonies from some well-known priests, bishops, theologians, and speakers, such as Archbishop Fulton Sheen, Bishop Andrew Cozzens, Father Mike Schmitz, and Philosophy professor Peter Kreeft. Professor Kreeft offers a wonderful experience he describes as What I Learned from a Muslim about the Eucharist. As powerful and inspiring as those testimonies are, some of the testimonies of the less well-known women and men of faith offer the sometimes profound simplicity of a life-changing encounter with the Risen Lord Jesus. The quote I used at the beginning of this column is one example. I will also share a few lines from the testimony given by Jenna Greiwe, under the title Come Away to a Quiet Place. Jenna is a “dedicated member of the Dynamic Catholic Team (for more than 12 years.” She is also a wife and mother. She writes,

My faith came to life my freshman year of high school. There were a handful of people who were part of creating that spark, but none as much as Angie. Angie was the youth minister at my local parish and she brought Jesus to life for me. Every Sunday she told me that Jesus Christ loved me, and if I was the only person who had ever lived, Jesus still would have died for me… I didn’t have to look far to figure out how Angie was able to believe so strongly. At least once a month, she would bring our youth group to pray in front of the Blessed Sacrament in Adoration. Dozens of kids knelt and sat in front of the altar. It was a sight to behold…

Beautiful Eucharist: pg. 41-42, Ch. 5
“Come Away to a Quiet Place”

I think that it would be worth getting the book just to read the four and a half pages to hear Jenna’s full testimony.

I will share one other experience that I hope you may find interesting. It caused me to wonder. I have shared before that while I try to read as much as possible, I am also a fan of audiobooks and have enjoyed listening to books (especially in the car) for more than 15 years. After starting “low-tech” and listening to books on tape and then on CDs, I now have a subscription to the Audible app which has an incredibly vast library, literally at the “tip of your finger” by tapping on your phone. For some reason, I never thought to see if Beautiful Eucharist was available on Audible. All those months, wanting to read Beautiful Eucharist, I think I listened to 12 books but never checked. As I began writing this column, I still had not read the final three testimonies/chapters and it occurred to me to check on Audible — it took about three seconds to find it and a minute to download it. As I enjoyed listening to the last three chapters, I realized that this was a book that I “needed to read” — slowly and prayerfully, turning the pages. I humbly recommend to anyone that he or she finds the time to do the same.

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