People often ask me how it is that Tom and I left the Catholic Church for ten years, especially after I had a dramatic conversion experience through the Eucharist, witnessed a Eucharistic Miracle, and started a women's household devoted to the Eucharist. I do not have an easy answer to that, except obviously I didn't get it.
I think often times we unknowing keep God at arm's length and we hold things back from him. Often, we think we want more of God but really what we are seeking is a nice, warm, fuzzy feeling. If we are just seeking a feeling, well, we can feel his love and his presence in other places other than a Catholic Mass.
If we are truly seeking intimacy with the Lord, there is no greater intimacy that we can have with Him a part from receiving Jesus in the Eucharist. Some Protestants however put Catholics to shame in this area and are able to have deep, intimate relationships with the Lord without having the Eucharist.
True intimacy requires sacrifice. To receive all the graces available through the Eucharist, we need to be willing to give it all, just as Jesus gave it all. Not only did he die for us, but he gives us his flesh to eat! We are called to surrender our whole selves back to Jesus and not withhold anything. The Eucharist is not meant to be one-sided. Soon after I left the Catholic Church, the Lord began to work with me in the area of intimacy. Through difficult circumstances, the Lord began to teach me to be still and rest in Him; to surrender all.
After coming back to the Catholic Church, I definitely gained a deeper appreciation for the true presence of Jesus in the Eucharist; often receiving him would even bring me to tears as I contemplated the intimacy available by receiving him. When I go up to receive him, I often pray that he will enter all the hidden, dark chambers of my heart that have not yet seen his light.
It could take a lifetime to comprehend, but it wasn't until I had a miscarriage a few years ago that I really started to "get" it. After my miscarriage, I realized that I had the opportunity, like St. Thomas the Apostle, to touch the wounds of Christ and join my wounds to his wounds.
I also love the metaphor of the pelican. If the baby of a mother pelican does not have anything to eat, the mother will rip at her own flesh in order to feed it. In a sense, that is what Jesus does for us! He knows that it is only himself, the Living bread come down from heaven, that will truly satisfy our souls (John 6:51)! He gives us all of himself, holding nothing back!