I was brought up in a Catholic environment along with two brothers and two sisters. Mother took us to church every Sunday and father, well, stayed home.
Before my first communion, I remember my school catechist teacher telling us that the bread and wine were transformed into the body and blood of Jesus Christ by the priest during mass. I could never fully believe that, partly because I sensed doubt in her voice at the time. This consecration was never mentioned again, that I can remember, by any of the religious instructors I've had throughout school years.
After leaving home at age 18, I very seldom attended church on Sundays. At age 24, I married a Protestant girl and life went on in a normal secular way for some 45 years.
In the early 1990's, the seers of Medjugorje appeared on the Oprah TV show. Through an interpreter they talked about the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary and her messages about people returning to God. This stirred my conscience and I started attending church on Sundays. A few months later after a lengthy confession and receiving the bishop's blessing I was able to take communion again.
A friend informed me that a tour was leaving Lancaster for Medjugorje within a few weeks. I enquired and was lucky and got a reservation. So in October 1994, after a long plane ride and a tedious bus trip we arrived at our destination. The following morning at breakfast, by pure chance I shared a table with two widows my age. We soon became friends and attended all functions as a trio. In those days, masses were celebrated in St.James parish only twice a day, 10 AM in English and 6 PM in Croatian. Just before the evening mass, my new found friends were talking about praying for their family members and recently deceased husbands, etc. Being ignorant about things of this nature, I felt left out so I closed my eyes and sincerely asked God to "give me whatever I need the most."
As luck would have it, we sat in the first pew where we could clearly see the altar. The priest used the large whole wheat Host which is now a familiar sight in most parishes. I had never seen one before and remember thinking, "what in heck is he going to do with that?" So I kept my eyes on it and as the Croatian priest raised the Host ever so slowly and said (I assumed) "This is my body which will be given up for you." In less than a quarter of a second a thin cloud formed over the altar and entered the Eucharist. Before you could say "Pst" it was gone. I was flabbergasted, I couldn't believe my eyes and thought I must have imagined it. I kept denying to myself that it had happened. I never told anyone about this because I was afraid no one would believe me and I'd only be be laughed at.
On arrival home I started praying first thing in the morning. A few months later I had to drive my wife to Cornwall for an early appointment. I woke up early and thought about rising sooner than usual to say my prayers. Before I even opened my eyes, all the feelings of doubt struck me about everything religious. There is no God, no spirits, ect. Praying was a waste of time. Praying wasn't getting anybody anywhere and that it never did nor ever would etc., etc. With eyes still closed, a white cloud formed. It slowly entered a bright white Eucharist and a loud voice said: "Don't ever forget this Louis." I was out of bed like a flash, looked for whoever spoke and realized that it was part of a vision so I literally ran downstairs to say my prayers.
That quarter of a second (Pst) in St.James parish in Medjugorje changed my life. I NOW KNOW that bread and wine are truly transsubstantiated into the Body and Blood of Our Saviour Jesus Christ. I've been attending morning mass ever since. To give that moment of consecration, of both bread and wine, proper respect I now bow and silently say "We adore you Oh Christ and we praise You, by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world."