Vatican City (AsiaNews) The "shadows" cast over the Eucharist and the lights offered especially to the young are at the heart of the discussions taking place at the Synod on the Eucharist. Since today's society has a culture that accepts only what it can see, say the bishops, especially in the West, it becomes very difficult to fully comprehend the meaning of the Eucharistic sacrifice that involves the real presence of Jesus.
Too often, going to mass has become an option according to the age's dominant relativism; difficulty has been piled on top difficulty if we consider the work-related demands consumerism imposes.
Still, it comes as an unexpected surprise to see young people rediscover the Adoration of the Eucharist, including at night-time events.
As in previous days, several bishops offered their own witness. Mgr Lucian Muresan, a bishop from Romania and chairman of the Episcopal Conference on Communist persecution, remembered how under the old regime there was an attempt to mock the Eucharist and destroy the faithful's dignity.
"Communism promised man heaven on earth," he said, "but all it did was to destroy the conscience of East European peoples. Now, we need a lot of time to rebuild it."
The "shadows" cast over the Eucharist
The Eucharist's difficult situation, said Mgr Manfred Scheuer, Bishop of Innsbruck (Austria), "is also the consequence of the lack of proper theological-dogmatic orientation. Nothing is being done to bring together the various aspects of the Eucharist to form a single unit."
Mgr Edward Ozorowski, Auxiliary Bishop of Białystok (Poland), said "economic globalisation and free markets are reducing the space available for a spirit of sacrifice in the world. Even Christians end up giving in, seeking an easy faith, comfortable and without any cross to bear".
Dutch Cardinal Adrianus Johannes Simonis notes "the [current] crisis reaches very deep. It is found in how we feel and comprehend the deeds of giving and sacrifice. Receiving and thanking others for it teaches us what it means to give, makes us receptive to the experience of sacrificing oneself, and teaches us the significance of the sacrificial oblation that is Christ".
In his view, "structural changes such as a married priesthood are not a likely solution".
"Lights" that come from the young
Card Camillo Ruini, Vicar of Rome, noted how people, especially the young, are rediscovering the Eucharistic Adoration. He said he saw "in the prolonged silence of the Adoration young people have a better opportunity to have a personal relationship with Christ and God the father".
For Mgr Jacques Perrier, Bishop of Tarbes and Lourdes, because the younger generation cannot live without images, it has rediscovered the Eucharistic Adoration. When we look at the Host we do not see Christ, his divinity or his humanity, but we do set our eyes on the most direct sign of his real presence".
Mgr Charles Maung, Archbishop of Yangon (Myanmar) said that only 2,500 parishes in the world have the Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration. About 500 are in the Philippines, 1,100 in the US, 150 in Ireland, 70 in South Korea with fewer in India, Sri Lanka and Myanmar".
He said he told the Pope that "the Year of the Eucharist would be a success if it were possible to set up chapels of Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration in every dioceses and parish of the world".