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Let us return to a memorable text which continues to challenge us. There are ecclesial structures which can hamper efforts at evangelization, yet even good structures are only helpful when there is a life constantly driving, sustaining and assessing them.
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An ecclesial renewal which cannot be deferred. The renewal of structures demanded by pastoral conversion can only be understood in this light: as part of an effort to make them more mission-oriented, to make ordinary pastoral activity on every level more inclusive and open, to inspire in pastoral workers a constant desire to go forth and in this way to elicit a positive response from all those whom Jesus summons to friendship with him.
The parish is not an outdated institution; precisely because it possesses great flexibility, it can assume quite different contours depending on the openness and missionary creativity of the pastor and the community. We must admit, though, that the call to review and renew our parishes has not yet sufficed to bring them nearer to people, to make them environments of living communion and participation, and to make them completely mission-oriented.
Other Church institutions, basic communities and small communities, movements, and forms of association are a source of enrichment for the Church, raised up by the Spirit for evangelizing different areas and sectors. Frequently they bring a new evangelizing fervour and a new capacity for dialogue with the world whereby the Church is renewed. But it will prove beneficial for them not to lose contact with the rich reality of the local parish and to participate readily in the overall pastoral activity of the particular Church.
Each particular Church, as a portion of the Catholic Church under the leadership of its bishop, is likewise called to missionary conversion. Its joy in communicating Jesus Christ is expressed both by a concern to preach him to areas in greater need and in constantly going forth to the outskirts of its own territory or towards new sociocultural settings. The bishop must always foster this missionary communion in his diocesan Church, following the ideal of the first Christian communities, in which the believers were of one heart and one soul cf.
To do so, he will sometimes go before his people, pointing the way and keeping their hope vibrant. At other times, he will simply be in their midst with his unassuming and merciful presence. At yet other times, he will have to walk after them, helping those who lag behind and — above all — allowing the flock to strike out on new paths. Yet the principal aim of these participatory processes should not be ecclesiastical organization but rather the missionary aspiration of reaching everyone.
Since I am called to put into practice what I ask of others, I too must think about a conversion of the papacy. It is my duty, as the Bishop of Rome, to be open to suggestions which can help make the exercise of my ministry more faithful to the meaning which Jesus Christ wished to give it and to the present needs of evangelization. The papacy and the central structures of the universal Church also need to hear the call to pastoral conversion. I invite everyone to be bold and creative in this task of rethinking the goals, structures, style and methods of evangelization in their respective communities.
A proposal of goals without an adequate communal search for the means of achieving them will inevitably prove illusory. I encourage everyone to apply the guidelines found in this document generously and courageously, without inhibitions or fear. The important thing is to not walk alone, but to rely on each other as brothers and sisters, and especially under the leadership of the bishops, in a wise and realistic pastoral discernment.
If we attempt to put all things in a missionary key, this will also affect the way we communicate the message. We need to be realistic and not assume that our audience understands the full background to what we are saying, or is capable of relating what we say to the very heart of the Gospel which gives it meaning, beauty and attractiveness.
Pastoral ministry in a missionary style is not obsessed with the disjointed transmission of a multitude of doctrines to be insistently imposed. When we adopt a pastoral goal and a missionary style which would actually reach everyone without exception or exclusion, the message has to concentrate on the essentials, on what is most beautiful, most grand, most appealing and at the same time most necessary. The message is simplified, while losing none of its depth and truth, and thus becomes all the more forceful and convincing.
All revealed truths derive from the same divine source and are to be believed with the same faith, yet some of them are more important for giving direct expression to the heart of the Gospel. In this basic core, what shines forth is the beauty of the saving love of God made manifest in Jesus Christ who died and rose from the dead. First, it needs to be said that in preaching the Gospel a fitting sense of proportion has to be maintained. This would be seen in the frequency with which certain themes are brought up and in the emphasis given to them in preaching.
For example, if in the course of the liturgical year a parish priest speaks about temperance ten times but only mentions charity or justice two or three times, an imbalance results, and precisely those virtues which ought to be most present in preaching and catechesis are overlooked. Just as the organic unity existing among the virtues means that no one of them can be excluded from the Christian ideal, so no truth may be denied.
The integrity of the Gospel message must not be deformed. What is more, each truth is better understood when related to the harmonious totality of the Christian message; in this context all of the truths are important and illumine one another. When preaching is faithful to the Gospel, the centrality of certain truths is evident and it becomes clear that Christian morality is not a form of stoicism, or self-denial, or merely a practical philosophy or a catalogue of sins and faults.
Before all else, the Gospel invites us to respond to the God of love who saves us, to see God in others and to go forth from ourselves to seek the good of others. Under no circumstance can this invitation be obscured! All of the virtues are at the service of this response of love. It would mean that it is not the Gospel which is being preached, but certain doctrinal or moral points based on specific ideological options.
The Church is herself a missionary disciple; she needs to grow in her interpretation of the revealed word and in her understanding of truth. For those who long for a monolithic body of doctrine guarded by all and leaving no room for nuance, this might appear as undesirable and leading to confusion. But in fact such variety serves to bring out and develop different facets of the inexhaustible riches of the Gospel. With the holy intent of communicating the truth about God and humanity, we sometimes give them a false god or a human ideal which is not really Christian.
In this way, we hold fast to a formulation while failing to convey its substance. This is the greatest danger. All of this has great relevance for the preaching of the Gospel, if we are really concerned to make its beauty more clearly recognized and accepted by all. Faith always remains something of a cross; it retains a certain obscurity which does not detract from the firmness of its assent.
Some things are understood and appreciated only from the standpoint of this assent, which is a sister to love, beyond the level of clear reasons and arguments. In her ongoing discernment, the Church can also come to see that certain customs not directly connected to the heart of the Gospel, even some which have deep historical roots, are no longer properly understood and appreciated. Some of these customs may be beautiful, but they no longer serve as means of communicating the Gospel.
We should not be afraid to re-examine them. It ought to be one of the criteria to be taken into account in considering a the reform of the Church and her preaching which would enable it to reach everyone. A small step, in the midst of great human limitations, can be more pleasing to God than a life which appears outwardly in order but moves through the day without confronting great difficulties. We see then that the task of evangelization operates within the limits of language and of circumstances.
