I have just finished reading the Pope’s Encyclical ECCLESIA
DE EUCHARISTIA and I wish I could describe the depths and breadth of this wonderful letter.
All I can say is please read it for yourself.
In the last chapter of it "AT THE SCHOOL OF MARY, “
WOMAN OF THE EUCHARIST”" he writes:
As a result, there is a profound analogy between the Fiat which Mary said
in reply to the angel, and the Amen which every believer says when receiving
the body of the Lord. Mary was asked to believe that the One whom she conceived “through
the Holy Spirit” was “the Son of God” (Lk 1:30-35). In continuity
with the Virgin’s faith, in the Eucharistic mystery we are asked to believe
that the same Jesus Christ, Son of God and Son of Mary, becomes present in
his full humanity and divinity under the signs of bread and wine.
He also writes much about the relationships between the proper celebration of the Mass and of showing our love of God through the Eucharist. He also touches
on Church architecture in relationship to the mystery of the Eucharist.
With this heightened sense of mystery, we understand how
the faith of the Church in the mystery of the Eucharist has found historical
expression not only in the demand for an interior disposition of devotion,
but also in outward forms meant to evoke and emphasize the grandeur of the
event being celebrated. This led progressively to the development of a particular
form of regulating the Eucharistic liturgy, with due respect for the various
legitimately constituted ecclesial traditions. On this foundation a rich artistic
heritage also developed. Architecture, sculpture, painting and music, moved
by the Christian mystery, have found in the Eucharist, both directly and indirectly,
a source of great inspiration.
This explains to me exactly what is wrong with much modern
church architecture, that it is unmoved by the Christian mystery found in the
Eucharist. It is nice to read a document that is so eminently not fiskable.
I found that the document fisked myself in that it showed me my great poverty
for not fully appreciating the Eucharist and how many opportunities I have
squandered in not spending more time before our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. Hopefully
I will have learned something from our wonderful Pope as I leave now to go
attend Mass tonight on this Holy Thursdays.