Skip to comments.The Eucharist is light among the shadows that threaten the world, the Pope says
Posted on 10/17/2004 3:32:54 PM PDT by NYer
Vatican City (AsiaNews) In the solemn mass in St Peter Basilica announcing the start of the Year of the Eucharist, Pope John Paul II said that the Eucharist is light for the heart of man oppressed by sin, disoriented and tired, the light for a world that is in a difficult search for a seemingly distant peace in a new millennium distressed and humiliated by violence, terrorism and war. For the Pope, the light of the Eucharist is also a mystery as a way to relate to the problems of our times.
The solemn rite took place in Rome as the International Eucharistic Congress was coming to a close in Guadalajara. Through a live TV feed both events were linked. Unlike other times, the Pope could not be in the Mexican city in person but at least he was able to speak to the congress participants.
The TV linkage between St Peter Basilica, the heart of Christendom, and Guadalajara, seat of the Congress, the Pope said in Spanish, is a bridge between continents and makes our prayer meeting an ideal Statio orbis bringing together believers from around the world. Jesus Himself is the point of encounter, truly present in the most Holy Eucharist through the mystery of his death and resurrection, the point where heaven and earth and peoples and cultures meet. Christ is our peace, the One who made the two into one people.
For the Pope, who seemed to be in relatively good health, the central theme of the Congress The Eucharist as light and life of the new millennium urges us to think of the Eucharistic mystery not only in and of itself but also in relation to the problems of our times.
Mystery of light! The human heart, oppressed by sin, often disoriented, tired and burdened by all sorts of suffering, needs light. The world, too, needs light in its difficult search for a seemingly distant peace at the beginning of a new millennium distressed and humiliated by violence, terrorism and war.
The Eucharist is light! In the Word of God constantly proclaimed, bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ. It is He, the resurrected Lord, who opens minds and hearts. When the bread is broken, He lets Himself be recognised as did the two disciples in Emmaus. It is in this convivial gesture that we relive the sacrifice on the Cross, experience Gods infinite love and are called upon to spread the light of Christ among the men and women of our times.
Lifes mystery! What aspiration can be greater in life? And yet, menacing shadows are gathering over this universal human yearning: the shadow of a culture that denies respect to life in all its stages; the shadow of indifference that condemns countless people to a life of hunger and underdevelopment; the shadow of science whose research is too often at the service of the selfish mighty.
The Eucharist means brotherhood. For the Pope, that compels us to feel the needs of our brothers. We cannot lock our heart away and hide from their calls for help. And yet we cannot forget that Man does not live of bread alone for we also need the bread that comes from the heavens. Jesus is that bread. Feeding from Him means accepting Gods life and opening ourselves to love and sharing.
I especially wanted this year to be dedicated to the Eucharist for this mystery truly nourishes the Church every day, especially on Sundays, the day when we celebrate the resurrection of Christ.
In this Year of the Eucharist, the Christian community is urged to be more aware and conscious of this observance through a more fervent and lasting adoration and a greater commitment to brotherhood and service to the humble.
The Eucharist is the source and epiphany of the communion. It is the principle and goal of mission. Following in Marys footsteps Eucharistic woman, may the Christian community experience this mystery! Thanks to the Bread of eternal live, may Christians become light and life, source of evangelisation and solidarity!
For the opening of the Year of the Eucharist, the Pope recited a prayer that he wrote himself:
Mane nobiscum, Domine! he said. Like the two disciples in the Gospels, we implore You, Lord Jesus, stay with us! You, divine traveller who know the roads and our hearts, do not leave us in the shadows of the evening.
Help us in our weariness, forgive us our sins and lead us onto the path of righteousness. Bless the children, the youth, the elder, the families, especially the sick. Bless the priests and those who are consecrated. Bless all of humanity.
In the Eucharist, You have become the medicine of immortality: give us a taste for the full life, the one that leads us to walk on this earth as confident and joyful pilgrims with the eye always on the prize of endless life.
Stay with us, oh Lord! Stay with us! Amen.
"I want to express my great gratitude to all those who, on the occasion of the anniversary (on Saturday) of my election to the seat of Saint Peter, sent me their congratulations and assured me of their prayers," the pope told thousands of believers at his weekly Sunday address in St Peter's Square.
Later he presided at a special mass in St Peter's basilica to inaugurate the Eucharistic Year -- a year of special devotion to the sacrament of the Eucharist, the centrepiece of the Catholic mass.
