Myriam – ‘my last chance’
Faced with the emptiness of her life, Miriam went through a deep depression. It was then that she experienced meeting Christ in the Eucharist.
During adolescence, a great spiritual quest grew in my heart. I was baptized and our mother taught us the Our Father and Hail Mary. We said them every night. But that was all. Wanting to go further, I signed up with my brother for catechism classes. Our parents were divorced and we came from a very different background from the others – we did not fit in and we gave up. Then, still filled with an intense inner thirst, I looked at the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Islam, Buddhism, personal development, etc. But each time, there was an obstacle and I concluded that the God I believed to be in my heart was not present there.
Disappointed, I became quite allergic to religion. I just continued to visit places of worship, outside the times of services. I went to work in London, I liked at the time of the work break to sit in a church. This soothed me and I thought that so many people had prayed there. If God were to reveal Himself to me one day, it would be in a place like this! So I went my own way, in parallel with the Catholic faith, but without attending any services, which I did not understand anyway. Then, going from disappointment to disappointment, I asked myself what was the meaning of my life, “What is the purpose? God, you have forgotten me. I looked for you everywhere and I have not found You. Yet I know that you exist!” I was tired of this quest and although surrounded by people, I felt very alone. I fell into a deep depression. I no longer had any desire to live. I had extensive treatment – antidepressants, anxiolytics, sedatives, etc.
The puzzle comes together
During a return to France, my mother suggested that I go with her to the West Indies where I had come from. There, an aunt invited me to her prayer group. Although I was reluctant, I eventually went with her. I discovered a group of women who prayed with their arms in the air, singing in a strange language. I was sure they had drunk too much rum! They asked if someone wanted to be prayed for. My aunt pushed me forward affectionately and I went up. They prayed for me and I felt like a lock whose gates were opening. One of these women had a word that touched me most intimately. Another said something that turned me upside down like a pancake, “Jesus loves you”. It was like the puzzle coming instantaneously together. All my questions were answered. In the evening my aunt told me that she was going to Mass in the morning at six. Although weakened by my depression, I decided to go with her – as if it was my last chance. And at the moment of elevation, I recognized in the Eucharist the person who ‘talked’ to me the day before: this Jesus, it was the same person! Then I felt a great desire to receive Him. My aunt advised me to go first of all to see a priest who was a member of the Emmanuel Community. I did so immediately after Mass. The priest spoke to me for an hour. He gave me the address of an Emmanuel parish in Paris. I was hardly back when I contacted this parish. I prepared for my First Holy Communion which I received a few months later. I had been waiting for this meeting for so many years! When I received Christ, an initial objection presented itself to me, “Is that all?” Immediately afterwards the reply came to me, “Yes, that is all!” This is my whole life, this is my everything.
Through this Sacrament, the Lord gradually healed my depression. I had asked Him for this grace, and although I was having intense treatment, I was able to stop taking all my medication after three months.
Yes, it is really Jesus we meet in His Eucharist. I experienced this and my life was transformed. I committed in the Emmanuel Community in January 2013.
Testimony which originally appeared in ‘L’1visible’.