As many of you know, Catholics in the U.S. have begun a 3-year campaign to help us all better understand and embrace the great gift of the Holy Eucharist. Deacon Dave Knebelsberger, and a group he has assembled, are praying about and planning a variety of ways to help us all to achieve this goal. We will be joining in all that our new Bishop proposes to the parishes, but I would like to see OLMC experience a Eucharistic Revival with our own initiatives as well. More details to follow.
Here is a summary of an article by Roland Millare that articulately shows the relationship between the Holy Eucharist and the Sacrament of Marriage. Our Church is experiencing a serious crisis in both of these sacraments. We know that there are many Catholics unaware of the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. To add to this sad reality, the number of couples choosing not to marry in the Church (if at all) is climbing every year. And if they do marry, few understand how their marriage is rooted in the Eucharist.
The sacraments of Matrimony and the Holy Eucharist are both ordered towards the profound unity of the couple and the virtue of charity. Marriage is the communion of one man and one woman, who become one flesh. The Holy Eucharist is the communion between the communicant and the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ. Both sacraments are predicated on a total self-giving, resulting in a nuptial union--a husband with his wife and Christ with his Bride, the Church.
The Holy Eucharist was instituted by Jesus Christ as a way to extend the gift of his Real Presence among us and to perpetuate his Sacrifice for us, which culminates in the intimate abiding Communion. Marriage is fruitful to the degree in which it roots itself in these aspects of the Eucharist--presence, sacrifice and communion.
In our technocratic age, it becomes increasingly difficult to be present for another person, even those whom we love. The Holy Eucharist teaches how to be present to one another through silence, receptivity, listening, and availability.
The very nature of marriage requires sacrificial love. Husbands and wives are constantly denying their own personal desires to please their spouse and their children. No marriage can succeed unless both parties are living for the other and their children.
The Eucharist is also a sacramental sign of the indissoluble communion of love that marriage is intended to be from the beginning. The Eucharist, as a source of unity, models for the spouses the communion that each husband and wife is called to grow into more deeply and more intimately with each passing day.
The Holy Eucharist is a visible sign of the invisible gift of grace that is essential for unity within the Body of Christ. Similarly, communion between husband and wife cannot be achieved solely by the efforts of the spouses alone. The gift of grace is essential in assisting spouses to overcome the obstacles to communion that arise within the journey of marriage. The Eucharist is the essential source of communion for true conjugal unity. Fidelity to attendance and participation in Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation, the practice of spiritual communion, participation in daily Mass whenever possible, and the practice of Eucharistic devotion can strengthen marriage in its resolve to grow as a visible sign of communion.
You can read the rest of the article entitled, The Sacrament of the Bride and Bridegroom: The Eucharist Models Marriage Done Right at adoremus.org
May God bless you and your family, Fr Charlie Goraieb
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