Benedict XVI in Lourdes

Meditation by Pope Benedict XVI for the Eucharistic Procession at the Prairie in Lourdes, Sunday 14th September, 2008.

A Meditation by Pope Benedict XVI for the Eucharistic procession held on the Lourdes Prairie on Sunday September 14the 2008

Lord Jesus, you are here!

And you my brothers, my sisters, my friends, you are here with me, before Him!

Lord, for two thousand years, You accepted to mount the infamous Cross, to be resurrected and to remain for ever with us (…) your brothers and sisters!

And you, my brothers and sisters, you agree to let yourselves be open to Him. We contemplate Him.

We adore Him. We love Him. We seek to love Him more. We contemplate He Who, during the paschal meal, gave His Body and His Blood to His disciples, in order to be with Him “even unto the end of the world” (Matt 28:20).

We love He Who is the beginning and the end of our faith, the One Who without Him we would not be here this evening, He Who without Him we would not exist at all, He Who without Him there would be nothing, absolutely nothing! Through Him “everything has been done!” (John 1, 3). He Who created us, for eternity, He Who gave His Body and His Blood. He is here this evening, before us, offered before our eyes.

We love and seek to love more, the One Who is here, before our eyes, in front of our problems perhaps, our love.

Whether we walk, or are nailed on a bed of suffering, we walk in joy, or we may be in the desert of the soul (cf Nb21,5), Lord, take us into Your Love: into Your Infinite Love, that is eternally that of The Father for His Son and the Son for His Father and the Father and the Son for the Spirit, and the Spirit for the Father and the Son.

The Holy Eucharist, exposed before our eyes, speaks to us of this Infinite Power of Love manifested on the glorious Cross. This Blessed Host explains to us of His incredible debasement, He Who made Himself poor, so that we could be rich in Him, He Who accepted to lose everything so that He could win us for the Father. The Blessed Host is a Living Sacrament, effective in the eternal Presence of the Saviour of mankind for His Church.

My brothers, my sisters, my friends,

– accept, accept to offer to Him Who gave us everything, Who did not come to judge the world but to save it (cf. John 3, 17), accept to recognise the active Presence in your lives of He Who is Present here, exposed before our eyes. Accept to offer Him your own lives!

Mary, the Holy Virgin, the Immaculate Conception, accepted, two thousand years ago, to give everything, to offer her body in order to welcome the Body of Her Creator. All came from Christ, even Mary; everything came through Mary; even Christ. Mary, the Holy Virgin is with us this evening, in front of the Body of Her Son, one hundred and fifty years after she appeared to little Bernadette.

Holy Virgin, help us to contemplate, help us to adore, help us to love more He Who loves us so much, in order to live eternally with Him.

A huge crowd of witnesses is invisibly present next to us, right next to this blessed grotto and in front of the church that was desired by the Virgin Mary, the crowd of all those brothers and sisters that have contemplated, venerated, adored the Real Presence of He Who gave even the last drop of His Blood, the crowd of all those brothers and sisters that have spent hours adoring Him in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the altar.

Tonight, we do not see them, but we do hear them that tell each and every one of us “Come, let yourselves be called, by the Master! He is here! He calls you (cf. John 11, 28)! He wants to take your life and unite it with His. Let yourself be taken by Him. Look no longer at your wounds, look at His. Look no longer at that which separates you still from Him and at the others; look at the infinite distance that He abolished by taking His Flesh, by mounting the Cross that man prepared for Him to mount and left Him to die on, to show you His Love. In His wounds, He takes you, in His wounds he hides you (…) do not refuse His Love.

The huge crowd of witnesses, that has allowed itself to enter into His Love, is the host of saints, in heaven that does not cease to intercede for us. They were sinners and knew it but they agreed not to look at their wounds but to look only at the wounds of Our Lord, in order to discover the glory of the Cross, to find the victory of Life over death. Saint Peter-Julian Eymard says it all when he exclaims “The Holy Eucharist is Jesus Christ past, present and future” (sermons and parish instructions from 1856, 4-2,1, from the meditation).