It constantly seeks to communicate more effectively the truth of the Gospel in a specific context, without renouncing the truth, the goodness and the light which it can bring whenever perfection is not possible. It never closes itself off, never retreats into its own security, never opts for rigidity and defensiveness. It realizes that it has to grow in its own understanding of the Gospel and in discerning the paths of the Spirit, and so it always does what good it can, even if in the process, its shoes get soiled by the mud of the street.
Going out to others in order to reach the fringes of humanity does not mean rushing out aimlessly into the world. Often it is better simply to slow down, to put aside our eagerness in order to see and listen to others, to stop rushing from one thing to another and to remain with someone who has faltered along the way. At times we have to be like the father of the prodigal son, who always keeps his door open so that when the son returns, he can readily pass through it. The Church is called to be the house of the Father, with doors always wide open. One concrete sign of such openness is that our church doors should always be open, so that if someone, moved by the Spirit, comes there looking for God, he or she will not find a closed door.
There are other doors that should not be closed either. Everyone can share in some way in the life of the Church; everyone can be part of the community, nor should the doors of the sacraments be closed for simply any reason. The Eucharist, although it is the fullness of sacramental life, is not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak. Frequently, we act as arbiters of grace rather than its facilitators. But the Church is not a tollhouse; it is the house of the Father, where there is a place for everyone, with all their problems.
If the whole Church takes up this missionary impulse, she has to go forth to everyone without exception. But to whom should she go first? There can be no room for doubt or for explanations which weaken so clear a message. May we never abandon them. Let us go forth, then, let us go forth to offer everyone the life of Jesus Christ.
Here I repeat for the entire Church what I have often said to the priests and laity of Buenos Aires: I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security. I do not want a Church concerned with being at the centre and then ends by being caught up in a web of obsessions and procedures.
If something should rightly disturb us and trouble our consciences, it is the fact that so many of our brothers and sisters are living without the strength, light and consolation born of friendship with Jesus Christ, without a community of faith to support them, without meaning and a goal in life. Before taking up some basic questions related to the work of evangelization, it may be helpful to mention briefly the context in which we all have to live and work.
Nor would we be well served by a purely sociological analysis which would aim to embrace all of reality by employing an allegedly neutral and clinical method. What I would like to propose is something much more in the line of an evangelical discernment. This involves not only recognizing and discerning spirits, but also — and this is decisive — choosing movements of the spirit of good and rejecting those of the spirit of evil.
I take for granted the different analyses which other documents of the universal magisterium have offered, as well as those proposed by the regional and national conferences of bishops. In our time humanity is experiencing a turning-point in its history, as we can see from the advances being made in so many fields. At the same time we have to remember that the majority of our contemporaries are barely living from day to day, with dire consequences.
A number of diseases are spreading. The hearts of many people are gripped by fear and desperation, even in the so-called rich countries. The joy of living frequently fades, lack of respect for others and violence are on the rise, and inequality is increasingly evident. It is a struggle to live and, often, to live with precious little dignity. This epochal change has been set in motion by the enormous qualitative, quantitative, rapid and cumulative advances occuring in the sciences and in technology, and by their instant application in different areas of nature and of life.
We are in an age of knowledge and information, which has led to new and often anonymous kinds of power. Such an economy kills. How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points? This is a case of exclusion. Can we continue to stand by when food is thrown away while people are starving? This is a case of inequality. Today everything comes under the laws of competition and the survival of the fittest, where the powerful feed upon the powerless.
As a consequence, masses of people find themselves excluded and marginalized: without work, without possibilities, without any means of escape. Human beings are themselves considered consumer goods to be used and then discarded. It is no longer simply about exploitation and oppression, but something new. In this context, some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world.
Meanwhile, the excluded are still waiting. To sustain a lifestyle which excludes others, or to sustain enthusiasm for that selfish ideal, a globalization of indifference has developed. The culture of prosperity deadens us; we are thrilled if the market offers us something new to purchase; and in the meantime all those lives stunted for lack of opportunity seem a mere spectacle; they fail to move us. One cause of this situation is found in our relationship with money, since we calmly accept its dominion over ourselves and our societies.
The current financial crisis can make us overlook the fact that it originated in a profound human crisis: the denial of the primacy of the human person! We have created new idols. The worship of the ancient golden calf cf. The worldwide crisis affecting finance and the economy lays bare their imbalances and, above all, their lack of real concern for human beings; man is reduced to one of his needs alone: consumption. While the earnings of a minority are growing exponentially, so too is the gap separating the majority from the prosperity enjoyed by those happy few.
This imbalance is the result of ideologies which defend the absolute autonomy of the marketplace and financial speculation. Consequently, they reject the right of states, charged with vigilance for the common good, to exercise any form of control. A new tyranny is thus born, invisible and often virtual, which unilaterally and relentlessly imposes its own laws and rules.
Debt and the accumulation of interest also make it difficult for countries to realize the potential of their own economies and keep citizens from enjoying their real purchasing power. To all this we can add widespread corruption and self-serving tax evasion, which have taken on worldwide dimensions. The thirst for power and possessions knows no limits.
In this system, which tends to devour everything which stands in the way of increased profits, whatever is fragile, like the environment, is defenseless before the interests of a deified market, which become the only rule. No to a financial system which rules rather than serves. Behind this attitude lurks a rejection of ethics and a rejection of God. Ethics has come to be viewed with a certain scornful derision.
It is seen as counterproductive, too human, because it makes money and power relative. It is felt to be a threat, since it condemns the manipulation and debasement of the person. In effect, ethics leads to a God who calls for a committed response which is outside of the categories of the marketplace. When these latter are absolutized, God can only be seen as uncontrollable, unmanageable, even dangerous, since he calls human beings to their full realization and to freedom from all forms of enslavement.
Ethics — a non-ideological ethics — would make it possible to bring about balance and a more humane social order. A financial reform open to such ethical considerations would require a vigorous change of approach on the part of political leaders. I urge them to face this challenge with determination and an eye to the future, while not ignoring, of course, the specifics of each case.
Money must serve, not rule! The Pope loves everyone, rich and poor alike, but he is obliged in the name of Christ to remind all that the rich must help, respect and promote the poor. I exhort you to generous solidarity and a return of economics and finance to an ethical approach which favours human beings. No to the inequality which spawns violence. Today in many places we hear a call for greater security. But until exclusion and inequality in society and between peoples is reversed, it will be impossible to eliminate violence. The poor and the poorer peoples are accused of violence, yet without equal opportunities the different forms of aggression and conflict will find a fertile terrain for growth and eventually explode.
