The Eucharist, Light and Life of the New Millennium
“I am the light of the world” (Jn 8:12a). “I am the way, the truth and the life” (Jn 14:6).
THE YEAR OF THE EUCHARIST!!!
Our Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, announced a Year of the Eucharist from October 2004 to October 2005. The Year begins at the International Eucharistic Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico, October 10-17, 2004, and ends with the Synod of Bishops on the Eucharist in October 2005.
To prepare us for the Eucharistic Year, Our Holy Father gave us the encyclical Ecclesia de Eucharistia (On the Eucharist and Its Relationship to the Church) in 2003. This letter is filled with teachings and meditations on the True Presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist as revealed in Sacred Scripture and proclaimed by the Church throughout the centuries. Pope John Paul II continually highlights the awesome importance of the Holy Eucharist in the life and renewal of our Church and world. In declaring the Year of the Eucharist, Our Holy Father is giving us a clarion call to receive Jesus in the Holy Eucharist, and develop a personal relationship with Him through Adoration. He has asked all Catholics throughout the world—clergy, religious and laity—to return to and lead people to Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. The faithful are encouraged to frequently, daily if possible, attend Mass and receive Communion, make Holy Hours of Adoration and to start Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration in all parishes and Christian communities worldwide.
During this Eucharistic Year, we offer ideas and suggestions based on Our Holy Father’s encyclical Ecclesia de Eucharistia to celebrate the Year of the Eucharist in your parish and community:
Preparation: Make a banner for the Year of the Eucharist for display in the entrance way of your Church and setup a table with prayers, pamphlets and materials on the True Presence and Adoration.
Week 1 “I am with you always, to the close of the age” (Mt 28:20). “The Church draws her life from the Eucharist” (Art 1). Ask your pastor to talk about the True Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist and lead a prayer after Communion at the weekend Masses, that all may come to truly believe, love and enter into a personal relationship with Jesus during the Year of the Eucharist.
Week 2 “Do this in memory of Me” (Lk 22:19). “The Upper Room was where this most holy Sacrament was instituted” (Art 2). Print a weekly bulletin announcement, a quote about Jesus in the Eucharist, and an invitation to sign-up for a weekly Holy Hour. Include contact information.
Week 3 “We know that she was present among the Apostles who prayed ‘with one accord’ (cf. Acts 1:14), “Mary can guide us towards this most holy sacrament, . . . she herself has a profound relationship with it” (Art 53). Pray a Rosary for the start or renewal of Adoration in your parish.
Week 4 “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of the bread and the prayers” (Acts 2:42). “The Eucharist . . . stands at the centre of the Church’s life” (Art 3). Put up posters of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist, Our Lady, St. Joseph and other Saints who loved the Eucharist in your Church and school with quotes and stories about their devotion.
“This worship, given therefore to the Trinity of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit . . . must fill our churches also outside the timetable of Masses . . . this worship must be prominent in all our encounters with the Blessed Sacrament . . . Adoration of Christ in this sacrament of love must also find expression in various forms of eucharistic devotion: personal prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, Hours of Adoration, periods of exposition—short, prolonged and annual (Forty Hours)—eucharistic benediction, eucharistic processions, eucharistic congresses . . .The Church and the world have a great need of eucharistic worship. Jesus waits for us in this sacrament of love. Let us be generous with our time in going to meet Him in adoration and in contemplation that is full of faith and ready to make reparation for the great faults and crimes of the world. May our adoration never cease” (Pope John Paul II, Dominicae Cenae, Ch 1, Sec 2, Art 3).
Start Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration in your parish and community!!!
St. Therese of the Child Jesus, Carmelite, Church Doctor (1873-1897), France—Oct. 1
“Imitate the Eucharist and you will become a saint”(St. Therese of Lisieux, Religious, Patroness of Missions).
Feast of the Holy Guardian Angels—Oct. 2
“All the angels . . . fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God” (Rev 7:11).
Respect Life Sunday—Oct. 3
“Many problems darken the horizon of our time. We need but think of the urgent need to work for peace, to base relationships between peoples on solid premises of justice and solidarity, and to defend human life from conception to its natural end. And what should we say of the thousand inconsistencies of a “globalized” world where the weakest, the most powerless and the poorest appear to have so little hope! It is in this world that Christian hope must shine forth! For this reason too, the Lord wished to remain with us in the Eucharist, making his presence in meal and sacrifice the promise of a humanity renewed by his love” (Pope John Paul II, Ecclesia de Eucharistia, 20).
St. Francis of Assisi, Founder of Franciscans (c. 1181-1226), Italy—Oct. 4
“Francis beholds behind the crystal of the monstrance, on the linen of the altar, and on the tongue of the communicant, the hands and feet, the eyes and mouth, the flowing blood and throbbing heart, the majestic personality and the saving grace of Him who once walked the fields of Galilee and Judea, and to whom he himself had sworn allegiance as a knight of the cross” (Fr. Felder).
Our Lady of the Rosary—Oct. 7
“The prayer of the Rosary, or five decades of it, after the Sacred Liturgy of the Eucharist, is what most unites us to God by the richness of the prayers . . . we see that it is indeed a Trinitarian and a Eucharistic prayer, even more than a Marian one. I do not know if we can find prayers more sublime or more appropriate to recite before the Blessed Sacrament” (Sr. Lucia of Fatima).
Anniversary of Our Lady’s Apparition at Fatima and the Miracle of the Sun (1917)-Oct. 13
Pardon Prayer: “My God, I believe, I adore, I trust and I love Thee! I beg pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not trust, and do not love Thee.”
St. Teresa of Avila, Carmelite & Church Doctor (1515-1582), Spain—Oct. 15
“I know a person with serious illnesses, who often experiences great pain, who through this Bread [of the Eucharist] had them taken away as though by a gesture of the hand and was made completely well. This is a common experience” (St. Teresa of Avila).
St. Gerard Majella, Religious, Patron of Expectant Mothers (1726-1755), Italy—Oct. 16
“When he assisted during the day at the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, despite the permanent effort to hide himself from the view of others, Gerard’s countenance became luminous . . . . he seemed to be a seraph in the moment of adoration” (Antonio de Cosmio). He is the patron of expectant mothers because of his miraculous intercession in times of crisis pregnancy.
St. Isaac Jogues and the North American Martyrs (1607-1646) France—Oct. 19
His spiritual director said: “It would have been well if I had learnt from Father Jogues the manner of praying and making thanksgiving as from a soul, if I can use the phrase, glued to the Blessed Sacrament. It was before this hidden God that he performed all his spiritual exercises, his prayers, his breviary, and he did not mind the bitterness of the cold nor the annoyance of the insects.”
October Intentions: Please join us in praying the Rosary and asking Our Lady’s intercession so that everyone will turn to Jesus in the Holy Eucharist, for a greater reverence and respect for all human life in our world! Please send us the names of fallen away Catholics, other Christians and any intentions for which you would like us to pray throughout the year.
Please help us now! Your prayers and donations will help lead people back to Jesus in the Eucharist and help us continue spreading Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration! (Visa / Mastercard accepted)
M.B.S., P.O. Box 1701, Plattsburgh, NY 12901 (518) 561-8193 www.ACFP2000.com