The Hunger

One of the things I love about vacation is finding a nice little breakfast spot. I also enjoy visiting new churches, taking in the architecture, the art, the music and the subtle nuances in the liturgy which offer a new perspective on my faith.

So, when we were visiting Dallas last weekend, I initially wanted to revisit Spiral Diner and Bakery, a vegan restaurant specializing in comfort food, particularly my favorite meal, breakfast. How I longed for blueberry pancakes, tofu scramble, and – be still, my heart – home fries: the perfect medley of salt, fat and carbs. I’d drench it in syrup and ketchup and float away to happy land on the bubbles of my mimosa.

But we had an 11 a.m. plane to catch and, more importantly, it was Sunday. I knew where my heart, not my stomach, needed me to be. So, I searched for a Catholic church and found several. I chose Holy Trinity Catholic Church for its beauty, as well as its proximity to the airport.

When we drove up to the mission-style church, we noticed there were signs on all of the doors. I immediately panicked. If the church was closed, where would we go? How would I receive Communion? I was nervous about the flight and needed the peace and comfort I can only find in our Most Blessed Sacrament.

At a closer glance, we discovered that Mass would be held in the school gym, a beautiful structure in and of itself, with a lofted ceiling supported by impressive beams and sunlight pouring in huge windows peppered with squares and rectangles of colored glass. The altar was simple and the mood was relaxed, but reverent.

At one point, the priest called up the extraordinary ministers of holy Communion for a blessing. It was touching to see how many people of so many different ages and ethnicities chose to partake in this important role.

The priest’s homily, however, was the most significant, particularly to me on this morning where my tummy rumbled and my anxieties about the flight back home were building to an inevitable crescendo. Father spoke about how we “hunger” for the Eucharist and that when we say “Amen,” it is our way of acknowledging that we need Jesus’ body and blood just as much as we need food, water or air. And I realized that I needed the comfort of my Lord and Savior more than I needed pancakes to provide sustenance for my journey home.