When a society — whether local, national or global — is willing to leave a part of itself on the fringes, no political programmes or resources spent on law enforcement or surveillance systems can indefinitely guarantee tranquility. This is not the case simply because inequality provokes a violent reaction from those excluded from the system, but because the socioeconomic system is unjust at its root. Just as goodness tends to spread, the toleration of evil, which is injustice, tends to expand its baneful influence and quietly to undermine any political and social system, no matter how solid it may appear.
If every action has its consequences, an evil embedded in the structures of a society has a constant potential for disintegration and death. It is evil crystallized in unjust social structures, which cannot be the basis of hope for a better future. Inequality eventually engenders a violence which recourse to arms cannot and never will be able to resolve. This serves only to offer false hopes to those clamouring for heightened security, even though nowadays we know that weapons and violence, rather than providing solutions, create new and more serious conflicts.
All this becomes even more exasperating for the marginalized in the light of the widespread and deeply rooted corruption found in many countries — in their governments, businesses and institutions — whatever the political ideology of their leaders. We also evangelize when we attempt to confront the various challenges which can arise.
In many places, the problem is more that of widespread indifference and relativism, linked to disillusionment and the crisis of ideologies which has come about as a reaction to anything which might appear totalitarian. This not only harms the Church but the fabric of society as a whole. We should recognize how in a culture where each person wants to be bearer of his or her own subjective truth, it becomes difficult for citizens to devise a common plan which transcends individual gain and personal ambitions. In the prevailing culture, priority is given to the outward, the immediate, the visible, the quick, the superficial and the provisional.
What is real gives way to appearances. In many countries globalization has meant a hastened deterioration of their own cultural roots and the invasion of ways of thinking and acting proper to other cultures which are economically advanced but ethically debilitated. This fact has been brought up by bishops from various continents in different Synods. The Catholic faith of many peoples is nowadays being challenged by the proliferation of new religious movements, some of which tend to fundamentalism while others seem to propose a spirituality without God.
This is, on the one hand, a human reaction to a materialistic, consumerist and individualistic society, but it is also a means of exploiting the weaknesses of people living in poverty and on the fringes of society, people who make ends meet amid great human suffering and are looking for immediate solutions to their needs.
These religious movements, not without a certain shrewdness, come to fill, within a predominantly individualistic culture, a vacuum left by secularist rationalism. We must recognize that if part of our baptized people lack a sense of belonging to the Church, this is also due to certain structures and the occasionally unwelcoming atmosphere of some of our parishes and communities, or to a bureaucratic way of dealing with problems, be they simple or complex, in the lives of our people. In many places an administrative approach prevails over a pastoral approach, as does a concentration on administering the sacraments apart from other forms of evangelization.
The process of secularization tends to reduce the faith and the Church to the sphere of the private and personal. Furthermore, by completely rejecting the transcendent, it has produced a growing deterioration of ethics, a weakening of the sense of personal and collective sin, and a steady increase in relativism.
These have led to a general sense of disorientation, especially in the periods of adolescence and young adulthood which are so vulnerable to change. Such claims usually follow from a form of moral relativism that is joined, not without inconsistency, to a belief in the absolute rights of individuals. In response, we need to provide an education which teaches critical thinking and encourages the development of mature moral values. Despite the tide of secularism which has swept our societies, in many countries — even those where Christians are a minority — the Catholic Church is considered a credible institution by public opinion, and trusted for her solidarity and concern for those in greatest need.
Again and again, the Church has acted as a mediator in finding solutions to problems affecting peace, social harmony, the land, the defence of life, human and civil rights, and so forth. And how much good has been done by Catholic schools and universities around the world!
This is a good thing. Yet, we find it difficult to make people see that when we raise other questions less palatable to public opinion, we are doing so out of fidelity to precisely the same convictions about human dignity and the common good. The family is experiencing a profound cultural crisis, as are all communities and social bonds. In the case of the family, the weakening of these bonds is particularly serious because the family is the fundamental cell of society, where we learn to live with others despite our differences and to belong to one another; it is also the place where parents pass on the faith to their children.
Marriage now tends to be viewed as a form of mere emotional satisfaction that can be constructed in any way or modified at will. But the indispensible contribution of marriage to society transcends the feelings and momentary needs of the couple. The individualism of our postmodern and globalized era favours a lifestyle which weakens the development and stability of personal relationships and distorts family bonds. Pastoral activity needs to bring out more clearly the fact that our relationship with the Father demands and encourages a communion which heals, promotes and reinforces interpersonal bonds.
Today too, various associations for the defence of rights and the pursuit of noble goals are being founded. This is a sign of the desire of many people to contribute to social and cultural progress. The Christian substratum of certain peoples — most of all in the West — is a living reality.
Seeing reality with the eyes of faith, we cannot fail to acknowledge what the Holy Spirit is sowing. It would show a lack of trust in his free and unstinting activity to think that authentic Christian values are absent where great numbers of people have received baptism and express their faith and solidarity with others in a variety of ways.
The immense importance of a culture marked by faith cannot be overlooked; before the onslaught of contemporary secularism an evangelized culture, for all its limits, has many more resources than the mere sum total of believers. An evangelized popular culture contains values of faith and solidarity capable of encouraging the development of a more just and believing society, and possesses a particular wisdom which ought to be gratefully acknowledged.
It is imperative to evangelize cultures in order to inculturate the Gospel. In countries of Catholic tradition, this means encouraging, fostering and reinforcing a richness which already exists. In countries of other religious traditions, or profoundly secularized countries, it will mean sparking new processes for evangelizing culture, even though these will demand long-term planning.
We must keep in mind, however, that we are constantly being called to grow. Each culture and social group needs purification and growth. In the case of the popular cultures of Catholic peoples, we can see deficiencies which need to be healed by the Gospel: machismo, alcoholism, domestic violence, low Mass attendance, fatalistic or superstitious notions which lead to sorcery, and the like. Popular piety itself can be the starting point for healing and liberation from these deficiencies. It is also true that at times greater emphasis is placed on the outward expressions and traditions of some groups, or on alleged private revelations which would replace all else, than on the impulse of Christian piety.