The Eucharist, the sacrament that recalls the last supper of Christ, is "light and life", the pope said.
"The world needs light in the difficult search for a peace which appears distant, at the beginning of a millennium ravaged and humiliated by the violence of terrorism and war."
He spoke of "threatening shadows" hanging over the human race, among them that of a "scientific research sometimes put to the service of the selfishness of the strongest.".
"What stronger aspiration is there than that of life?" he asked.
"And yet on this universal human aspiration threatening shadows are gathering -- the shadow of a culture that denies the respect of life at all its stages, the shadow of an indifference that sends countless people to a destiny of hunger and underdevelopment."
The pope read the first part of his speech himself but, because of his difficulties in speaking, most of his address, which was in Spanish, was read by a senior Vatican (news - web sites) official Mgr Leonardo Sandri, an Argentinian.
He did read the final part of the speech and announced that the next international Eucharistic conference would take place in Quebec in 2008.
The pope marked his anniversary on Saturday with two masses at his private chapel in the Vatican, and a celebratory lunch with his closest aides on dishes prepared by nuns from his native Poland, the Vatican said.
Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said John Paul II had received "thousands of congratulatory messages from all over the world, including Islamic countries" to mark the anniversary.
"We are not going to mention any in particular, but we can say there were heads of state, of government, international institutions, as well as ordinary people, Catholics or not."
Thanks, NYer...I missed the Mass on EWTN. <8^(
Once again the Holy Father show us the way to God.......through his Divine Son, Jesus - in hte Most Blessed Sacrament.
And once again, I can - and must - most sadly predict that this year will be marked by nothing but lip service on the part of all too many unfaithful priests and prelates, who will not obey Peter, because they do not know the Divine Master: Jesus Christ. And they love neither. And they will not hear the plaintive cries of His sheep......His people, who hunger for spiritual nourishment.
In the Most Adorable Sacrament we have the summation and perfection of all in scripture....of the passover supper of the Israelites. The Pascal Lamb - whose blood was smeared on the door posts as protection from evil......while at the same time it was eaten. This is a prefigurement of the Eucharist: in both its reserved form and in the sacrifice of the Mass. He is one and the same in both - never to be seperated, or one diminished in favor of the other. Both equally deserving of praise and adoration.
We have the Gospel account of Jesus feeding the multitudes with a few loaves of bread and a few fish. It is multiplied miraculaously until all are fed. Yet enough is left over adn gathered up to feed yet another multitude. Here again is the prefigurement of the reserved and sacrificed/distributed elements of Holy Communion for us to ponder.
He is the perfect sacrifice of atonement for our sins. He is the acceptable sacrifice, represented over and over to God - thousands of times.......day and night. At all hours. The sacrifice which never ceases. Yet like a miraculous car, which never runs out of gas, and takes us home where we are safe.....we never "run out" of Christ, and he is always there to take us home and keep us safe.
"An altar stands within the shrine, whereon, once sacrificed. is set, immaculate, divine, the Lamb of God, the Christ.
There rich and poor, from countless lands, praise Christ on mystic rood; there multitudes reach forth their hands to take God's holy food. "
Here then, in poetic form we have a magnificent decription of what the altar and tabernacle are - and are for, and the reality of the Eucharist as life giving spiritual food.
"O saving Victim, opening wide the gate of heaven to man below, our foes press on from ev'ry side. Thine aid supply, Thy strength bestow".
Here we see the tremendous spiritual power which is given to men through this sacrament. Power to overcome the world.
St. Thomas Aquinas describes the raw and utter faith which is require to understand the awful reality of the sacrament: "Taste, and touch and vision, to discern Thee fail; Faith that comes by hearing, pierces through the veil. I believe whatever the Son of God hath told; What the Truth hath spoken, that for truth I hold".
Awe and reverence before this sacrament. We read here from the Cherubic Hymn from the Liturgy of St. James:
"let all mortal flesh keep silence and with fear and trembling stand; Ponder nothing earthly minded, as with blesing in His hand Christ our God to earth decendeth, OUr full homage to demand.
At His feet the six-winged seraph, Cherubim with sleepless eye, veil their faces to the Presence, as with ceaseless voice they cry: 'Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Lord Most High!"
Some vain modernist liturgists dare to suggest that we should stand....filled with the primordial sin of Pride, in the Presence. No - a thousand times no. We must humble ourselves in the presense of Our King.
