"One must be led…toward the transforming power of God, who wants, through what happens in the liturgy, to transform us and the world."
When she was 4 months old, one of my daughters had to be rushed to the hospital. At that moment, as I worried and prayed, I grew in my understanding of what it means to be a husband and father. I had seen my father fill those roles. I had read books about matrimony and parenting. I had been through marriage preparation. I knew what the Church teaches about these things. But in that moment, I lived those teachings in a new way; they hit home as they had not before, and I can see now how the Lord has brought me more deeply into the mystery of husbandhood and parenthood throughout my marriage. These are mysteries of unfathomable depths, and, through the circumstances of life, when I cooperate with the grace of God, I am drawn deeper and deeper into them, understanding them more fully and living them more robustly. In fear and trembling, in hope and joy, I await living the mystery of being the father of teenagers. May the good Lord be with me!
This distinction between knowing the doctrine and living the mystery is important for us to keep in mind as we continue to move into Eucharistic Revival. We need to know the doctrine. We need to understand the great Truths of the Faith. We need to know that Jesus Christ is really, truly, and substantially present in the Eucharist, to understand the four ways in which His presence comes to us in the Mass, to know that the Paschal Mystery is made present to us, to understand the prayers and actions of the Mass, and to know that heaven and earth meet in the Eucharist and that we are caught up into and participate in the heavenly liturgy.
But we also need to live in these Truths – we need a Eucharistic Spirituality. We should be formed by the Eucharist, molded by our encounter with Jesus Christ so that we are always living in, with, and through Him. I know that I have grown through my contact with Jesus in the Eucharist, and I know that there are many ways in which I still need to be formed by the Eucharist. If I am to live more fully as His disciple and more faithfully answer His call to mission, I must encounter Him in the Eucharist and allow Him to shape me. The Lord wants to help me grow in the moral virtues, in the fruits of the Spirit, and in faith, hope, and love, and one of the main channels of grace for that growth is entering more deeply into the mysteries of the Eucharist, living more fully in the doctrines that we teach.
Let us then add this element into our Eucharistic Revival where it is missing and be intentional about developing it where it is present. If your parish or deanery or group would like help in this, please reach out to me. We could talk about ways to add this into your Eucharistic Revival efforts, or I could give a 3-day parish mission or 1-day retreat on developing a Eucharistic Spirituality.
I pray that, as we continue to move into the Eucharistic Revival, each one of us and each member of our parishes and communities will understand the saving Truths of the Faith more deeply and live in the mysteries more fully, with hearts open to the Holy Spirit and to being molded by our Lord Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Dr. Seth Wright
Director of Missionary Discipleship
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