Spirituality and a Eucharistic Culture
We forge along in our study of the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis of the Holy Father Pope (Emeritus) Benedict XVI on the Eucharist as the source and summit of the Church’s life and mission by taking a look at spirituality and a Eucharistic culture.
We start by quoting the synod fathers on a vital topic. They state that, “The Christian faithful need a fuller understanding of the relationship between the Eucharist and their daily lives. Eucharistic spirituality is not just participation in Mass and devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. It embraces the whole of life.” The Holy Father stresses that the secularization which we live in can ultimately attribute to the modern idea that faith (Christianity) has been placed on the margins of society; as if it’s something like a hobby or simply irrelevant in everyday life. Living as if God doesn’t exist is commonplace; even if one does happen to subscribe to the existence of a “higher, more intelligent being”, it impacts their lives but little.
Pope Benedict poignantly states that, “Today there is a need to rediscover that Jesus Christ is not just a private conviction or an abstract idea, but a real person, whose becoming part of human history is capable of renewing the life of every man and woman.” What needs to happen is we need to learn how to, as St. Paul says in Romans 8:5-15, live “in the Spirit.” This means that since the Holy Eucharist is the source and summit of our life and mission, it is where we make the transition from living according to the flesh into living in the Spirit, which is what spirituality is.
Once we begin this transformation, our faith will impact our daily lives as it’s supposed to. There is a link between our spiritual worship and living one’s own life. They’re inseparable. We must live according to the will of God (in the Spirit) instead of our own wills (according to the flesh). What there cannot be is an in-between. The old saying, “God is either Lord of all, or not at all” resounds. We would be doing ourselves a grave injustice it we separated the two as so many in today’s society have. We are used to compartmentalizing our lives – our family here, secular friends there, church life and friends here, co-workers and acquaintances there – but they all need to fall under the umbrella of God’s plan in our lives because they all work together; and the Eucharist is where it all begins.
NEXT WEEK: The Eucharist and the evangelization of cultures