If you are in the United States and you are Catholic, you are currently participating in a Eucharistic Revival along with the heads of the Church and your brothers and sisters in Christ. You may be asking yourself, “What can I do? How can I actively be a part of this Revival?” The bishops’ decree is all good and well, but what actually happens? What has been asked of us as faithful members of the Church?
Josh Raymond of The Inner Life recalled an old adage: “You can’t give what you don’t have.”
“So before we share Christ with the world, before we can help others encounter Christ in the Eucharist, we have to have that encounter with Him ourselves,” he said.
Last week, Josh welcomed Father Ethan Southard back to the show to talk about how we can have our own encounter with Christ, how we can challenge ourselves to become a part of this revival, and why Eucharistic Adoration is so important.
Josh told a story of when he was going through RCIA and one night, he and the other catechumens were listening to a talk from the priest who was helping direct the program. As his talk went on, he became very animated as he spoke about the Eucharist, something Josh had learned was not just a symbol but was the Body of Christ under the accidents of bread. The priest, almost yelling, emphatically stated, “You cannot be Catholic if you do not believe that Jesus is present in the Eucharist!”
The point he was trying to convey is that this belief is central to the faith. It is necessary for our faith because it is the summit of the Mass, the most important event on earth. It is the pinnacle of what we can achieve here, and when we participate, we are being drawn “back and into the Paschal Mystery”.
“Jesus, through His sacrifice on the cross, reconciles us to the Heavenly Father. And so, He’s drawing us, through His death, through the Paschal Mystery, into the Resurrection and into that new life,” said Father Ethan. “And in fact, in the Ascension, our humanity is actually ascended, in Christ, into the Heavens. Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father in our humanity!”
The more time we spend with Christ, the more we uncover about His presence, the more we acknowledge and appreciate it, and the more we can get out of our time with Him. Eucharistic Adoration can really be the key to opening ourselves up to a deeper relationship with God.
Bishop Robert Baron, in one of his earliest books, once wrote, “When one is in the stance of adoration, the whole of one’s life – mind, will, emotions, imagination, sexuality – becomes ordered and harmonized, much as the elements of a rose window arrange themselves musically around a central point.” The word “adore” comes from the Latin for “to the mouth”. When we spend time in Eucharistic Adoration with Jesus, we are standing face to face, or mouth to mouth with the Son of God. We are reorienting the whole of our lives so that it aligns with Him.
Father Ethan likened this phenomenon to someone who might have fallen into the water and somehow fell unconscious. When they’re dragged out of the water, they aren’t capable of acting as they normally would. They probably have water in their lungs and they may have sustained other physical injuries. The first step to bringing that person back is to perform CPR on them. Along with chest compressions, you try mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, an artificial form of ventilation that attempts to breathe life into them.
When we visit Our Lord in the Tabernacle or the monstrance, we are presenting ourselves to Him so that He may breathe new life into us, orient us to His will, and when we live according to His will, we attract others to do the same.
Tune in to The Inner Life weekdays at 11am CT