• Apostolic Journey of Pope Francis to Turkey

Returning to the sacred

2012-06-09 L’Osservatore Romano

The world needs the sacred. Its disappearance, in fact, “inevitably impoverishes culture” and risks leaving an open field for “many substitutes present in the society of consumerism, for other rites and other signs, which could more easily become idols”.

The celebration of Corpus Domini with the Mass at St John Lateran and the procession of the  Blessed Sacrament concluded on Thursday evening, 7 June, at St Mary Major. This occasion offered Benedict XVI the occasion to underline various points on the doctrine of worship and of the sacredness of the Eucharist. Two aspects which, the Pope noted, have recently suffered the consequences of “unilateral interpretation of the Second Vatican Council” and of a “certain misunderstanding of the authentic message of Sacred Scripture”.

According to the Holy Father, the importance of Eucharistic adoration must be reaffirmed as an “act of faith and prayer addressed to the Lord Jesus, truly present in the Sacrament of the altar”. An aspect which does not contradict the centrality of the celebration, in which “the Lord summons his people, gathers them around the twofold table of the Word and the Bread of life, nourishes them and unites them to himself in the offering of the Sacrifice”.

The Pontiff pointed out that in reality “the worship of the Blessed Sacrament is  the spiritual 'environment' in which the community can celebrate the Eucharist well and in truth. Finding ourselves kneeling in silence in front of the Blessed Sacrament, in fact, brings together common priesthood and the ministerial priesthood, making it “one of the most authentic experiences of our being Church”.
Regarding the sacredness of the Eucharist, the Pope invited us to not allow ourselves to be influenced by a certain secularist mentality which excludes subsistence. Jesus, Benedict XVI recalled, “did not abolish the sacred, but brought it to fulfilment”. He thus preserves the “truer and more intense” dimension together with an “educational function”, mostly for the formation of young people.