Some people promote these expressions while not being in the least concerned with the advancement of society or the formation of the laity, and in certain cases they do so in order to obtain economic benefits or some power over others. Nor can we overlook the fact that in recent decades there has been a breakdown in the way Catholics pass down the Christian faith to the young.
It is undeniable that many people feel disillusioned and no longer identify with the Catholic tradition. Growing numbers of parents do not bring their children for baptism or teach them how to pray. There is also a certain exodus towards other faith communities.
The causes of this breakdown include: a lack of opportunity for dialogue in families, the influence of the communications media, a relativistic subjectivism, unbridled consumerism which feeds the market, lack of pastoral care among the poor, the failure of our institutions to be welcoming, and our difficulty in restoring a mystical adherence to the faith in a pluralistic religious landscape. The new Jerusalem, the holy city cf. We need to look at our cities with a contemplative gaze, a gaze of faith which sees God dwelling in their homes, in their streets and squares.
He dwells among them, fostering solidarity, fraternity, and the desire for goodness, truth and justice. This presence must not be contrived but found, uncovered. God does not hide himself from those who seek him with a sincere heart, even though they do so tentatively, in a vague and haphazard manner. In cities, as opposed to the countryside, the religious dimension of life is expressed by different lifestyles, daily rhythms linked to places and people.
In their daily lives people must often struggle for survival and this struggle contains within it a profound understanding of life which often includes a deep religious sense. We must examine this more closely in order to enter into a dialogue like that of our Lord and the Samaritan woman at the well where she sought to quench her thirst cf. New cultures are constantly being born in these vast new expanses where Christians are no longer the customary interpreters or generators of meaning.
Instead, they themselves take from these cultures new languages, symbols, messages and paradigms which propose new approaches to life, approaches often in contrast with the Gospel of Jesus. A completely new culture has come to life and continues to grow in the cities. The Synod noted that today the changes taking place in these great spaces and the culture which they create are a privileged locus of the new evangelization. Through the influence of the media, rural areas are being affected by the same cultural changes, which are significantly altering their way of life as well.
What is called for is an evangelization capable of shedding light on these new ways of relating to God, to others and to the world around us, and inspiring essential values. It must reach the places where new narratives and paradigms are being formed, bringing the word of Jesus to the inmost soul of our cities. Cities are multicultural; in the larger cities, a connective network is found in which groups of people share a common imagination and dreams about life, and new human interactions arise, new cultures, invisible cities.
Various subcultures exist side by side, and often practise segregation and violence. The Church is called to be at the service of a difficult dialogue. Cities create a sort of permanent ambivalence because, while they offer their residents countless possibilities, they also present many people with any number of obstacles to the full development of their lives.
This contrast causes painful suffering. In many parts of the world, cities are the scene of mass protests where thousands of people call for freedom, a voice in public life, justice and a variety of other demands which, if not properly understood, will not be silenced by force. We cannot ignore the fact that in cities human trafficking, the narcotics trade, the abuse and exploitation of minors, the abandonment of the elderly and infirm, and various forms of corruption and criminal activity take place. At the same time, what could be significant places of encounter and solidarity often become places of isolation and mutual distrust.
Houses and neighbourhoods are more often built to isolate and protect than to connect and integrate. The proclamation of the Gospel will be a basis for restoring the dignity of human life in these contexts, for Jesus desires to pour out an abundance of life upon our cities cf. The unified and complete sense of human life that the Gospel proposes is the best remedy for the ills of our cities, even though we have to realize that a uniform and rigid program of evangelization is not suited to this complex reality.
But to live our human life to the fullest and to meet every challenge as a leaven of Gospel witness in every culture and in every city will make us better Christians and bear fruit in our cities. I feel tremendous gratitude to all those who are committed to working in and for the Church. Here I do not wish to discuss at length the activities of the different pastoral workers, from bishops down to those who provide the most humble and hidden services. Rather, I would like to reflect on the challenges that all of them must face in the context of our current globalized culture.
The pain and the shame we feel at the sins of some members of the Church, and at our own, must never make us forget how many Christians are giving their lives in love. They help so many people to be healed or to die in peace in makeshift hospitals. They are present to those enslaved by different addictions in the poorest places on earth. They devote themselves to the education of children and young people. They take care of the elderly who have been forgotten by everyone else. They look for ways to communicate values in hostile environments. They are dedicated in many other ways to showing an immense love for humanity inspired by the God who became man.
I am grateful for the beautiful example given to me by so many Christians who joyfully sacrifice their lives and their time. This witness comforts and sustains me in my own effort to overcome selfishness and to give more fully of myself. As children of this age, though, all of us are in some way affected by the present globalized culture which, while offering us values and new possibilities, can also limit, condition and ultimately harm us.
Yes to the challenge of a missionary spirituality. Today we are seeing in many pastoral workers, including consecrated men and women, an inordinate concern for their personal freedom and relaxation, which leads them to see their work as a mere appendage to their life, as if it were not part of their very identity. At the same time, the spiritual life comes to be identified with a few religious exercises which can offer a certain comfort but which do not encourage encounter with others, engagement with the world or a passion for evangelization.
As a result, one can observe in many agents of evangelization, even though they pray, a heightened individualism, a crisis of identity and a cooling of fervour. These are three evils which fuel one another. As a consequence, many pastoral workers, although they pray, develop a sort of inferiority complex which leads them to relativize or conceal their Christian identity and convictions. This produces a vicious circle. They end up being unhappy with who they are and what they do; they do not identify with their mission of evangelization and this weakens their commitment.
They end up stifling the joy of mission with a kind of obsession about being like everyone else and possessing what everyone else possesses. Their work of evangelization thus becomes forced, and they devote little energy and very limited time to it. Pastoral workers can thus fall into a relativism which, whatever their particular style of spirituality or way of thinking, proves even more dangerous than doctrinal relativism. It has to do with the deepest and inmost decisions that shape their way of life.
This practical relativism consists in acting as if God did not exist, making decisions as if the poor did not exist, setting goals as if others did not exist, working as if people who have not received the Gospel did not exist. It is striking that even some who clearly have solid doctrinal and spiritual convictions frequently fall into a lifestyle which leads to an attachment to financial security, or to a desire for power or human glory at all cost, rather than giving their lives to others in mission.