When the soldiers of the Jewish temple came to arrest Christ in the Garden, He asked them: "whom do you seek"? They answered: "Jesus of Nazereth". He reponded: "I AM he" - stating His true name, as God. Upon hearing that name, they fell flat on their faces, having no choice, but to adore the living God. They asked again, and the situation repeated themselves. He pronounced his name: I AM. They again fell flat on their faces, prostrate. They had no choice but to prostrate themselves in the presence of , and at the name of the Living God. Yet they knew him not - even so were they forced to prostrate themselves in his presence.
We are not forced to worship him; we are to do it out of love. So, to those bold and faithless liturgists who say we should stand, I say we should - and ought, of right, to prostrate ourselves in his presence. It is only due to space limitations, that we kneel.
Of right, every Catholic church should be open 24/7. Security? That is what the angels are for.
What is important is that the lost soul - the drunk, the runaway child, the philandering spouse, the frightened soul, the homeless, those who are in total dispair can find warmth in the Presence of Christ. And find that they are loved. And come home to Him who will heal all their ills.
That is more important then all the gold candlesticks in the world. One soul. The most precious thing in the sight of God......that one soul. That is what a church building is for. That one poor soul stumbles in out of the cold and finds God is worth whatever it costs to keep the doors open.
In light of that reality, then perhaps all Catholic churches need only have a simple sign on the outside of the building. Just one sign. Which does not state the mass times, the name of the pastor.....
Just a single sentance.
"I am waiting for you"
More justification by his handlers for Luminosity Mysteries, I suppose.
If the Holy Father is even able to form thoughts, given his illnesses, if he is not simply the rubber stamp figure so many suspect he is for whichever faction manages to get his signature that day, then this might sound like some praise or encouragement for Catholics to receive Holy Communion. But you need to use the words of God. God, Himself, is the High Priest, not the Pope, not Annabale Bugnini. This is something His Holiness seems never to have grasped.
If the Pope wants people to attend Church, then give them The Mass to which all Catholics would flock - The Holy Mass, not 'new order'.
>> Heaven forbid the Sovereign should have diplomatic relations with foreign states.<<
What credence should one lend to congratulatory messages from those states where Sharia law prevails and wherein, through the Quran, Christians are considered as "lower than pigs and dogs" and which exhorts its adherents to "kill the unbelievers where you find them"?
Meditation on the Eucharistic Jesus
I see you Lord
In your servant's hands
lifted up high at the elevation.
There you are,
Lord of the universe
in guise of bread,
flour and water,
staff of life,
food of the poor.
O Source of life,
God with us.
that in your love,
you came for us,
you died for us,
you feed us
with your own precious self,
like a pulsing of blood
from your own Sacred Heart
through we who are your body on earth.
waiting to receive you,
like empty lanterns
waiting for the flame
that will bring light
to those around us.
If we could see with heaven's eyes,
the light burning in your priest's hands
would dazzle us
with the cascading flame
come to heal and fill us all.
May we who receive you
glow with your light,
ready to share your peace,
your love with the waiting world.
Susan E. Stone, 2004
Until He is taken out of His hiding spot in the side vestibule and put back in the center of the Altar, should we actually expect any thing but lip service?
In the past 40 years without the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the novus ordo has belittled the necessity of the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. I'm not trying to be facetious but, why would anyone expect the people to all of a sudden change their beliefs just because the pope made a statement?
After all, without the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, "Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament" is something that only a few novus ordo Catholics even believe anymore. Most novus ordo folks either never even heard of or vaguely recall what "Benediction" or the "Divine Praises" even are.
If the "Year of the Eucharist" is to bare any fruit at all, shamefull as the reality of the situation is, the Church will need to begin a campaign to first educate what the Eucharist actually is, otherwise, lip service is all we should expect.
"More justification by his handlers for Luminosity Mysteries, I suppose."
You object? Why?
I find meditating on those mysteries a joy. The Baptism, Wedding at Cana, Proclamation of the Kingdom, Transfiguration, and the Eucharist are just joys.
What do you object to, may I ask? I sincerely want to know.
Many Muslims recognize in JPII a true man of God and of peace. Paradoxically, this is why the fundamentalists hate him and want to kill him. They fear him and see him as an obstacle to their violent plans.
JPII is the only voice of sanity at the moment. If we had listened to him, we wouldn't be blundering around in Iraq, trying to bring "democracy" to a people that doesn't want it and helping to turn a country that was at least secular in its outlook into a new Islamic Republic, all the while the country's Christian minority gets persecuted, murdered and exiled.
