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A Leaven In The World… Eucharistic Revival Requires More Than Talk

July 15, 2021 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK

The discussion about Eucharistic revival and coherence begun by our bishops at their June USCCB conference should be continued among us. Catechists, pastors, parents, bloggers, and journalists, and all of our lay faithful should engage in a continued conversation about this most central gift and mystery of our holy Catholic faith.
We should do so, of course, in reaction to the saddening news of unbelief which shook us in 2019. A Pew research poll revealed that a mere one-third of Catholics believe in the Real Presence of Christ under the sign of bread in what we call “Communion” given and received at every Holy Mass.
“A new Pew Research Center survey finds that most self-described Catholics don’t believe this core teaching. In fact, nearly seven-in-ten Catholics (69 percent) say they personally believe that during Catholic Mass, the bread and wine used in Communion ‘are symbols of the body and blood of Jesus Christ.’ Just one-third of U.S. Catholics (31 percent) say they believe that ‘during Catholic Mass, the bread and wine actually become the body and blood of Jesus’” (Pewresearch.org).
When professed Catholics don’t believe in the minimal elements necessary to be so in good standing, we confront a crisis touching upon and putting at risk the salvation of souls. We are saved by grace through faith.
Faced with news that so many baptized Catholics lack a basic understanding of the greatest gift of Christ’s own Body and Blood sacramentally present is a tragedy of eternal proportions.
Every soul was created by God to enjoy eternally life with Him. But the gift of salvation can be lost because it can only be received when accepted willingly through faith: belief in all that He teaches and obedience to all that He commands.
St. Paul instructs that if we receive the Lord Eucharistically without discerning His Body and Blood we are “guilty of the Body and Blood of the Lord” (1 Cor. 11, 27).
Not only must we be free of mortal sin — that is, in a state of grace, when we receive Communion, we are also required to believe all that the Church teaches about the sacrament. This includes the dogma of the true and Real Presence of Jesus Christ present thus.
Transubstantiation is the word the Church has chosen to describe how it happens that, during Holy Mass, what began as mere bread and wine become, under the action of the ordained priest, the Body and Blood of the Lord, the Holy Eucharist.
“The Council of Trent summarizes the Catholic faith by declaring: ‘Because Christ our Redeemer said that it was truly his body that he was offering under the species of bread, it has always been the conviction of the Church of God, and this holy Council now declares again, that by the consecration of the bread and wine there takes place a change of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of his blood. This change the holy Catholic Church has fittingly and properly called transubstantiation’ [206]” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1376).
The official teaching of the Church on this most important matter is confirmed by the doctrines taught on the subject in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
“The mode of Christ’s presence under the Eucharistic species is unique. It raises the Eucharist above all the sacraments as ‘the perfection of the spiritual life and the end to which all the sacraments tend’ [201]. In the most blessed sacrament of the Eucharist ‘the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ and, therefore, the whole Christ is truly, really, and substantially contained’ [202]. ‘This presence is called “real” — by which is not intended to exclude the other types of presence as if they could not be ‘real’ too, but because it is presence in the fullest sense: that is to say, it is a substantial presence by which Christ, God and man, makes himself wholly and entirely present [203]” (CCC, n. 1374).
I have required for quite a few years now that young people be able to spell and define the term transubstantiation as confirmed by the Council of Trent before receiving our Lord in Holy Communion for the first time. They gladly step up to the challenge and are clearly proud to be able to do so. This is an important building block in restoring Catholic faith in the Real Presence.
Of course our bishops need to treat the matter of Eucharistic coherence, given the ongoing scandal of professed Catholic politicians, and now also our president, weaponizing reception of the Eucharist by receiving publicly while at the same time publicly rejecting the teachings of Christ on life, marriage, and the sacredness of the body as created by God in His image.
These individuals turn the sacrament of the Body of Christ into a means of harvesting votes from confused or ill-willed Catholics who reject Church teaching in core matters of the sacredness of human life, marriage, and the integrity of the body. No longer Catholic in a meaningful way, they simply use the Church as a tool for furthering evil by political means.
Nothing is more truly a weapon than using legalized abortion to attack and kill the baby girl or boy in the womb. This is what Catholic politicians do by joining others in supporting and funding abortion. When they do so while receiving our Lord’s Body and Blood at Mass, they both weaponize the sacrament against innocent human life and endanger their own immortal souls.
Bishops are no doubt reacting to both the Pew Research poll on disbelief and the crisis of scandal among Catholic elected officials.
They will call for more and improved catechesis, homilies, adoration, maybe even processions, too. All these are good. All are needed as ever. But they are not enough.
We need a sea change in Catholic worship to restore true Catholic faith and we already possess the tools to do so. Ad orientem worship, turning together toward the Lord every time we celebrate the Holy Mass, and kneeling to receive the Lord, will change minds by changing behavior.
No elements of our worship make the point of the Lord’s true Presence as powerfully and directly as these postures of turning away from the world, and everything earthly, and turning toward the Lord and bending our knees to Him who leads us forward to eternal life.
Ad orientem worship and kneeling belong irrevocably to the Church’s sacred patrimony and are needed once again to change people’s behavior, to shake them up and wake them up, as to the true nature of the Mass which brings about the true and Real Presence of Christ Jesus our Lord.
Thank you for reading and praised be Jesus Christ now and forever: apriestlife.blogspot.com

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