When Christ instituted the Eucharist, he also told us to keep it in memory: Do this in memory of me. A memorial (the Pasch) was already kept by the people of God in the Old Testament, who remembered their freedom from the hands of the Egyptians (Ex.12:14-17), and St.Paul in the earliest days of the Church relating the institution of the Eucharist repeats twice the command of the Lord to remember. In the same place he also specifies the content of this memory, which is the death of the Lord (1Cor. 11:26).
In the Eucharistic memorial our remembrance has a double dimension. First, it is directed to the Father. We invite the Father to remember what Jesus has done for us, and because of Jesus we implore the Father's forgiveness and blessings. In other words, we remind the Father of Jesus, so that the Father may remember us in the same way that in the Old Testament, in the great moments of trial, the chosen people would turn to God and exclaim: Remember our father Abraham. . . Isaac. . . and Jacob. Remember, O Lord, David and all his trials (Ps. 132:1). Even the Eucharistic prayer and the very words of the consecration in their narrative character become a reminder to the Father of what Jesus said when he took the bread and broke it for us. Only after a long reminding of Jesus to the Father we come to our needs and the needs of the community: Father, remember your Church.
Second, the Eucharistic memorial consists in recalling Jesus, not to the Father anymore, but to ourselves for what he has done for us. We have to rediscover the immense potential hidden in the remembrance of Jesus. God, whom the heavens cannot contain, has chosen to abide in the temple of our memory. Like the Blessed Virgin Mary we have to keep these things in memory. To remember is to think with love. Jesus attributes to the Holy Spirit the fact that we can remember him (John 14:26). St.Basil, the great Greek father of the Church, tells us that Jesus, instituting the Eucharist, was aiming precisely at this: that eating his body and drinking his blood, we would remember him who died and rose for us (P.G. DeBapt. 1:3).
There are many forms of Eucharistic remembrance and the first one is the Liturgy of the Word of the Mass. This always recalls an aspect of the history of salvation and an event in the life of Jesus which, in part, adds a new content to the memory and sheds light on the Eucharistic mystery we celebrate. The preparation and the thanksgiving before and after Communion are also excellent forms of Eucharistic remembrance. But the most excellent form of remembrance and contemplation is the silent adoration before the Blessed Sacrament. For Pope John Paul II it is the highest point of Church renewal. The celebration and assimilation of the Eucharistic worship are proof of that authentic renewal which the Council had in mind. . . Jesus waits for us in this Sacrament of love. Let us not waste time, let us go to meet him in adoration and contemplation filled with faith.
It has been said that the Eucharist is a particular gift of the Catholic Church to humanity, and that the secret of her strength is the unique way in which Jesus/Eucharist is present and adored in her midst. If this is so, we must return to value fully this gift. With the help of the Holy Spirit we must take up again certain forms of Eucharistic piety renewed and enriched by the biblical and liturgical sensibilities we have come to expect after the II Vatican Council.
As most of our readers know, we have silent adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in our chapel every day. We instill in our seminarians and those who come to join us, a love for this form of prayer. We find, time and again, that people like to pass time in silence and to remember in faith and love. At a time of fast communications, electronic bites and time punching cards, it is commendable to see a renewed interest in the profound need to remember Jesus through the Eucharistic adoration. Not without reason Jesus said to Martha of Bethany: Mary has chosen the better part (Lk.10:39).
Come and join us in the Eucharistic adoration, Monday through Saturday, 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.
What a journey it has been, to see my family, relatives, and friends after almost three years of stay here in America. It was one of those fruitful and adventurous travels that I ever experienced. It was the exact opposite of what bishop Walsh said. But then, my vacation was the realization of my religious life. I came home not as Nony but Br. Nony of the Adorno Fathers. My trip to the Philippines brought me down the memory lane. Literally, I traveled from Legaspi City in the Bicol region (southern part of Luzon) to Tarlac City in the north. I met acquaintances that made this vacation so memorable. I also had the chance to meet the family of our seminarians who are always there to support us with their prayers and love.
The highlight of this trip was the renewal of my vows to the Adorno Fathers, which was held at St. Francis of Assisi church in my hometown and was officiated by Monsignor Pablo Reyes. This was the first time for the Adorno Fathers to have the renewal of vows in the Philippines.
The 24 days that started from January 1st felt like the missionary journey of St. Paul to communities such as Corinth and Ephesus. In my case I traveled to this predominantly Catholic country to introduce the Adorno Fathers to the people and meet those who are interested in religious life. It was exhausting but the joy of the heart will always amount to the love of God. For the human heart may plan a course, but it is God who makes the steps secure (Pr. 16:9).
In the photo: (From left) Rev. Fernando Oliveri,CRM, Master of Novice; Rev. Paul Jesus, Novice; Rev. Nello Morrea,CRM. Superior General; and Rev. Pierpaolo Ottone,CRM, of the community of Anagni.
Congratulations also to Rev. Giulio Capetola, CRM , who has been appointed Master of Novices to the first group of candidates in our House of Mallikassery, Kerala, India