By Garrett Johnson
Today’s video is an extremely well made catechetical presentation of the sacrament of the Eucharist, produced by Sophia Institute for Teachers.
“Recognize in this bread what hung on the cross, and in this chalice what flowed from His side… whatever was in many and varied ways announced beforehand in the sacrifices of the Old Testament pertains to this one sacrifice which is revealed in the New Testament.” – from the writings of St. Augustine
How can we grow in our devotion to the Eucharist?
1. Desire. Ask yourself how much you really want to understand and grow closer to the Lord in the Eucharist. The first step is always the desire, the inner decision to allow His presence to be more real in your life.
2. Faith in the mind. Take the time to learn about the sacrament. The Catechism of the Catholic Church is always a good start. “The Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life.” – CCC 1324
3. Faith in the heart. Remember that love is only understood loving. We must strive for a deeper understanding of the sacrament, but it will always remain a mystery. That’s why we must learn to develop an affectionate relationship with the Lord in the Eucharist. Go before him and thank Him for his love, for his mercy, for the ways that he acts in your life and the lives of others. Then do the same from your end, express (writing many times helps) your own love and feelings for him.
For a better idea, here is an excerpt from a novices’ conversation with Saint Therese of Lisieux. It is a beautiful example of this more affectionate relationship (in the case with the cross):
«I was grieving bitterly over a fault I had committed. “Take your Crucifix,” she said, “and kiss it.” I kissed the Feet. Is that how a child kisses its father? Throw your arms at once round His Neck and kiss His Face.” When I had done so, she continued: “That is not sufficient—He must return your caress.” I had to press the Crucifix to both my cheeks, whereupon she added: “Now, all is forgiven.”»
4. Faith in action. Each authentic encounter with Christ in the Eucharist must change us. After receiving or praying in his presence, try to pick out a concrete act that you can do to bring Christ to others.
5. Learn from others. Something that has been very helpful for me is to read other’s accounts about their relationship with the Eucharist. One of the most beautiful examples can be found in Saint John Paul II’s Encyclical, Ecclesia de Echaristia:
To contemplate the face of Christ, and to contemplate it with Mary, is the “programme” which I have set before the Church at the dawn of the third millennium, summoning her to put out into the deep on the sea of history with the enthusiasm of the new evangelization. To contemplate Christ involves being able to recognize him wherever he manifests himself, in his many forms of presence, but above all in the living sacrament of his Body and Blood. The Church draws her life from Christ in the Eucharist; by Him she is fed and by Him she is enlightened. The Eucharist is both a mystery of faith and a “mystery of light.” Whenever the Church celebrates the Eucharist, the faithful can in some way relive the experience of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus: “their eyes were opened and they recognized him” (Lk 24:31). . . . I cannot let this Holy Thursday 2003 pass without halting before the “Eucharistic face” of Christ and pointing out with new force to the Church the centrality of the Eucharist.
Born in Texas, Garrett fell in love with evangelization when he was 18. A former NET member and a Franciscan University of Steubenville Alumnus, he is now living in Rome and studying for the priesthood.
This content originally appeared on Catholic-Link.org and is reprinted here with permission