I don't know about you, but I have personally found this chapter very powerful. I don't remember my first communion. However, I do know the longing for it when I end up at services where I cannot take communion because of my food allergies. I too have cried at the altar rail from being a part of communion, and I have experienced crying at the altar rail because I could not take part in the literal eating of communion during that service. The Church believes that even if you cannot literally eat, for many reasons during a communion service, that if your intention is there, you have received. All well and good. There is still something powerful about the actual eating of the bread and drinking of the wine.
Sara Miles goes on to talk about her confusion about what happened to her in taking her First Communion. She was repulsed, but also drawn toward it.
"Yet that impossible word, Jesus, lodged in me like a crumb. I said it over and over to myself, as if repetition would help me understand. I had no idea what it meant; I didn't know what to do with it. But it was realer than any thought of mine, or even any subjective emotion: It was as real as the actual taste of the bread and the wine. And the word was indisputably in my body now, as if I'd swallowed a radioactive pellet that would outlive my own flesh. Much later on, I'd read what Jesus's disciples said about the idea of eating a body and drinking blood. "This is intolerable," they declared. Many of them, shocked, "could not accept it and went away and followed him no more." Well, it was intolerable." (59)
Have you ever found the idea about communion shocking?