I’ve heard many people who have come into a Catholic Church say that they felt a presence in the Catholic Church the first time they entered. Or they couldn’t put their finger on it but something was different than any other church they had been in. What are they talking about????
The Real Presence of Jesus in His quiet, humble silence in the Tabernacle. When we say that the Eucharist is the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, we aren’t thinking symbolically. He really is there. This presence is what people are noticing when they enter even if they don’t understand or had never heard of the teaching about the Real Presence, they still feel the presence of Jesus. This is rather remarkable when you think about it.
When I have spoken to converts, they tell me that after they came into a Catholic Church, they knew that something was different and that they also knew that their old church didn’t have that. They felt that their old church was empty or lacking something but the Catholic Church was never empty because Jesus was always there waiting for them to come and visit Him.
There is an old tradition that when you pass by a Catholic Church, you are supposed to make the Sign of the Cross to honor the Real Presence of Jesus in the Tabernacle and all of the Tabernacles of the world. This is something I have done for some time and enjoy knowing that He is there no matter what Catholic Church I pass by. I smile and make the Sign of the Cross and say “I love you Jesus present in the Tabernacle”.
I have been in a few different Protestant churches for weddings and funerals, etc. and found that I keep searching for the Tabernacle. There is none. It’s a religious place but it feels like it’s an empty place. When I return to the Catholic Church, He is still there waiting for me to return home to Him. If I am feeling like I need to talk to Him or just be in His presence, I can go to the Church and kneel and pray in front of the Tabernacle and know that He is right there in front of me to comfort me and listen to me. He’s not a million miles away. He’s always present there.