with Paul Ray
The Sacrament of Charity:
We’ve come to the conclusion of our lengthy study on Pope (Emeritus) Benedict XVI’s 2007 Apostolic Exhortation on the Holy Eucharist as the Source and Summit of our Christian faith. If we had to sum up the entire exhortation in one word it would be holiness. The Eucharist is at the root of every form of holiness, and each of us is called to the fullness of life in the Holy Spirit. How many saints have advanced along the way of
perfection thanks to their Eucharistic devotion! From Saint Ignatius of Antioch to Saint Augustine, from Saint Anthony Abbot to Saint Benedict, from Saint Francis of Assisi to Saint Thomas Aquinas, from Saint Clare of Assisi to Saint Catherine of Siena, from Saint Paschal Baylon to Saint Peter Julian Eymard, from Saint Alphonsus Liguori to Blessed Charles de Foucauld, from Saint John Mary Vianney to Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, from Saint Pius of Pietrelcina to Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, from Blessed Piergiorgio Frassati to Blessed Ivan Merz, to name only a few, holiness has always found its center in the Sacrament of the Eucharist.
When it comes down to the Blessed Sacrament and our response, the Holy Father narrows it down to three qualities, or actions, which must take place in order for us to derive the rich fruits of its reality: we need to firmly believe in who it is, celebrate with devotion, and live it intensely in the Church. The celebration and worship of the Eucharist enables us to draw near to God's love and to persevere in that love until we are united with the Lord whom we love. Through the Eucharist we offer our wholes lives for the transformation of our hearts towards God’s for His glory.
Through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, may the Holy Spirit kindle within us the same passion experienced by the disciples on the way to Emmaus (cf. Lk 24:13-35) and renew our "Eucharistic wonder" through the splendor and beauty radiating from the liturgical rite, the efficacious sign of the infinite beauty of the holy mystery of God. Those disciples arose and returned in haste to Jerusalem in order to share their joy with their brothers and sisters in the faith. True joy is found in recognizing that the Lord is still with us, our faithful companion along the way. The Eucharist makes us discover that Christ, risen from the dead, is our contemporary in the mystery of the Church, his body. Of this mystery of love we have become witnesses. Let us encourage one another to walk joyfully, our hearts filled with wonder, towards our encounter with the Holy Eucharist, so that we may experience and proclaim to others the truth of the words with which Jesus took leave of his disciples: "Lo, I am with you always, until the end of the world" (Mt 28:20). – Paul A. Ray