Thursday, September 29, 2011

Celebrating the Holy Eucharist

The key to an intimate relationship with Christ is described within the pages of Celebrating the Holy Eucharist by Francis Cardinal Arinze. He examines a number of Church documents, encyclical letters, apostolic exhortations, constitutions, official instructions, Church teachings, and Scripture passages to show the necessary centrality of the Holy Eucharist to life on earth and in eternity.   
The importance of the Eucharistic feast as the most vital element in being transformed through the grace of the Lord to become more like Christ is illustrated in a number of ways. The author also shows how and why the Eucharist includes a unifying presence as well as a sending out into the world to evangelize others.
I found this book fascinating for many reasons, not the least of which, is the amount of research, prayer, and theology that dictate why Catholics do what they do the way they do it when celebrating Mass. There are certain rules and regulations in place to assure the sacredness and purity of the Eucharistic celebration remain intact, even if provisions are made for some differences in styles or forms of worship within the Mass depending on the culture and location of the congregation.
Celebrating the Holy Eucharist reminds me of one of the reasons why I love the Catholic Church so dearly: we are not only invited to learn about Christ’s life, but also to consume and be consumed by Him through a Most Sacred Sacrament that shows the ultimate sacrifice He made out of love for us.
Arinze does a wonderful job of explaining what responsibilities bishops, priests, and laypersons have regarding the celebration of the Eucharist, the proclamation of the Gospel, and the living out of Christ’s message in mind, body, and spirit.
Infused with the powerful and life-changing Presence of the Holy Spirit, Arinze explores the mysteries of the Eucharist, the glory of the Lord, service of His people, and how each of us in our own particular vocations is called to bear witness to the Truth.
You can purchase this book here.
I wrote this review of Celebrating the Holy Eucharist for the free Catholic book review program, Tiber River. Tiber River is the first Catholic book review site, started in 2000 to help you make informed decisions about Catholic book purchases. I receive free product samples as compensation for writing reviews for Tiber River.
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