REFLECTION:Raising our Eucharistic piety PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 14 February 2015 11:50

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

 

Preparations are now in full swing for the International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) to be held in Cebu next year. We need to give our all-support for this event that for sure will give a big boost to our spiritual lives taken individually and collectively.

For example, we can step up our prayers, sacrifices and the recourse to the sacraments, the basic spiritual means we ought to use, so that this landmark celebration would yield a lot of fruit for the good of everyone, the abundant graces that can be expected to be poured on us not going to waste.

Obviously, any earnest effort to sanctify oneself by fighting against temptations and sin, growing in the virtues, carrying out one’s responsibilities dutifully, etc., and offering all this for this intention of the IEC, will go a long way in insuring the spiritual and pastoral success of this event.

We have to understand that the first and indispensable support we can give should always be of the spiritual and moral kind before it is in kind.

And for those who can, may this occasion tickle their generous heart to give whatever service or material and financial help they can. That support, for certain, will redound a hundredfold to the good not only of the donors and volunteers themselves but also of everybody else.

Such generosity would be a tremendous expression of faith and love for God and for his people, and will surely be rewarded roundly. Let’s remember that God cannot be outdone in generosity. The more generous we are with him, the more he also will be with us, and a lot more.

What is even more important in this time of preparation is the deepening and strengthening of our Eucharistic piety, based on solid doctrine that is lived faithfully to its ultimate consequences and made to bear fruit in everyone.

We need to do a lot of catechesis about the Holy Eucharist. There is actually a lot to learn—in fact, endless things to know, appreciate and live. For what we have in the Holy Eucharist is nothing less than Christ himself, his real presence plus the whole range of the merits that his redemptive work has made available for us.

These things are mainly spiritual and supernatural in nature, and therefore mysterious. If we don’t exercise our faith, ask for God’s grace and try to meditate and study the truths about the Eucharist, then we will miss out many important and crucial things that the Eucharist can do for us.

Thus, we need to once again realize more deeply the necessity of being ruled by faith and piety more than by our sense of practicality and convenience alone. We need to nourish and strengthen our faith and piety, giving them their due time and availing ourselves of the relevant practices.

In this, we have to feel the need to help everybody else, starting with the family. Parents should lead the way, giving good example to their children with respect to catechizing their children about the Eucharist and developing the relevant Eucharistic practices, like going to Mass together on Sundays, making visits to the Blessed Sacrament, inculcating the practice of reciting spiritual communions often, etc.

From the family, let’s see if we can do some personal apostolate about the Eucharist among our friends, colleagues, etc.

Let’s take advantage, for example, of the common practice of people making a sign of the cross or any sign of reverence whenever they pass by a church or chapel, to explain more the reasons behind that informal tradition. Thanks to God we can already notice rudimentary forms of Eucharistic piety that can be developed and enriched some more.

The Holy Eucharist is, of course, a great mystery, but we have to overcome that deficient understanding of it and the corresponding attitude that consists of considering the sacrament as too mysterious as to be completely detached from our daily concerns, if not also from our worldly affairs.

In short, it is considered practically irrelevant and that the only reason why we have some Eucharistic practices is to meet some social expectations. We have to establish very clearly and concretely the vital and inalienable connection between the Eucharist and our earthly affairs.

We need to highlight the basic truth about it being the source and culmination of Christian life here on earth. We actually are not true Christians as we ought unless we are genuine Eucharistic souls who are always in need of the Eucharist.

Let’s hope that in this period of preparation for the IEC, we become true Eucharistic souls!