Father Ed's Reflections

Eucharistic Spirituality

14 Jun 2016

EUCHARISTIC SPIRITUALITY

The religious who minister at St. Francis’ Church, Melbourne live this spirituality every day of their lives. However, if a person was to ask what it is, then it would be quite a challenge to answer this in a few words. It is a way of life that draws its energy and strength from the Holy Eucharist. It is essential to somehow unravel something of what that means, but as we are dealing with the mystery of the Eucharist there are limits to what can be said. Maybe we could begin in this manner.

Most people have encountered a young woman who has become engaged and proudly shows her new engagement ring to everyone. It is a symbol of a commitment to marry and live a life of love in all aspects of life. However, as a person looks at the ring, the beauty of the diamond cannot be grasped in one comprehensive glance. One must turn it this way and that to see each facet of the diamond and thus become more aware of its hidden beauty. Even then, the diamond remains somewhat of an elusive mystery.

The Eucharist is likewise a profound mystery that cannot be captured in a single sentence or word. A person needs to consider various aspects of the Eucharist and the power of the Christ who is the Eucharist. This Sacrament is celebration, communion; a mystery to contemplate and an outpouring of loving service to others. The celebration is the memorial of the Passion, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus, called the Paschal Mystery, and recalls the total self-giving of Jesus even unto death.  In the celebration we hear the life-giving works of scripture, we pray together, we become one with Christ in Communion and, in a sense the Lord becomes incarnate in us. We, as disciples, are to wash the feet of others or, in other words, to give loving service to others. There is also a need to be still and contemplate the inner meaning of the Eucharist that ever remains a mystery of divine love.

A person who lives a life drawn and empowered by the celebration of the Mass/Eucharist, who draws inspiration from the word of God, who receives Holy Communion, is already living a Eucharistic spirituality. If, further, the person contemplates the Eucharist on a regular basis and is drawn to selfless service of others, then he or she is living a life inspired by the Eucharist: in other words, living what we may term Eucharistic spirituality.  It is to live the same kind of life that Christ lived and sealed by the total self-giving of his passion, death and resurrection…a total gift of self. As St. John says in his First Letter, we are called to live the same kind of life that Christ lived…and that life is summed up completely in the Eucharist in all its richness and mystery.

EUCHARISTIC SPIRITUALITY is at the heart of the mission of the Blessed Sacrament Congregation that has ministered for over 75 years at St Francis Church, Melbourne.  Our mission reads as follows…

RULE OF LIFE #3 - OUR MISSION

Following in the footsteps of Father Eymard,

our mission is to respond

to the hungers of the human family

with the riches of God’s love

manifested in the Eucharist.

 

Drawing life from the bread

given for the light of the world,

we proclaim in the thanksgiving prayer

the Passover of Christ,

and we welcome the Lord Jesus

in his Eucharistic presence

by a prolonged prayer

of adoration and contemplation.

 

Formed by the Sacrament

of the New Covenant,

which frees us from the domination of sin,

we commit ourselves to building up

the Body of Christ.

 

By our life and activities

we share in the mission of the Church,

so that the Eucharist

may be celebrated in truth,

that the faithful may grow

in their communion with the Lord

through Eucharistic adoration

in the setting of exposition,

that they may commit themselves

to the renewal

of their Christian communities,

and collaborate in liberating

individuals and society

from the forces of evil.

 

United in the Spirit

with those who are poor and weak,

we oppose everything which degrades

human dignity

and we proclaim a more just

and brotherly world

as we await the coming of the Lord.

 

Single and committed Catholic men are invited to consider the Rule of Life above and chat about it at St. Francis’ Church, Melbourne with Ben Ho SSS or John Pugh SSS. Telephone (03) 9663 2495 or enquire via our Pastoral Centre.

Father Edward Wood, SSS
Tel: (03) 9663 2495  Email:
ewood@blessedsacrament.com.au