Eucharisticum Mysterium 6: The Center

One of my grad school profs had a motto to pass on to us: The Eucharist Makes the Church. This section puts some meat on that bone:

6. Catechesis to the eucharistic mystery should aim at helping the faithful realize deeply that its celebration is the true center of the whole Christian life, both for the universal Church and for the local congregations of that Church. For “the other sacraments, like every ministry of the Church and every work of the apostolate, are linked wit the holy eucharist and have it as their end. For the most blessed eucharist contains the Church’s entire spiritual wealth, that is, Christ himself. He is our Passover and living bread; through his flesh, made living and life-giving by the Holy Spirit, he is giving people life and thereby inviting and leading them to offer themselves together with him, as well as their labors and all created things.” [Presbyterorum ordinis no. 5.]

The eucharist is the effective sign and sublime cause of the sharing in divine life and the unity of the people of God by which the Church exists. [See Lumen gentium no. 11; Unitatis redintegratio nos. 2, 15.] It is the culmination both of God’s action sanctifying the world in Christ and of the worship we offer to Christ and through him to the Father in the Holy Spirit. [See Sacrosanctum Concilium art. 10.] Its celebration “is the outstanding means whereby the faithful may express in their lives and manifest in others the mystery of Christ and the real nature of the true Church.” [Sacrosanctum Concilium art. 2; see also art. 41.]

The Consilium relies on four Vatican II documents to state the case. Pastors who have chosen to build new schools ahead of new churches might check themselves against what their bishops were asking of them at Vatican II. At the very least, we might need more preaching on the connection between the sanctification of the world and our participation in Divine Worship. Liturgy is how Christians “express … the real nature of the true Church.”

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About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Eucharisticum Mysterium, Liturgy, post-conciliar liturgy documents. Bookmark the permalink.

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