Let us not allow ourselves to be robbed of missionary enthusiasm! At a time when we most need a missionary dynamism which will bring salt and light to the world, many lay people fear that they may be asked to undertake some apostolic work and they seek to avoid any responsibility that may take away from their free time. For example, it has become very difficult today to find trained parish catechists willing to persevere in this work for some years. Something similar is also happening with priests who are obsessed with protecting their free time. Some resist giving themselves over completely to mission and thus end up in a state of paralysis and acedia.
The problem is not always an excess of activity, but rather activity undertaken badly, without adequate motivation, without a spirituality which would permeate it and make it pleasurable. As a result, work becomes more tiring than necessary, even leading at times to illness. Far from a content and happy tiredness, this is a tense, burdensome, dissatisfying and, in the end, unbearable fatigue. This pastoral acedia can be caused by a number of things. Some fall into it because they throw themselves into unrealistic projects and are not satisfied simply to do what they reasonably can.
Others, because they lack the patience to allow processes to mature; they want everything to fall from heaven. Others, because they are attached to a few projects or vain dreams of success. Others, because they have lost real contract with people and so depersonalize their work that they are more concerned with the road map than with the journey itself. Others fall into acedia because they are unable to wait; they want to dominate the rhythm of life.
For all this, I repeat: Let us not allow ourselves to be robbed of the joy of evangelization! The joy of the Gospel is such that it cannot be taken away from us by anyone or anything cf. The evils of our world — and those of the Church — must not be excuses for diminishing our commitment and our fervour.
Let us look upon them as challenges which can help us to grow. Our faith is challenged to discern how wine can come from water and how wheat can grow in the midst of weeds. Fifty years after the Second Vatican Council, while distressed by the troubles of our age and far from naive optimism, our greater realism must not mean any less trust in the Spirit or less generosity.
In this modern age they can see nothing but prevarication and ruin … We feel that we must disagree with those prophets of doom who are always forecasting disaster, as though the end of the world were at hand. Nobody can go off to battle unless he is fully convinced of victory beforehand. If we start without confidence, we have already lost half the battle and we bury our talents. Christian triumph is always a cross, yet a cross which is at the same time a victorious banner borne with aggressive tenderness against the assaults of evil. The evil spirit of defeatism is brother to the temptation to separate, before its time, the wheat from the weeds; it is the fruit of an anxious and self-centred lack of trust.
This is another painful kind of desert. But family and the workplace can also be a parched place where faith nonetheless has to be preserved and communicated. At times, this becomes a heavy cross, but it was from the cross, from his pierced side, that our Lord gave himself to us as a source of living water. Let us not allow ourselves to be robbed of hope! Yes to the new relationships brought by Christ.
Greater possibilities for communication thus turn into greater possibilities for encounter and solidarity for everyone. If we were able to take this route, it would be so good, so soothing, so liberating and hope-filled! To go out of ourselves and to join others is healthy for us. To be self-enclosed is to taste the bitter poison of immanence, and humanity will be worse for every selfish choice we make.
Many try to escape from others and take refuge in the comfort of their privacy or in a small circle of close friends, renouncing the realism of the social aspect of the Gospel. For just as some people want a purely spiritual Christ, without flesh and without the cross, they also want their interpersonal relationships provided by sophisticated equipment, by screens and systems which can be turned on and off on command. Meanwhile, the Gospel tells us constantly to run the risk of a face-to-face encounter with others, with their physical presence which challenges us, with their pain and their pleas, with their joy which infects us in our close and continuous interaction.
True faith in the incarnate Son of God is inseparable from self-giving, from membership in the community, from service, from reconciliation with others. The Son of God, by becoming flesh, summoned us to the revolution of tenderness. Isolation, which is a version of immanentism, can find expression in a false autonomy which has no place for God.
The return to the sacred and the quest for spirituality which mark our own time are ambiguous phenomena. Unless these people find in the Church a spirituality which can offer healing and liberation, and fill them with life and peace, while at the same time summoning them to fraternal communion and missionary fruitfulness, they will end up by being taken in by solutions which neither make life truly human nor give glory to God. Genuine forms of popular religiosity are incarnate, since they are born of the incarnation of Christian faith in popular culture.
For this reason they entail a personal relationship, not with vague spiritual energies or powers, but with God, with Christ, with Mary, with the saints. These devotions are fleshy, they have a face. They are capable of fostering relationships and not just enabling escapism. One important challenge is to show that the solution will never be found in fleeing from a personal and committed relationship with God which at the same time commits us to serving others.
This happens frequently nowadays, as believers seek to hide or keep apart from others, or quietly flit from one place to another or from one task to another, without creating deep and stable bonds. We need to help others to realize that the only way is to learn how to encounter others with the right attitude, which is to accept and esteem them as companions along the way, without interior resistance.
Better yet, it means learning to find Jesus in the faces of others, in their voices, in their pleas.
Eucharist Adoration - Sts. Peter and Paul and St. Ursula Church | Fleetwood - Mount Vernon, NY
And learning to suffer in the embrace of the crucified Jesus whenever we are unjustly attacked or meet with ingratitude, never tiring of our decision to live in fraternity. It is a fraternal love capable of seeing the sacred grandeur of our neighbour, of finding God in every human being, of tolerating the nuisances of life in common by clinging to the love of God, of opening the heart to divine love and seeking the happiness of others just as their heavenly Father does.
- The Great Controversy;
- The Holy City: Part II. "Adoration", No. 16, Great and Marvellous Are Thy Works.
- Quotes on the Most Blessed Sacrament 3.
- Glimpses Of Glory Part 6: What Will We Do In Heaven? - Part 1 - David Legge - Preach The Word.
We are called to bear witness to a constantly new way of living together in fidelity to the Gospel. It takes on many forms, depending on the kinds of persons and groups into which it seeps. Since it is based on carefully cultivated appearances, it is not always linked to outward sin; from without, everything appears as it should be. This worldliness can be fuelled in two deeply interrelated ways. One is the attraction of gnosticism, a purely subjective faith whose only interest is a certain experience or a set of ideas and bits of information which are meant to console and enlighten, but which ultimately keep one imprisoned in his or her own thoughts and feelings.
The other is the self-absorbed promethean neopelagianism of those who ultimately trust only in their own powers and feel superior to others because they observe certain rules or remain intransigently faithful to a particular Catholic style from the past. A supposed soundness of doctrine or discipline leads instead to a narcissistic and authoritarian elitism, whereby instead of evangelizing, one analyzes and classifies others, and instead of opening the door to grace, one exhausts his or her energies in inspecting and verifying.
