Reflections on the Holy Father's Apostolic Exhortation, Sacramentum Caritatis

Author: EWTN

Reflections on the Holy Father's Apostolic Exhortation, Sacramentum Caritatis


1. Cardinal Jozef Tomko - The gift of Eucharist needs celebration, adoration
Cardinal Tomko, President for the Pontifical Committee of International Eucharistic Congresses, summarizes the teaching of the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis. He shows the Exhortation's continuation of themes dear to both Benedict XVI and John Paul II, points up its emphasis on Eucharistic devotion as a continuation of Mass, and high-lights the importance of Eucharistic Congresses to deepen faith.

2. Cardinal Angelo Schola - Commentary on the Apostolic Exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis
Cardinal Schola, Patriarch of Venice, sums up the content of the three parts of the Exhortation: Eucharistic Mystery, liturgical action and new spiritual worship, "reflecting on certain doctrinal aspects and on the precious pastoral guidelines presented in them."

3. Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo - Marriage, family, Eucharist, life
Cardinal Trujillo, President of the Pontifical Council for the Family, observes how Benedict XVI addresses the family and the Eucharist in the Apostolic Exhortation, Sacramentum Caritatis. As the Eucharist constitutes the Church, so it strengthens and gives unity to the family, and marriage in particular, which sacramentally signifies the relationship between Christ and the Church.

4. Cardinal Walter Kasper - Sacrament of charity, sacrament of unity
Cardinal Kasper, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, in his reflection on the Apostolic Exhortation, Sacramentum Caritatis, highlights unity in belief as a precondition for eucharistic communion. But he also notes the increasing convergence between the Catholic Church and her partners in dialogue, both Orthodox and Protestant, especially on the doctrine of the Eucharist.

5. Cardinal José Saraiva Martins, C.M.F. - Receiving Eucharist, becoming Eucharist
Cardinal Saraiva Martins, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, comments on Benedict XVI's Apostolic Exhortation, from the perspective of the Eucharist as the source of our holiness. By receiving the Eucharist, we become the Eucharist, i.e., bread for others.

6. Archbishop Roland Minnerath - A renewed understanding of Confirmation
The Most Reverend Roland Minnerath, Archbishop of Dijon, France, reflects on the proper order of the sacraments of initiation, recommending a return to the original order, Baptism, Confirmation, and then First Holy Communion. As an introduction to adulthood, he suggests a nonsacramental "Missionary Mandate," committing the young person to service, rather than delaying Confirmation till that time.

7. Archbishop Paul Josef Cordes - Allow the Eucharist to enter life and change it
Archbishop Josef Cordes, President of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, comments on the relationship between the Holy Eucharist, the Sacrament of Love, and the Blessed Trinity, whose essence is love.

8. Cardinal Ivan Diaz - Eucharist makes the 'impossible' a reality
Cardinal Diaz, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, reminds us of the connection between Eucharist and mission. It is our responsibility to communicate to others the love that flows from the Eucharist.

9. Cardinal Claudio Hummes - Eucharist and priesthood, faith and life
In his reflection on Sacramentum Caritatis, Cardinal Hummes, Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, observes the emphasis of Benedict XVI on the need of priests to know God not just as an abstraction or program of life, but "Someone with whom to develop a strong, personal relationship and friendship," with the Mass as the daily focal point of their lives.

10. Cardinal Francis Arinze - Making Sunday truly what it is: the Lord's Day
Cardinal Francis Arinze, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, focuses on "the key place of the Sunday Eucharistic Celebration." More than an obligation, Sunday Mass should be desired as a commemoration of the paschal victory. When this desire is lost, one's life of faith is in danger.

11. Andrea Riccardi- From the Table to the marketplace
The founder of the Community of Sant'Egidio, commenting on Benedict XVI's Apostolic Exhortation, observes how the presence of Christ in the Eucharist, as if received into our home, should inspire us with joy, as it did Zacchaeus, when he received Christ into his home, in the fulfilment of our public responsibilities.

12. Ermenegildo Manicardi - God's love and Eucharistic charity
Mons. Manicardi, Italian biblical scholar, examines the Apostolic Exhortation from the perspective of the biblical data contained therein. From the Joannine statement (Jn 13:1), that Christ loved them "to the end," we learn that the Eucharist was the ultimate expression of His love. And Christ's love, as conveyed to us in the Eucharist by the Holy Spirit, enables us to love in the same way.

13. Réal Tremblay, C.SS.R. - Bringing to light the power of the Eucharist
Father Tremblay draws attention to certain aspects of Benedict XVI's Apostolic Exhortation. The transformation of bread and wine into the Body and Blood has implications for the transformation of all creation at the end of time; the beauty of liturgy reflects the beauty of truth; and all who take part in the Eucharistic Sacrifice should themselves become bread broken for the life of the world.