by Father Louis J. Cameli
Reviewed by Eileen Quinn Knight, Ph.D.
In thinking and praying in regard to the Eucharist I have developed a wonderfully joyous understanding and love for Christ in my life. His presence permeates my day. Father Cameli’s book, Bread of Life calls me and adds to that presence/intimacy in the first line of the book where he states :”I cannot imagine my life without the Eucharist.” This book connects our everyday lives to the presence of Christ. Day in and day out we live our lives with a sense of ‘gift of Christ living in others’. Father Cameli’s Eucharistic autobiography helps us to connect his life with ours. This assists us in developing the community we long for in this life as a foretaste of heaven.
Father Cameli’s book presents the question of the transforming power of the Eucharist. This transformation takes place personally as we bring Christ’s presence to others and communally as the community is transformed by Christ in a way that makes us aware of how our lives effect/affect others. From our participation at daily Mass, as Father Cameli explains in this video,
Draw Near - A Video Guide to the Catholic Mass
to our communal worship on Sundays, the Eucharist sustains our lives on our journey. The hunger we have for the nourishment of the Eucharist drives us and sustains us through our lived lives. Our own sexuality flows from our realization that this sacrament calls us to respect not only our own bodies as Christ dwells within but also the bodies of others as Christ resides within them. The Eucharist ties all of human experiences together.
This book can be read in little sips or in big gulps. It is set up in a very organized and readable manner in which major themes are broken into manageable thoughts and then questions are posed for reflection or sharing. On page 79, Fr. Cameli offers us the question: “ From your personal perspective, how does the Eucharist cast light for you on the questions raised by important human experiences? ”I’ve offered this book to my own students and Catholic school teachers who attended a religious institute and they wanted to talk over the questions posed. One student recently received her First Holy Communion after reading and discussing the book. It is a book that transforms our own lives and the lives of the people we are in community with.