The Eucharist at the heart of our lives

Pope Benedict XVI Speech to the Plenary Assembly of the Congregation of Divine Worship (13th March 2009)

The Eucharist being at the origin itself of the Church (cf. John Paul II Ecclesia de Eucharista n.21) is the source of grace, and constitutes not only a unique opportunity as well for the sanctification of humanity in Christ, but also it glorifies God.

In this sense, on the one hand, the activities of the Church are aimed at the mystery of the Holy Eucharist, but on the other hand, it is under the Eucharist that “the Church lives and grows constantly” even today (Lumen gentium, n.26).

Our task is to collect the valuable treasure of this ineffable mystery of faith “both in the celebration of the Mass as well as in the worship of the Holy Species, that are retained after Mass in order that the grace of the sacrifice be extended” (Instruction Eucharisium mysterium, n.3).

Pope Paul VI recalled that “the Catholic Church has not only constantly taught, but has also lived the faith in the Presence of the Body and Blood of Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist. And to this great sacrament, the Church addresses its adoration as this can only be made to God” (Mysterium fidei, n.56).

With regard to this, it is appropriate to remember the different meanings that the word “worship” has in the Greek language as well as in the Latin language.

The Greek word “proskynesis” indicates the gesture of submission, acknowledging God as our true measure, which we agree to follow as our standard.

The Latin word “adoratio”, on the other hand, denotes the physical contact, the kiss, the embrace, which is implicit in the notion of love. The aspect of the submission includes a relationship in union because that which we submit to is Love. Indeed, in the Eucharist the adoration must become a union: a union with the Living Lord and His Mystical Body. “God is not just in front of us, in totally another form. He is inside us, and we are in Him. This dynamic penetrates us, and from us, He wants to spread it to others and extend it to the rest of the world in order that His Love becomes the real measure dominant in the world… In the Eucharist, we live a fundamental transformation of violence into love; death into life; this leads to other transformations. The bread and the wine become His Body and His Blood. However, the transformation does not have to just stop there. Instead, it is at this point that it should begin fully. The Body and the Blood of Christ are given to us so that we ourselves in turn are transformed.

The Church draws her life from the Eucharist

John-Paul II
Encyclical Letter “Ecclesia de Eucharistia” n°6

I would like to rekindle this Eucharistic “amazement” by the present Encyclical Letter, in continuity with the Jubilee heritage which I have left to the Church in the Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio Ineunte and its Marian crowning, Rosarium Virginis Mariae.

To contemplate the face of Christ, and to contemplate it with Mary, is the “programme” which I have set before the Church at the dawn of the third millennium, summoning her to put out into the deep on the sea of history with the enthusiasm of the new evangelization.

To contemplate Christ involves being able to recognize Him wherever He manifests Himself, in His many forms of Presence, but above all in the living sacrament of His Body and His Blood. The Church draws her life from Christ in the Eucharist; by Him she is fed and by Him she is enlightened.

The Eucharist is both a mystery of faith and a “mystery of light”. Whenever the Church celebrates the Eucharist, the faithful can in some way relive the experience of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus: “their eyes were opened and they recognized him” (Luke 24:31). “their eyes were opened and they recognized him” (Luke 24:31).

Prayer for delegates

Prayer for delegates : according to the Book of Wisdom

God of my fathers and Lord of mercy,
give me wisdom,
that sitteth by thy throne.

For I am thy servant, and the son of the handmaid
a weak man, and of short time,
and falling short of the understanding of judgment and laws.

For if one be perfect among the children of men,
yet if thy wisdom be not with him,
he shall be nothing regarded.

And thy wisdom with thee,
which knoweth thy works,
which then was present when thou madest the world,
and knew what was agreeable to thy eyes,
and what was right in thy commandments.

Send her out of thy holy heaven,
and from the throne of thy majesty that she may be with me.

For she knoweth and understandeth all things,
and shall lead me soberly in my works,
and shall preserve me by her power.

God of my fathers and Lord of mercy,
give me wisdom,
that sitteth by thy throne.