Saturday, October 6, 2012

Growing my Passion for the Eucharist by Growing in Understanding

Dear Theophilus,


Lately I’ve noticed that a lot of my reading has been on the theme of the Eucharist. Coming to this realization this weekend is quite appropriate, seeing that it is the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, and Eucharist means just that: Thanksgiving.

What I’ve also noticed is that with my growing understanding of the Eucharist, my love for Christ’s great Pascal sacrifice has also grown exponentially. As Cardinal George of Chicago points out so poignantly in his forward to Fr. Mitch Pacwa’s The Year of Faith: A Bible Study Guide for Catholics: “ But without a relationship to Christ, doctrine is just ideas and morality is only rules.” And we find this relationship with Christ through the Eucharist at the Mass each and every Sunday.

I recently had a conversation with the chaplain at the high school where I teach about my growing understanding of the Eucharist and how it has created a burning love in my heart to meet Christ in the Eucharist. I fessed up that, although I always believed the Eucharist to be the body, blood and divinity of our Lord, in hindsight it seemed almost like paying lip service to this most essential of Catholic beliefs. It was by really getting to know the Eucharist through my reading and attending workshops on the Eucharist that I came to actually know the Eucharist to be the body, blood and divinity of the Lord.

How did I get here? It wasn’t overnight. And I wanted to share some of my favourite titles that have led me to a passion for the Eucharist that I have read over the past couple of years. You’ll probably recognize some of the authors, as I’ve mentioned most of them here before:

Life of Christ by Fulton J. Sheen
Eucharist by Fr. Robert Barron
Supper of the Lamb by Dr. Scott Hahn
Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist by Dr. Brant Pitre
The Didache by the Twelve Apostles

If you truly want to experience the Eucharist in a bold way that will set your heart on fire, I urge you to deepen your understanding of Christ’s gift to us. The more you know about the Eucharist, the more you will yearn for the life it gives.

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