The Feast of Corpus Christi on June 19, 2022, will mark a special moment in Eucharistic devotion for the United States. The USCCB will launch a multi-year Eucharistic revival which will culminate in a National Eucharistic Congress. Throughout the next three years, dioceses and parishes will foster a deeper love for the Holy Eucharist among the faithful.
As Sunday Mass numbers continue to decline and the numbers of those who believe in the true presence dwindles and as the Church seeks to recover after a worldwide pandemic, such a revival of Eucharistic belief is necessary for the Church to continue and thrive. The Easter season is one filled with opportunities for deepening our Eucharistic belief.
In a sense, the Easter season and the special Sunday solemnities following its conclusion is like a pre-season for the Eucharistic revival.
Step One For Eucharistic Revival: Reflect On Your Own First Communion
During the Easter season, many second graders will make their First communion. It is what they have prepared for all year long, that moment they are able to receive the body, blood, soul, and divinity of the Lord. As we witness First Communions of the little ones in our life and our parish, it is an opportunity for us to reflect on our own reception of Holy Communion.
Ask those children, “Who is it that you are receiving?” and they will boldly tell you it is Jesus. They have prepared for their First Communion. How do we prepare for our reception of weekly (or even daily) Communion? After we receive Holy Communion, how do we pray? Do we give thanks to God? Allow this time of year to serve as a moment of renewal regarding your Eucharistic belief and reception.
Step Two For Eucharistic Revival: Pray A Holy Hour
Another excellent way for us to deepen our belief in the Real Presence is by praying a holy hour. It’s possible you have seen holy hours advertised in your parish bulletin. Maybe you were unfamiliar with what it is or don’t know how to engage in a full hour of prayer.
There is a new Spanish documentary releasing in the United States through a Fathom Event, called Alive. It is an English subtitled documentary that conveys the significance of a weekly holy hour. In the beginning you are introduced to several different individuals including a [former] atheist, an average Catholic, and other young people. Each person faced the challenges of life and once they discovered the weekly holy hour, it changed their lives forever.
One of the individuals was introduced to the concept while serving in Calcutta, India with St. Teresa of Calcutta’s nuns, the Missionaries of Charity. Upon returning home, he sought out Eucharistic adoration. Another person noticed the happiness one individual had, and she wanted that same joy, and she discovered her joy came from her weekly hour of Eucharistic adoration.
Each individual approached the holy hour differently. But in that time of prayer, they all found something for which they were looking. In that time of prayer they encountered silence and peace. They were afforded an opportunity to ask God, present on the altar, the difficult questions they were facing. They could ask God, “Are you there?” And with the gaze of love which emanated from the monstrance, they knew He was.
A holy hour is a place where we can turn over to the Lord all our stress, discomforts, and worries, in the hope that He will take them away. Praying before the Lord, we can recharge our troubled spirits and find grace to continue. The Spanish documentary Alive, will release for one day as a Fathom Event in theatres throughout the US on April 25th. Get more information HERE. It’s one of those movies that when you see it, you will be moved to action. When you leave the theatre, you might want to find a church on the way home so you can spend an hour in prayer or discover where you could join a holy hour in your area in the upcoming week or month. The documentary Alive is like a pre-season warm-up for us to revive our Eucharistic faith and devotion before the solemnity of Corpus Christi.
Alive: Who Is There?
Step Three For Eucharistic Revival: Discover The Miracles Of The Eucharist
We are not alone when we don’t fully understand this mystery or when we begin to doubt the true presence of Christ in the Eucharist. “I believe, help my unbelief” is one prayer that will help you through this. For centuries, people have been working to prove or disprove the presence of Christ in the Sacred Host. Though rare, there are recorded miracles of the Eucharist. Watch the video here.
Step Four For Eucharistic Revival: Make A Commitment To Learn About The Eucharist
Think you already know a lot about the Eucharist? Try this QUIZ to test your knowledge! We can all continue to learn more about the Eucharist and grow in our devotion to the Blessed Sacrament in order to bring about a Eucharistic Revival within our Church. Check out some of these resources below to keep growing in your faith.
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