Friday, 4 July 2008

International Eucharistic Congress: snippets

My notebook from the Eucharistic Congress contains some snippets from the catecheses. These snippets do not necessarily give a good overall impression of the catechesis from which they are taken. They are things, though, that caught my attention at the time of first hearing. Some of these snippets contrast with each other, and reflect a different emphasis on the part of one speaker when compared to another. Looking from the outside, it is possible to see this and read it as "conflict" within the teaching of the Congress. The experience of actually being there, though, was more one of recognising in the discussions of the Congress discussions that are taking place in the Church as a whole. In some ways, the differences in emphases (and, more importantly, how we should try to understand them in the unity and charity of Catholic life) represent part of the Church's Eucharistic experience at this time. We should not be surprised that this is also reflected in the experience of a Eucharistic Congress.

"The true celebrant [of the Eucharist] is Jesus himself" (Cardinal Barbarin, Archbishop of Lyons).

Referring to Vatican II's constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium, the "changes in the Liturgy" that came from it were recognising the Eucharist as an act of the community, the call for active participation and the idea that the Eucharist leads to building a community of love and sharing. (Cardinal Toppo, Archbishop of Ranchi, India)

"The Eucharist is not a meal between friends" (Pope Benedict XVI, homily at closing Mass).

Reflecting on the Eucharist as a memorial in the sense of the Jewish liturgy, we could encourage boys to use the words of St Thomas when he recognised Jesus after his Resurrection,"My Lord and my God", as their prayer of adoration just after the consecration at Mass. Girls could be encouraged to use the greeting of Mary Magdalen when she recognised Jesus in the garden on the morning of the Resurrection: "Rabboni". (Cardinal Barbarin)

Some consequences for seeing in Mary, "the Eucharistic woman", a model for how we should approach the Eucharist. This was referred to as an "analogy of Mary" - Mary as a model of the Covenant, what is said of Mary can also be said in general of the Church of which she is the figure, what is said of Mary can also be said of the individual Christian:

for personal prayer: we might say Mary's Magnificat as a thanksgiving
prayer after receiving Jesus in Communion

for the Church: cultivate in the Church a sensitivity to Mary, reforms in
the Church should be based on love for the Church

(Cardinal Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos Aires)

"The Eucharist is of the faithful, for the world".(Cardinal Ze-Kuin, Archbishop of Hong Kong)

When there is a time of national or international need, such as a natural disaster, do we, as a matter of course, turn to the Eucharist in Adoration or the celebration of Mass? Do we do this as a form of intercession? (A question asked in my discussion group)

1 comment:

Rita said...

There are some powerful quotes there. I'm quite taken with the idea of boys and girls using different models of prayer at the consecration, following either St Thomas or St Mary Magdalene.

Thank you for posting these.