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Understanding the Bible Series:
Mystery of Holy Eucharist / Real Presence - Part 2

by Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

…they may be less because they have a free will. But they won’t be more. And finally we must believe. And we believe, (speak of the English language which is not, as I keep repeating, an English word no matter what the English word is), as an English word, it is not Catholic. This for almost 500 years, the monopoly on the English language has been by Protestants. You’ve got to go behind, beneath, dig, what do the words that I’m using mean? I must believe with my mind. If my mind believes, my mind really believes that the living God Who became man out of love for me is on earth, my God, I would react accordingly. And the crowds that followed Christ, remember, they believed, dimly, but they believed. Our closed churches are the symptom of a whole nation that in such large measure, God have mercy on us, has lost its one strong faith in Jesus Christ on earth in the Blessed Sacrament. Like the shepherds at Bethlehem we must believe with the eyes of faith of the Savior of the world, that our Savior is in our midst. He is here, HE is here, He IS here, He’s HERE. I’ve spent too many hours in empty monastery and convent chapels. I have no illusions what the single, deepest reason for the de-Christianization of our nation. I’d have to coin a word, I hope the pronunciation will come out intelligently—our de-Christianization is a result of a de-Eucharistization. A nation is only as Catholic as its faith in the Real Presence is strong, no more, no less. And why is He here? So we might be here too. But what a difference, Christ is here literally, physically, corporally, you add the adverbs. But unless we are aware of His Presence the - Question: even though we are not aware of His Presence is He aware of ours, is Christ always conscious of us? Is He always talking to us? [Yes] Let me repeat, is Jesus Christ always talking to us? [Yes] Pardon me for asking once more, is Jesus Christ talking to us? [YES] Thank you. Are we always listening? [NO] Thank you. All our human instincts as human beings, what do we want from the person whom we love? We want that person, of course, to love us, and the deepest, more than pain, the deepest agony on earth is to love someone who as far as we can tell does not love us. What do we want from someone whom we love? To talk to us, we want to have someone who claims to love us to talk to us? Yes, say something. And before the child can speak out to its mothers and some who are held, the baby cannot talk the mother knows it so what does the mother do? Some sign of recognition and response. We want the one whom we love to be thinking of us, all of this is locked up in the mystery of the Eucharist which is Christmas continued on our altars every day, all day. Shall we make the Sign of the Cross. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Copyright © 2005 Institute on Religious Life

Conference transcription from a talk that Father Hardon
gave to the Institute on Religious Life

Institute on Religious Life, Inc.
PO. Box 410007
Chicago, Illinois 60641

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