In neither case is one really concerned about Jesus Christ or others. These are manifestations of an anthropocentric immanentism. It is impossible to think that a genuine evangelizing thrust could emerge from these adulterated forms of Christianity. In this way, the life of the Church turns into a museum piece or something which is the property of a select few.
In others, this spiritual worldliness lurks behind a fascination with social and political gain, or pride in their ability to manage practical affairs, or an obsession with programmes of self-help and self-realization. It can also translate into a concern to be seen, into a social life full of appearances, meetings, dinners and receptions. The mark of Christ, incarnate, crucified and risen, is not present; closed and elite groups are formed, and no effort is made to go forth and seek out those who are distant or the immense multitudes who thirst for Christ.
Evangelical fervour is replaced by the empty pleasure of complacency and self-indulgence. This way of thinking also feeds the vainglory of those who are content to have a modicum of power and would rather be the general of a defeated army than a mere private in a unit which continues to fight.
How often we dream up vast apostolic projects, meticulously planned, just like defeated generals! We indulge in endless fantasies and we lose contact with the real lives and difficulties of our people. Those who have fallen into this worldliness look on from above and afar, they reject the prophecy of their brothers and sisters, they discredit those who raise questions, they constantly point out the mistakes of others and they are obsessed by appearances. Their hearts are open only to the limited horizon of their own immanence and interests, and as a consequence they neither learn from their sins nor are they genuinely open to forgiveness.
This is a tremendous corruption disguised as a good. We need to avoid it by making the Church constantly go out from herself, keeping her mission focused on Jesus Christ, and her commitment to the poor. God save us from a worldly Church with superficial spiritual and pastoral trappings!
This stifling worldliness can only be healed by breathing in the pure air of the Holy Spirit who frees us from self-centredness cloaked in an outward religiosity bereft of God. Let us not allow ourselves to be robbed of the Gospel! How many wars take place within the people of God and in our different communities!
In our neighbourhoods and in the workplace, how many wars are caused by envy and jealousy, even among Christians! Spiritual worldliness leads some Christians to war with other Christians who stand in the way of their quest for power, prestige, pleasure and economic security. Instead of belonging to the whole Church in all its rich variety, they belong to this or that group which thinks itself different or special.
Our world is being torn apart by wars and violence, and wounded by a widespread individualism which divides human beings, setting them against one another as they pursue their own well-being. In various countries, conflicts and old divisions from the past are re-emerging. I especially ask Christians in communities throughout the world to offer a radiant and attractive witness of fraternal communion. Beware of the temptation of jealousy! We are all in the same boat and headed to the same port!
Let us ask for the grace to rejoice in the gifts of each, which belong to all. Those wounded by historical divisions find it difficult to accept our invitation to forgiveness and reconciliation, since they think that we are ignoring their pain or are asking them to give up their memory and ideals. But if they see the witness of authentically fraternal and reconciled communities, they will find that witness luminous and attractive. It always pains me greatly to discover how some Christian communities, and even consecrated persons, can tolerate different forms of enmity, division, calumny, defamation, vendetta, jealousy and the desire to impose certain ideas at all costs, even to persecutions which appear as veritable witch hunts.
“What Will We Do In Heaven? - Part 1”
Whom are we going to evangelize if this is the way we act? Let us ask the Lord to help us understand the law of love. How good it is to have this law! How much good it does us to love one another, in spite of everything. Yes, in spite of everything! We all have our likes and dislikes, and perhaps at this very moment we are angry with someone. To pray for a person with whom I am irritated is a beautiful step forward in love, and an act of evangelization.
Let us do it today! Let us not allow ourselves to be robbed of the ideal of fraternal love! Lay people are, put simply, the vast majority of the People of God. The minority — ordained ministers — are at their service. There has been a growing awareness of the identity and mission of the laity in the Church.
We can count on many lay persons, although still not nearly enough, who have a deeply-rooted sense of community and great fidelity to the tasks of charity, catechesis and the celebration of the faith. At the same time, a clear awareness of this responsibility of the laity, grounded in their baptism and confirmation, does not appear in the same way in all places.
In some cases, it is because lay persons have not been given the formation needed to take on important responsibilities. In others, it is because in their particular Churches room has not been made for them to speak and to act, due to an excessive clericalism which keeps them away from decision-making. Even if many are now involved in the lay ministries, this involvement is not reflected in a greater penetration of Christian values in the social, political and economic sectors.
It often remains tied to tasks within the Church, without a real commitment to applying the Gospel to the transformation of society. The formation of the laity and the evangelization of professional and intellectual life represent a significant pastoral challenge. The Church acknowledges the indispensable contribution which women make to society through the sensitivity, intuition and other distinctive skill sets which they, more than men, tend to possess.
I think, for example, of the special concern which women show to others, which finds a particular, even if not exclusive, expression in motherhood. I readily acknowledge that many women share pastoral responsibilities with priests, helping to guide people, families and groups and offering new contributions to theological reflection. But we need to create still broader opportunities for a more incisive female presence in the Church.
Demands that the legitimate rights of women be respected, based on the firm conviction that men and women are equal in dignity, present the Church with profound and challenging questions which cannot be lightly evaded. The reservation of the priesthood to males, as a sign of Christ the Spouse who gives himself in the Eucharist, is not a question open to discussion, but it can prove especially divisive if sacramental power is too closely identified with power in general. The configuration of the priest to Christ the head — namely, as the principal source of grace — does not imply an exaltation which would set him above others.
Youth ministry, as traditionally organized, has also suffered the impact of social changes. Young people often fail to find responses to their concerns, needs, problems and hurts in the usual structures. As adults, we find it hard to listen patiently to them, to appreciate their concerns and demands, and to speak to them in a language they can understand. For the same reason, our efforts in the field of education do not produce the results expected. The rise and growth of associations and movements mostly made up of young people can be seen as the work of the Holy Spirit, who blazes new trails to meet their expectations and their search for a deep spirituality and a more real sense of belonging.
Even if it is not always easy to approach young people, progress has been made in two areas: the awareness that the entire community is called to evangelize and educate the young, and the urgent need for the young to exercise greater leadership. We should recognize that despite the present crisis of commitment and communal relationships, many young people are making common cause before the problems of our world and are taking up various forms of activism and volunteer work.
