Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Eucharist: Totality of Presence

Something is certain, we are under attack. People continue to fall away from the Holy Catholic Church, embracing the hedonistic lifestyle of the world. In the process, they discard most, if not all their beliefs. In this culture of relativism, where things like abortion, contraception, pornography, and promiscuity are deemed acceptable as long as you think they are morally right, it sometimes might seem difficult to believe that there is an absolute Truth that tells us something is wrong; a Truth that calls us to live pure and chaste lives dedicated to the service of God. How are we to battle back against the tide of evil that pervades the minds of society? We need to remember that Jesus Christ is Truly and fully Present in the Most Holy Eucharist, and then we need to act like it.

I think that if everyone REALLY believed in the True Presence within the Eucharist, we could do nothing but order our lives according to that Truth. How could we, knowing that we were to receive God Himself into us, believe it was okay for anyone to destroy an unborn life, prevent life from being created, or pervert and distort sexuality to be about personal gratification. To receive God Himself into our bodies, uniting our very soul to Him, while at the same time disregarding His Doctrines is a great disservice to the One whom we owe all. We also have to guard ourselves from making reception of the Eucharist nothing more than a habitual routine, going through the motions, forgetting the importance of it. It is the source and summit of our lives; shouldn’t we stay through the entire Mass in deep reflection of such a gift given to us unworthy people? Instead, people rush out of the Church immediately after receiving Him, hoping to “beat the crowds” like it was some sort of sporting event. Everything that we do and profess to be True finds it’s center in the Eucharist; when we don’t act according to that, it diminishes the belief in the True Presence. That is when the lies, passions, and evils of the world will attempt to destroy us.

There are ways for us to strengthen the devotion to our Blessed Lord in the Eucharist, which also show love and reverence for Him who was crucified for us; I will mention eight:

  •  First, whenever you enter a Church, genuflect towards the Tabernacle. Genuflect again when you arrive at your pew, cross in front of the Tabernacle, or leave the Church; do this slowly and reverently. 

  • Second, arrive for Mass early. This gives you time to prepare for the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and to receive our Creator into your soul! 

  • Third, practice keeping reverent silence before, during, and after Mass so you can hear the call of the Lord and so others aren’t distracted while they pray. 

  • Fourth, receive the Eucharist on the tongue. If possible, receive kneeling and on the tongue, which is the universal norm for The Church, and is much more humble and intimate. If you decide to receive the Eucharist on the hand, remember to check your hands very carefully because even the smallest fragment that remains is fully and completely Jesus Christ, and cannot be allowed to fall on the floor to be trampled. 

  • Fifth, stay after Mass and pray, thanking God for the most wonderful gift of joining you to Him. 

  • Sixth, pick a time during the week to make an hour for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament; then stick with it. 

  • Seventh, go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation often, as it cleanses us of sin and properly disposes us to receive the Eucharist, and it will also strengthen you against temptation in the future.

  • Eighth, work on your Marian devotion, ask the Blessed Mother to pray for your Eucharistic zeal. She will give it to you because she is the mother of Eucharistic reverence. Remember she witnessed the greatest 'liturgical' abuse against her Son of all time- Calvary. 

These suggestions are a starting point to fortify your Armor of Christ for the spiritual warfare we constantly face, and I’m sure that if we can reignite the belief in the True Presence among the faithful as well as society, then all other things will come to Order accordingly. Pax Vobiscum.

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