DETROIT (ChurchMilitant.com) - The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that in the Most Blessed Sacrament, "the Body and Blood, together with the Soul and Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ and, therefore, the whole Christ is truly, really and substantially contained (paragraph 1374)."
The Holy Eucharist, the Catechism declares, is "the source and summit of the Christian life (paragraph 1324)."
Monday's episode of The Vortex described the Church as at a crossroads, a point of crisis springing from a loss of supernatural faith in the Real Presence of Our Blessed Lord in the Eucharist.
The signs, it pointed out, are manifesting on all fronts.
Altars have been turned to face the people. The tabernacle has been removed from the center of the sanctuary. Holy Communion is widely received in the hand. Eucharistic processions have dwindled. Catechesis on the Real Presence is fading. Notorious public sinners are allowed to receive Communion. Increasing numbers of Catholics clamor for "shared communion" with Protestants, who deny the Real Presence. Many within the Church — including cardinals and bishops — are pushing to lift the ban on Holy Communion for those in a state of mortal sin.
And now, with Pope Francis' decision to "officially approve the interpretation of Amoris Laetitia that opens Holy Communion to the divorced and civilly remarried in some instances, directly contradicting Canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law, "a moment of decision has arrived:
[The] Church must step forward and in a loud declaration of faith once again assert in the most clear and striking and unambiguous terms the Divine Truth that Jesus Christ, the Eternal Logos, the incarnate Second Person of the Blessed Trinity is really, truly and substantially present, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity under the appearance of bread and wine.
How can the faithful best begin to do this? By drawing ever closer to Christ in the Holy Eucharist.
Throughout his pontificate, Pope St. John Paul II affirmed the centrality of the Eucharist to the Faith. In his 2003 encyclical Ecclesia de Eucharistia, he described the task "before the Church at the dawn of the Third Millennium" is to "contemplate the Face of Christ and to contemplate it with Mary."
"To contemplate Christ involves being able to recognize Him wherever He manifests Himself, in His many forms of presence but above all in the living sacrament of His Body and His Blood," the pontiff explained, adding, "The Church draws her life from Christ in the Eucharist; by Him she is fed and by him she is enlightened (Ecclesia de Eucharistia, n. 6)."
Likewise, renowned theologian Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J. exhorted Catholics to draw close to the Eucharist.
He proclaimed the Eucharist "the touchstone of sanctity," as evidenced by "the witness of the saints who, when they speak or write about the power of the Blessed Sacrament to sanctify, seem to be positively extreme in their claims about what the Real Presence can achieve in making a sinful person holy."
The Eucharist allows the faithful to scale the mountain of sanctity and strengthens them for battle, Fr. Hardon affirmed.
"Without an intense, devout life," the holy priest warned, "Catholics will not survive the age."
With this in mind, each and every committed Catholic must draw closer to Christ in the Holy Eucharist, beginning now.
Monday's episode of The Vortex exhorted:
In response to all of this, we'd like to make an appeal that every Catholic hearing this or talking to others about this make every effort, as your daily commitments allow, to get in front of Our Blessed Lord either in an adoration chapel or before Him in the tabernacle as soon as possible and pray in all earnestness that He awake in the boat and calm the storm.
However Heaven goes about calming the storm is for Heaven to decide. But it is critical that those who do believe in Our Lord's Real Presence in the Eucharist get in front of Him as soon as possible and plead for Him to intervene. He is there waiting for you to call on Him to intercede.
Throughout the history of the Church, Our Lord has confirmed that He is really present in the Blessed Sacrament. Dozens of Eucharistic miracles have occurred during times of weakened faith — many as a result of rising skepticism about the Real Presence.
Two thousand years ago, Jesus set sail with His disciples across a Judean lake. Along the way, as He slept, a squall enveloped the vessel. Terrified, His followers cried out to Him that they were perishing. Calmly, Christ roused Himself and at His word, the winds and waves fell silent (Luke 8:22–25).
Today, His disciples are again threatened by a menacing storm. The battered barque of Peter seems to have "taken on so much water as to be on the verge of capsizing," observed Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI in July.
The question before committed Catholics today is Will we respond? Will we rise to the challenge before us by deepening our devotion to the Most Blessed Sacrament? Will we turn to Christ in the Holy Eucharist to appeal for an end to present storm, not with fear but with faith?