Some take part in the life of the Church as members of service groups and various missionary initiatives in their own dioceses and in other places. Many places are experiencing a dearth of vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life. This is often due to a lack of contagious apostolic fervour in communities which results in a cooling of enthusiasm and attractiveness. Wherever there is life, fervour and a desire to bring Christ to others, genuine vocations will arise.
Even in parishes where priests are not particularly committed or joyful, the fraternal life and fervour of the community can awaken in the young a desire to consecrate themselves completely to God and to the preaching of the Gospel. This is particularly true if such a living community prays insistently for vocations and courageously proposes to its young people the path of special consecration. On the other hand, despite the scarcity of vocations, today we are increasingly aware of the need for a better process of selecting candidates to the priesthood. Seminaries cannot accept candidates on the basis of any motivation whatsoever, especially if those motivations have to do with affective insecurity or the pursuit of power, human glory or economic well-being.
Since the Second Vatican Council , the Catholic church has made Eucharistic exposition and benediction a liturgical service in its own right and exercised more direction over its practice;  it draws its primary meaning from the Eucharistic celebration itself. Like a magnet, The Lord draws us to Himself and gently transforms us. At the beginning of the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, a priest or deacon removes the sacred host from the tabernacle and places it in the monstrance on the altar for adoration by the faithful.
A monstrance is the vessel used to display the consecrated Eucharistic Host, during Eucharistic adoration or benediction. The adoration may also take place when the Eucharist is not exposed but left in a ciborium , which is likewise placed on an altar or in an enclosed tabernacle so that the faithful may pray in its presence without the need for volunteers to be in constant attendance as is required when the Blessed Sacrament is exposed. The "Instruction on Eucharistic Worship", issued by the Sacred Congregation of Rites on the Feast of Corpus Christi, 25 May , reads in pertinent part, "The exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, for which either a monstrance or a ciborium may be used, stimulates the faithful to an awareness of the marvelous presence of Christ and is an invitation to spiritual communion with Him.
It is therefore an excellent encouragement to offer Him that worship in spirit and truth which is His due. The visit to the Blessed Sacrament is a great treasure of the Catholic faith. It nourishes social love and gives us opportunities for adoration and thanksgiving, for reparation and supplication.
Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, Exposition and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, Holy Hours, and Eucharistic processions are likewise precious element of your heritage--in full accord with the teaching of the Second Vatican Council. As to the manner in which Eucharistic adoration is conducted, the "Instructions" state: "Even brief exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, Where Eucharistic adoration is done by an individual for an uninterrupted hour, this is known as a Holy Hour.
The inspiration for the Holy Hour is Matthew when in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before his crucifixion , Jesus asks Peter: "So, could you not keep watch with me for one hour? Some Christian denominations that do not subscribe to transubstantiation consider Eucharistic adoration unfounded and even bordering on idolatry. While the keeping of the Blessed Sacrament outside Mass seems to have been part of the Christian practice from the beginning to administer to the sick and dying both Justin Martyr and Tertullian refer to it , the practice of adoration began somewhat later.
One of the first possible references to reserving the Blessed Sacrament for adoration is found in a life of St. Basil died AD Basil is said to have divided the Eucharistic bread into three parts when he celebrated the Divine Liturgy in the monastery. One part he consumed, the second part he gave to the monks, and the third he placed in a golden dove-shaped container suspended over the altar. In Eastern Christianity , the adoration which developed in the West has never been part of the Eastern liturgy which St.
Basil celebrated, but a liturgy for adoration does exist among the Eastern Catholic Churches involving psalms and placing a covered diskos with the sacred species on the altar. This is befitting the Eastern custom of veiling from human eyes those things deemed sacred. The theological basis for the adoration was prepared in the 11th century by Pope Gregory VII , who was instrumental in affirming the tenet that Christ is present in the Blessed Host.
In , Gregory required of Berengar of Tours a confession of belief:. I believe in my heart and openly profess that the bread and wine that are placed on the altar are, through the mystery of the sacred prayer and the words of the Redeemer, substantially changed into the true and proper and lifegiving flesh and blood of Jesus Christ our Lord, and that after the consecration they are the true body of Christ .
This profession of faith began a "Eucharistic Renaissance" in the churches of Europe. It then spread from Umbria to other parts of Italy. He asked the Dominican theologian Thomas Aquinas to write the texts for the Mass and Office of the feast. As of the fourteenth century in the Western Church , devotions began to focus on the Eucharistic gifts as the objective presence of the risen Christ and the Host began to be elevated during the liturgy for the purpose of adoration, as well as to be seen by the congregation since the priest stood facing the same direction in front of the altar.
In the 16th century, the Protestant Reformation was challenging various issues with respect to the Eucharist and in response the Council of Trent greatly emphasized the presence of Christ in the Eucharist, the theological basis for Eucharistic adoration. The Trent declaration was the most significant theological component of Eucharistic doctrine since the apostolic age. For before the apostles received the Eucharist from the hands of our Lord, He told them that it was His Body that He was giving them.
The Council then declared Eucharistic adoration as a form of latria :. The only-begotten Son of God is to be adored in the Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist with the worship of "latria", including external worship. The Sacrament, therefore, is to be honored with extraordinary festive celebrations and solemnly carried from place to place in processions according to the praiseworthy universal rite and custom of the holy Church.
The Sacrament is to be publicly exposed for the people's adoration. As Eucharistic adoration and Benediction became more widespread during the 17th century, the altar came to be seen as the "home of the Blessed Sacrament" where it would be adored. A common early practice of adoration known as Quarantore literary forty hours started in the 16th century.
It is an exercise of devotion in which continuous prayer is made for forty hours before the exposed Blessed Sacrament. This practice started in Milan in the s and s by Capuchins such as Giuseppe da Fermo who promoted long periods of adoration. The practice of the perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament started in Naples in within the Order of the Clerics Regular Minor , founded by St.
Francis Caracciolo , Fr. Augustine Adorno and Fr. Fabrizio Caracciolo. This practice was modified to continuous adoration during the day due to the few number of religious in the Order's Constitutions of with approval by Pope Clement VIII  At a later date, the Order would revert to its earlier rule of perpetual adoration, but only within houses of no less than twenty religious.
