Apostolic Exhortation on the Eucharist: Reflection by the President of the CCCBTuesday, March 20 2007
Most Reverend André Gaumond, Archbishop of Sherbrooke and President of the CCCB, has issued a reflection on the new Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Benedict XVI, Sacramentum Caritatis.
According to the CCCB President, in his text Pope Benedict XVI offers the Catholic Church a rich meditation on the theological, spiritual and pastoral dimensions of the Sacrament of the Eucharist and how it relates to the many aspects of the Church’s life as well as to one’s personal journey of conversion. “This new papal text offers light and guidance in our preparations for the 49th International Eucharist Congress to be held in Quebec City in 2008,” Archbishop Gaumond also said.
Reflection by the President
of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops
on the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation
of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI
In his Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis, Pope Benedict XVI offers the Catholic Church a rich meditation on the theological, spiritual and pastoral dimensions of the Sacrament of the Eucharist and how it relates to the many aspects of the Church's life as well as to our personal journeys of conversion. In doing this, he also points out the challenges the Church faces in the current cultural situations and to which Catholics are invited to respond in faithfulness to the Gospel.
The threefold structure of the Exhortation provides an overview of the essentials of the Catholic faith concerning the Eucharistic mystery. The Pope recalls the central importance of the Eucharist as "the sum and summary of our faith" (no. 6). Part One, entitled "The Eucharist, A Mystery To Be Believed", shows how the Church's faith in the Eucharist relates to the Trinity, the Paschal Mystery, the Church and the other sacraments. Part Two, "The Eucharist, A Mystery To Be Celebrated", presents a series of practical reflections on the beauty and way of celebrating, in view of promoting a good understanding of active participation in the liturgy. Part Three, "The Eucharist, A Mystery To Be Lived", shows how Eucharistic spirituality is to inspire the whole Christian life. The Eucharist transforms human existence by uniting it to the gift of love that we receive, so we in turn can communicate this love from the Lord to all humanity, which is expressed in the missionary dynamic of the Church.
The Pope frequently refers to the teachings of the Second Vatican Council, as well as those of his predecessors, particularly Pope John Paul II. Drawing also from the treasures of Church tradition, he thus offers a thoughtful reflection on the work of the Bishops during their October 2005 Synod on the Eucharist in Rome. This is a global vision which is powerfully articulated, an all-encompassing catechesis on our faith in relation to the Eucharist, carefully set in the perspective of God's love, following the emphasis of the Pope's first Encyclical Letter, Deus Caritas Est.
This new papal text offers light and guidance in our preparations for the 49th International Eucharist Congress to be held in Quebec City in 2008, as well as providing an orientation and meditation to assist eventually in implementing the new English-language and French-language editions of the Roman Missal. As President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, I encourage Catholics to read, pray, discuss and live the orientations that the Holy Father offers in this Apostolic Exhortation.
+ André Gaumond
Archbishop of Sherbrooke
Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops
To order the Post Synodal Apostolic Exhortation, please click here.