All Catholics? Probably not. In those areas where the Indult is honored and the Tridentine Rite is available, it has a devoted and steady following but the Novus Ordo has not been abandoned.
Let's not kid ourselves here. A universal indult for the Tridentine Rite would not assuage the animosity of people like yourself and immediately heal the rift between traditionalists and Rome. In fact, it seems to me that the rite of Mass is now almost a side issue. What I am referring to is the culture of contestation which has sprung up toward the Pope and which now extends to every aspect of his writing and teaching. As the forum is witness to, some people have turned it into a lifestyle.
On this thread, for instance, you dump on the Luminmous Mysteries and somebody else takes a shot because Muslim countries have sent the Holy Father congratulations. These are but two of numerous examples. If you think a universal indult for the Tridentine Rite will solve this problem, I'd say you're being naive.
The animosity toward the Pope has become engrained, habitual, deep-seated and wide-ranging. I doubt very much whether you realize how far you have distanced yourself from the successor of Peter and how hard it it will be to return?
>> I guess he's in a no-win situation, then <<
Well, no, not really. As a Sovereign Head of State he can simply accept such congratulations as a part of the hypocrisy of diplomatic protocol. He just doesn't need to pass it on to the faithful. Secondly, please point out, precisely, where I "dump" on His Holiness.
>>Many Muslims recognize in JPII a true man of God and of peace <<
Many, a great many, don't. You are also on shaky ground in assuming that they recognise the One, True, God. If you feel like running with that one, I'm in the mood for a good long argument on the topic.
>> JPII is the only voice of sanity at the moment <<
No he isn't. And, on Iraq, he was flat-out wrong.
The remainder of your argument simply doesn't hold up. It runs parallel to the specious Liberal notion of.... "If only the nasty West would refrain from resisting Islamic tyranny, they'd really get to like us and stop trying to kill us"
And if any Catholic truly believes that He is actually present in the Blessed Sacrament as the Incarnate Word, located anyway whatsoever in their city, and doesn't go visit Him... how much mercy will be allocated to those who know this and blow Him off?
There's a good book by St. Alphonsus Liguori called Visits the to Blessed Sacrament. From what I hear, even Walmart carries it; not sure if that's the case. Five bucks for the book, maybe.
By which you derisively refer to Catholics.
However, if the proposed 'universal indult' is merely a longterm and backdoor strategy to eventually transform The Mass into Bugnini's service, then expect many to object, as they do now - to 'new order'. That's just how it is. Expect Catholics to behave no differently. We love God and His Church. We may not always be perfect in our lives. We may need confession. But we do esteem what is holy. We consider it vitally important. Deride THAT all you like.
you dump on the Luminmous Mysteries
I'm very critical of RVM, of the falacious and contradictory reasoning used, and of the earnestness with which is was suddenly adopted - some websites even omitting mention that this was a new 'Rosary', as if by that to imply that this was the Rosary of the great battles, and the councils and the Saints.
I doubt very much whether you realize how far you have distanced yourself from the successor of Peter
That's very easy to answer - isn't it? What do YOU . . know about St. Peter? What do you know about the Apostles? What do you know of the Church Fathers? Do you care? The councils? You care?
I do. That's your answer. And you have to answer it for yourself.
Why do you omit the joy of our Lord healing the demoniacs? Perhaps because it's not in the Rosary? Why do you omit the joy of the miracle of the loaves and fishes? Perhaps, again, because it is not in The Rosary? Neither is the Transfiguration. Neither is His Baptism by The Baptist in the Jordan. And Mary was not present at the Last Supper, at least in the room itself. Not in the Rosary.
Is their joy in denying the Marian nature of the Marian Psalter? Did you know that this is how some have referred to the Holy Rosary? Do you know why it is compared with the Psalter?
Please don't give me a history lesson on the Rosary and the number of decades. We all can read in this country, and I'm sure you would agree that the Rosary is no longer just a poor man's prayer. As far as I can tell, you simply don't like any change, ever.
I found the pope's address scary, really. I'm an old man but I fear for the world my children and grandchildren will live in.
Maybe I'm too simple.
Reflecting on the mysteries focuses my attention on his entire life. As I do the rosary, I don't just focus on that particular decade but Christ's entire life. At one moment, I may reflect on his miracles, at another his impatience with his disciples.
It is his entire life I see.
As I said, I don't understand the more learned posts here, but I do understand that when I say the Rosary, it is more than just the stated mysteries.
I'll just continue as is.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.