The houses with less religious were offered perpetual adoration as an option if it would not interfere with the execution of the house's ministries. In the 18th century, large numbers of people were drawn to quiet adoration of the Eucharist and priests such as Alphonsus Liguori encouraged the practice. He wrote a book on Visits to the Blessed Sacrament and he explained that a visit to the Blessed Sacrament is the "practice of loving Jesus Christ", since friends who love each other visit regularly.
Benedict Joseph Labre , a homeless beggar and Franciscan tertiary , was a familiar figure in the city of Rome and known as the "saint of the Forty Hours" or Quarant' Ore for his dedication to Eucharistic adoration. The French Revolution hindered the practice of Eucharistic adoration, however, the beginning of the 19th century witnessed a strong emphasis on Eucharistic piety, devotions and adorations.
By , the efforts of the Confraternity of Penitents-Gris brought Eucharistic adoration back in France. The adoration of the Eucharist within France grew in this period, and there were interactions between Catholic figures who were enthusiastic about spreading the practice, e. Also in , Eymard, known as the Apostle of the Eucharist , and sister Marguerite Guillot formed the Servants of the Blessed Sacrament which now maintains houses on several continents where continuous Eucharistic adoration takes place.
By Decree of the Congregation for the Sacraments and Divine Worship, dated 9 December , Saint Peter Julian Eymard, Priest, was added to the General Roman Calendar with the rank of optional memoria: Font and fullness of all evangelization and striking expression of the infinite love of our divine Redeemer for mankind, the Holy Eucharist clearly marked the life and pastoral activity of Peter Julian Eymard. He truly deserves to be called an outstanding apostle of the Eucharist.
In fact, his mission in the Church consisted in promoting the centrality of the Eucharistic Mystery in the whole life of the Christian community. The practice of prolonged Eucharistic adoration also spread to the United States in the 19th century and Saint John Neumann the Archbishop of Philadelphia started Forty Hours adorations there, where it continues to date. Early Anglicanism officially rejected Eucharistic adoration. Article XXVIII — Of the Lord's Supper in Anglicanism's 39 Articles rejects transubstantiation , declaring that "Transubstantiation or the change of the substance of Bread and Wine in the Supper of the Lord, cannot be proved by Holy Writ; but is repugnant to the plain words of Scripture, overthroweth the nature of a Sacrament, and hath given occasion to many superstitions.
However, since the midth century, the Oxford Movement has broadened Anglican opinions on the matter. An early 20th century bishop, the Right Reverend Edgar Gibson , Bishop of Gloucester , wrote of Article 28 that "The statement in the Article is worded with the utmost care, and with studied moderation. It cannot be said that any one of the practices is condemned or prohibited by it. It only amounts to this: that none of them can claim to be part of the original Divine institution. Today, opinions on the nature of the Eucharist and thus on the propriety of adoration and exposition of the Blessed Sacrament vary in the Anglican tradition see Anglican Eucharistic theology , but many Anglo-Catholics practice Eucharistic adoration.
Lutheran Eucharistic adoration is most commonly limited in duration to the Eucharistic service because Lutheran tradition typically does not include public reservation of the Sacrament. If the holy elements are not consumed at the altar or after the service, then they can be set aside and placed in an aumbry , which is normally located in the sacristy.
Primarily, the extra hosts are reserved for another Eucharist or for taking to the sick and those too feeble to attend a church service. However, in North America and Europe, some Lutherans may choose to reserve the Eucharist in a tabernacle near the altar.
Historically in Lutheranism there have been two parties regarding Eucharistic adoration: Gnesio-Lutherans , who followed Martin Luther's view in favor of adoration, and Philippists who followed Philipp Melanchthon 's view against it. Although Luther did not entirely approve of the Feast of Corpus Christi ,  he wrote a treatise The Adoration of the Sacrament where he defended adoration but desired that the issue not be forced.
In his reform of the Roman Mass Luther placed the Sanctus after the Institution Narrative to serve as a solemn act of worship of the Real Presence just brought about by the latter. After the death of Martin Luther , further controversies developed including Crypto-Calvinism and the second Sacramentarian controversy, started by Gnesio-Lutheran Joachim Westphal.
The Philippist understanding of the Real Presence without overt adoration through time became dominant in Lutheranism, although it is not in accordance with Luther's teaching. The German theologian Andreas Musculus can be regarded as one of the warmest defenders of Eucharistic adoration in early Lutheranism.
In Catholic teachings, at the moment of Consecration the elements or "gifts" as they are termed for liturgical purposes are changed in substance transubstantiation — as opposed to 'transformation' wherein a change in physical form occurs into the actual Body and Blood of Christ.
Catholic doctrine holds that the elements are not only spiritually changed, but rather their substances are actually substantially changed into the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ. In the doctrine of Real Presence , at the point of Consecration, the act that takes place is a double miracle: 1 that Christ is present in a physical form and 2 that the bread and wine have truly, substantially become Jesus' Body and Blood.
However, the Scholastic-philosophical meaning of "substance" and "transubstantiation" are not matter for Catholic dogma. Because Roman Catholics believe that Christ is truly present Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Eucharist, the reserved sacrament serves as a focal point of adoration. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that: "The Eucharistic presence of Christ begins at the moment of the consecration and endures as long as the Eucharistic species subsist. Faustina Kowalska stated that she was called to religious life while attending the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament at age seven.
Cohen went on to help establish the widespread practice of nocturnal adoration. The practice of a "daily Holy Hour " of adoration has been encouraged in the Catholic tradition. Mother Teresa of Calcutta had a Holy Hour each day and all members of her Missionaries of Charity followed her example.
Since the Middle Ages the practice of Eucharistic adoration outside Mass has been encouraged by the popes. In the midst of the Second Vatican Council , on 3 September , a few days before opening the fourth session, Pope Paul VI issued the Encyclical Mysterium fidei whereby he urged daily Mass and communion and said, "And they should not forget about paying a visit during the day to the Most Blessed Sacrament in the very special place of honor where it is reserved in churches in keeping with the liturgical laws, since this is a proof of gratitude and a pledge of love and a display of the adoration that is owed to Christ the Lord who is present there.
Pius X used to say: "The daily adoration or visit to the Blessed Sacrament is the practice which is the fountainhead of all devotional works," [ citation needed ]. 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.