When I was one month old, I received the gift of faith. And it truly was a gift. At my parents’ request, I was Baptized and by the power of the Holy Spirit became a new creation in Christ, brought into relationship with Him and, through Him, with the Father. At that point, my faith was not developed, but it was there, waiting to be deepened and purified, a process in which I am still engaged. One of the things that has really helped me with this is entering more deeply into the Eucharist.
One of the signs that we will look for as we enter more fully into Eucharistic Revival will be this deepening of faith. It will be helpful to understand the characteristics of this sign of revival so that we can work more intentionally toward cultivating this deep faith in ourselves and in those in our parishes. Looking at the following descriptions of faith in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, we can see six characteristics that we can work to deepen during the Eucharistic Revival.
[The theological virtues] dispose Christians to live in a relationship with the Holy Trinity. CCC 1812
Faith is the theological virtue by which we believe in God and believe all that he has said and revealed to us, and that Holy Church proposes for our belief, because he is truth itself. By faith “man freely commits his entire self to God.” (Dei Verbum 5) For this reason the believer seeks to know and do God’s will. “The righteous shall live by faith.” Living faith “work[s] through charity.” CCC 1814
Characteristic #1: Faith disposes us for relationship with God
We were made by God for relationship with Him. Faith is a gift from Him that allows us to enter into this relationship. A relationship with God is a relationship of faith and of faithfulness. Part of that relationship is believing in Him and in His goodness and love, but another part is being faithful to the One who is always faithful to us. In the Eucharist, our God comes to us and invites us to respond in faith and receptivity to His offer of friendship and communion with Him. How can we enter into the Eucharist in a way that opens us up to this relationship of communion?
Characteristic #2: Belief
As it says in the quote from the Catechism, God is truth itself and by faith we believe in God, in what He has said and revealed, and in those things with the Church proposes for belief. This aspect of faith requires an intellectual humility to recognize that God’s view of the world is greater and more complete than my own and requires a trust in Truth and in God’s truthfulness. In the Eucharist, we come into contact with these truths and with the one who is Truth. How can we open ourselves to be formed by these truths as we receive them in the proclamation of the Word of God, in the homilies, in the Creed, and in the words of the prayers?
Characteristic #3: Commitment of one’s entire self to God
Jesus invites us to be His disciples, to follow Him and learn from Him. He has given us the example to follow when He emptied Himself to become man and to die upon the Cross for us. He gives us the example to follow now when He becomes present to us in the Eucharist, making Himself vulnerable and putting Himself in our hands. His commitment holds nothing back because we are precious in His eyes and He wants for us the fullness of life that we find in Him. How can we commit every part of our lives to Him? How can we enter into the Eucharist with this commitment as His disciples?
Characteristic #4: Seeking to know God’s will
In communion with the Lord, trusting in His faithfulness to us, we seek to know God’s will. We turn to Him and His loving Providence to bring all things into one in Him. We seek to hear His voice and how He wishes to direct our lives for our own good and the good of those around us. We have faith in Him and in His love for us. The Eucharist forms us in hearing His voice and discerning His will through the action of the Holy Spirit. How can we open our hearts and our ears to hear His will for us in our celebration of the Eucharist and, going out from the Eucharist, in our lives?
Characteristic #5: Seeking to do God’s will
Trusting in God and His goodness, we seek to do God’s will. Recognizing that there is a difference between knowing something and putting that thing into action, in the Eucharist we ask God for the grace to do His will. Knowing that we will fall and that we will fail, we return again and again to the font of mercy and love, to the sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist and the graces that they bring, so that we are transformed into people who do God’s will and into a people which does the will of God. How can we surrender ourselves more completely to doing God’s will?
Characteristic #6: Working through charity
Seeking to do God’s will will always lead us to working through charity. In the Eucharist, we receive the love of God and are then sent to share that love with others by professing the faith, confidently bearing witness to it in how we live our lives and love others, and spreading the faith by telling others of the treasure that we have found (see CCC 1816). Living faith does this. How can we step more fully into this living faith as we move from the Eucharist into the world so that others may know and experience the love and mercy of God and be brought into one with us in the Eucharist?
We want deep faith. We want to know and trust God. We want our faith to grow. We want to trust Jesus to be with us during the struggles of this life and to bring us safely to the Father. Let us pray then that a fruit of this Eucharistic Revival will be deep faith, and let us enter into the Eucharist disposed to receive and live that deep faith.
For the list of the 9 Signs of Eucharistic Revival, look at the “Toward Eucharistic Revival” booklet at https://www.diopueblo.org/eucharistic-congress.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Dr. Seth Wright
Director of Missionary Discipleship
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