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3 ways to increase your hunger for heavenly food

Israel was delivered by God from Egypt, but the people were not all that happy about it. They were hungry in the desert, but for the wrong kind of food. They still hungered for Egypt! They complained “would that we had died at the Lord’s hand in the land of Egypt, as we sat by our fleshpots and ate our fill of bread! But You had to lead us into this desert to make the whole community die of famine!” (Exodus 16:3)

God heard their cry. He did not want them to starve to death, but to hunger for the right kind of food. God sent them manna – a bread-like substance to eat all the days of their journey right up until they entered the promised land. Manna was their food in exile.  

We are in exile too, and Jesus does not want us to starve either. Many times we hunger for the wrong things, and end up filling ourselves with junk food that kills the soul.

Growing in our awareness of the real food God provides is essential for spiritual fitness. We need to be hungry for God! If we are not spiritually hungry for the food God provides, we are not spiritually healthy.

Jesus said, “I am the Living Bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this Bread will live forever. The Bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.” (John 6:51)

Mystery of mysteries! The bread we share at Mass is Jesus Christ! Many disciples could not take this teaching and left Jesus. Many today still say, “How can this man give us His flesh to eat?” (John 6:52) Jesus was not just a man, and the Eucharist we share in as Catholics in not just bread. It is His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity substantially present to us under the disguise of bread and wine. Jesus asked the apostles if they wanted to leave, too. Peter said, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of everlasting life.” (John 6:68) I pray God will grant us the grace to say the same thing.

When people looked upon Jesus, they were seeing God come in the flesh. Not everyone could recognize that Jesus was God. It required a gift of faith from God. When we look upon the bread and wine after the consecration, we are looking upon Jesus Christ coming to us as the Living Bread from heaven. Not everyone believes this, and because of this, they miss out on the real food that gives eternal life. They miss out on the holy hunger!

That is what I call being hungry for Jesus in the Eucharist! It is holy hunger!  

 

Do you want this hunger? Then do the following exercises. We all know what it is like to be hungry after exercise. The same thing will happen to us spiritually when we exercise our spirits! We will be given the gift of holy hunger.­­

1 Receive Jesus in the Eucharist with love and devotion at Mass. Give yourself to Him. Prepare well to receive Him. Pray: “Lord, I am hungry for you. Increase my hunger, so that I  may say, ‘I do not live on bread alone, but on Jesus, my Bread of Life.’”

2 Visit Jesus present at church in the Blessed Sacrament. He is there for us. Our adoration of His Presence will help us grow in our awareness of His presence, will increase our hunger for Him, will help us better participate in the Mass, and will  help us be His body and blood for others. To begin: Sit, kneel, lie prostrate on the ground, or stand before Him. Whatever is most appropriate for you before God. Say His name in prayer: “Jesus. Jesus I love you, Jesus I adore you, Jesus I believe in you.” Repeat often, but say it each time like you really mean it. Listen to Jesus ask you these questions ... Why do you love Me? Why do you adore Me? Why do you believe in Me? Talk to Jesus present before you. Tell Him why. Repeat the prayer as often as you desire. Your hunger will grow!

3 End your time with Jesus by praying the following litany:

Jesus, Bread that is broken for me, increase my hunger for You.

Jesus, Bread of angels, increase my hunger for You.

Jesus, Bread sent from the Father, increase my hunger for You.

Jesus, Bread of Life, increase my hunger for You.

Jesus, Bread of Eternal Thanksgiving, increase my hunger for You.

Jesus, Bread of Eternal Praise, increase my hunger for You.

Jesus, Bread of Divine Mercy, increase my hunger for You.

Jesus, Bread of Divine Love, increase my hunger for You.

Jesus, Bread of Hope, increase my hunger for You.

Jesus, Bread of unity, increase my hunger for You.

Jesus, Bread of Your Body and Blood, increase my hunger for You.

Jesus, Bread of Humility, increase my hunger for You.

Jesus, Bread of Purity, increase my hunger for You.

Jesus, Bread of Innocence, increase my hunger for You.

Jesus, Bread of Poverty, increase my hunger for You.

Jesus, Bread of Obedience, increase my hunger for You.

Jesus, Bread of Strength for the living, increase my hunger for You.

Jesus, Bread from heaven for the dying, increase my hunger for You.

Jesus, I love You; Jesus, I adore You; Jesus, I believe in You.

Have mercy on me a sinner. Amen