Monday, 12 September 2011

"Kneel before the Eucharist" - says Pope Benedict


Speaking at the closing Mass of Italy's 25th National Eucharistic Congress in Ancona, the Holy Father presented the Blessed Eucharist as the solution to social woes because attention to the Eucharist also demands attention to neighbour. BUT he didn't just say "attention" to the Eucharist or even "devotion" to the Eucharist but KNEELING before the Eucharist".

I think the Holy Father always chooses his words carefully. This is just a further strengthening of the example he sets when administering Holy Communion at Mass - always with he faithful kneeling - even when he was here in Britain a year ago this week. This, of course is in complete contrast to the emphasis given by the Bishop's Conference in England and Wales when they smuggled in the directive to the new translation of the Missal that people should stand to receive the Eucharist, where queuing up as we do at the supermarket check-out has now, apparently, become a sacred thing. Of course, Rome also insisted that direct mention was also given in the instruction that kneeling as the universal norm was always to be allowed and facilitated as well, so now the Missal makes it clear that kneeling to receive is always allowed and therefore must be facilitated and not hindered.

The Holy Father compared the bending of the knee before the Holy Eucharist as the counterpart of being able to literally bend down personally to lend a helping hand to those in need and raise them up.

In other words, you don't form a queue to help up those lying in the gutter but get down on your knees in the muck and help them up. For where your knees are, there your heart will be also.

Here is the report from Zenit where you can read the full text of the Holy Father's homily:

ANCONA, Italy, SEPT. 11, 2011. A person who can kneel before the Eucharist and receive Christ in Communion must be attentive to the needs of his neighbor and ready to share his goods with others, says Benedict XVI.

The Pope affirmed this today when he presented the Eucharist as the key to a person-centered social development. He was speaking at the closing Mass

"A Eucharistic spirituality is a real antidote to individualism and egoism that often characterize daily life," the Holy Father stated.

He proposed that responsibility in community life is born from the Eucharist, such that the poor, sick and needy are placed at the center of social development.

"To be nourished by Christ is the way not to remain foreign and indifferent to the fortunes of our brothers, but to enter into the very logic of love and of gift," the Pope said.

"He who is able to kneel before the Eucharist, who receives the Lord's body cannot fail to be attentive, in the ordinary course of the days, to situations unworthy of man, and is able to bend down personally to attend to need, is able to break his bread with the hungry, share water with the thirsty, clothe the naked, visit the sick and imprisoned," he continued.

Spiritual worship

Benedict XVI proposed a Eucharistic spirituality as an antidote to individualism, saying that it leads to giving relationships a central role in life, beginning with family relationships.

A Eucharistic spirituality, he continued, is also at the heart of a Church community that overcomes divisions.

Referring to the problem of unemployment, the Pope also affirmed that a Eucharistic spirituality is "a way to restore dignity to man's days and, hence, to his work."

A Eucharistic spirituality is also an aid in approaching those who are weak, he said, remembering that the "different forms of human fragility" do not diminish the "value of the person," but call for "closeness, acceptance and help."

"There is nothing that is genuinely human," the Pontiff stated, "that does not find in the Eucharist the right way to live it in fullness: Hence, daily life becomes the place of spiritual worship, to live the primacy of God in all circumstances, within a relationship with Christ and as an offering to the Father."

1 comment:

mkamoski said...

For it is written: As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. -- Romans 14:11. Douay-Rheims Bible.