Fr Federico Lombardi SJ: weekly editorial

2012-06-09 Vatican Radio

Below, please find the English version of the weekly editorial by the Director of the Press Office of the Holy See, Fr Federico Lombardi, SJ.

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The Presence of the Eucharist for all

On the occasion of Corpus Domini, Pope Benedict XVI returned to a characteristic theme of his teaching on Eucharistic worship: that the celebration of Mass and Eucharistic adoration outside of Mass are in fact complementary. Excessive – not to say exclusive – accentuation of the Eucharistic celebration, at the expense of time spent in Eucharistic adoration, will ultimately make us incapable of experiencing the living presence of Christ in the sacrament of the Eucharist outside of Mass, and perhaps even have a similar effect on our ability to grasp the spiritual significance and richness of the celebration of Mass itself.

Embracing the Eucharistic presence in its truth and its reality is fundamental for the Christian life.

I am reminded of the Pope’s intense words during the festive vigil with families in Milan, which he spoke to people who can not receive communion because they are in an irregular marital situation. He said: “It’s very important that they feel that the Eucharist is really true and that they genuinely take part in it if they enter into communion with the Body of Christ. Even without receiving the Sacrament bodily, we can nevertheless be spiritually united with Christ in His Body.” Indeed, for His body is not only the consecrated host, but the whole Christian community as well. “To invite people to make spiritual communion, is not to give a deceptive consolation, but to broaden and deepen dimensions of life in faith and in the faith community.

Indeed, the suffering of those deprived of sacramental communion, if it is inwardly accepted as the price of the common witness that the faithful should give to the importance of the stability of sacramental marital love, “is a gift to the Church.” Yes, it is not "out" of the community, but "full inside", in his heart, a desire perhaps increased by an experience of deprivation. People who find themselves in such a condition are most definitely not outside the Church. They are rather most fully inside the Church, in the heart of the Church, with a desire that is perhaps all the greater because of the experience of deprivation.