Rorate Caeli

Pope Benedict XVI: The Church is enjoying a "Eucharistic Springtime"!

In his address (on St. Juliana of Cornillon) at yesterday's General Audience, Pope Benedict XVI made the following affirmation:

I would like to affirm with joy that today in the Church there is a "Eucharistic springtime": How many persons pause silently before the Tabernacle to spend time in a conversation of love with Jesus! It is consoling to know that not a few groups of young people have rediscovered the beauty of praying in adoration before the Most Blessed Sacrament. I am thinking, for example, of our Eucharistic adoration in Hyde Park, in London.

I pray so that this Eucharistic "springtime" will spread increasingly in every parish, in particular in Belgium, the homeland of St. Juliana. The Venerable John Paul II, in the encyclical "Ecclesia de Eucharistia," said: "In many places, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is also an important daily practice and becomes an inexhaustible source of holiness. The devout participation of the faithful in the Eucharistic procession on the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ is a grace from the Lord which yearly brings joy to those who take part in it. Other positive signs of Eucharistic faith and love might also be mentioned" (No. 10).


Remembering St. Juliana of Cornillon we also renew our faith in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. As we are taught by the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, "Jesus Christ is present in the Eucharist in a unique and incomparable way. He is present in a true, real and substantial way, with his Body and his Blood, with his Soul and his Divinity. In the Eucharist, therefore, there is present in a sacramental way, that is, under the Eucharistic species of bread and wine, Christ whole and entire, God and Man" (No. 282).

Dear friends, fidelity to the encounter with the Eucharistic Christ in Sunday's Holy Mass is essential for the journey of faith, but let us try as well to frequently go to visit the Lord present in the Tabernacle! Gazing in adoration at the consecrated Host, we discover the gift of the love of God, we discover the passion and the cross of Jesus, and also his Resurrection. Precisely through our gazing in adoration, the Lord draws us to himself, into his mystery, to transform us as he transforms the bread and wine. The saints always found strength, consolation and joy in the Eucharistic encounter. With the words of the Eucharistic hymn "Adoro te devote," let us repeat before the Lord, present in the Most Blessed Sacrament: "Make me believe ever more in You, that in You I may have hope, that I may love You!" Thank you. 

Whether there really is a "Eucharistic springtime" going on in the Church is debatable, to say the least. On the other hand, this address -- which is but one of the Pope's many calls to prayer before the Blessed Sacrament -- should put to rest the accusation that Joseph Ratzinger does not believe in Eucharistic adoration.


  1. 'Joseph Ratzinger does not believe in Eucharistic adoration'

    - ??? Haven't people read his books ?

    Fr. A.M.

  2. "Springtime"? This is not a word that can be utilised without arousing some healthy scepticism n the post-conciliar era.

    With all due respect and reverence for the Holy Eucharist Our Blessed Lord has certainly been excessively abused in what was once the holy temple: includin being handed out to protestants in full media glare.

  3. I wasn't aware people had accused the Holy Father of not believing in Eucharistic adoration.

    Although the use of the word 'Springtime' might distract because of its previous associations, I don't see anything controversial at all in the Pope's comments. At least in the dioceses of which I have experience, Eucharistic Adoration is spreading.

    Yes, it is true that it is growing only because its practice declined greatly. The young people the Pope refers to have grown up without this being a regular practice. That is why their participation makes it a new beginning, a Springtime.

    While Eucharistic Adoration is not a flourishing practice, it is a growing one.

  4. I am totally amazed that people don't think Ratzinger believed in Eucharistic adoration - in particular, I believe he was the one who added that dimension to the Cologne World Youth days. But as Fr. A.M. said - haven't they read him?

  5. "I wasn't aware people had accused the Holy Father of not believing in Eucharistic adoration."

    The accusation used to be bandied around in the comboxes here.

  6. With the Eucharist routinely abused in the church as it still is today "Springtime" is a wholly inappropriate word to utilise.

  7. Some years ago I found myself at a supposed Eucharistic Adoration run by a local parish. It lasted one hour and we were treated to incessant noise and mantra type chants. Many were in the lotus position or sat on their legs or even posing like mahomatens. In contrast, when we had adoration as youngsters it was a very dignified mostly silent affair often with the odour of incense. Benediction is also a very good training ground for this beautiful practice.
    Reverence and adequate calm for contemplation are essential for this.

  8. But, but, Holy Father, where have they laid him? Is he prominently housed on the Altar of Sacrifice or shunted off to a side-room somewhere? Really, Your Holiness, you must act to restore traditional altars and tabernacles with sanctuary lights clearly indicating the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Until this happens, eucharistic adoration will be but a dream in many places.

  9. a Few years ago, a local priest called for a Corpus Christi procession. To his embarrassment,only a handful of people showed up. Thereafter, the idea has never again surfaced.

    There will not be genuine, widespread restoration of Eucharistic adoration until Communion in the hand is abolished.

  10. I see the term 'springtime' as appropiate in the following sense: spring comes only after the cold winter. The first weeks of spring usually are still cold -and you can get a cold if you go outside late without at least a sweater, fooled by the warm temperatures of the day.

    We are just beginning to get out of the post-Vatican II winter of modernism and apostasy. Spring is coming, slowly, but it's there: the Traditional Mass freed, the traditional communities growing, ordinary Catholics rediscovering Faith and Tradition... it's slow: there is still much of the winter left. But we're leaving it. Let us have hope that the Pope is right this time.

  11. So many Springtimes. I must have missed the announcements of all those Wintertimes.

  12. The accusation used to be bandied around in the comboxes here.

    It's dishonestly or ignorantly based on a mistranslated, out-of-context quote from one of his books, in which he explains that the Real Presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament does not mean Jesus is locally present within a church in such manner as to not be omnipresent or not also present in other modes.

  13. "...[T]he Real Presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament does not mean Jesus is locally present within a church in such manner as to not be omnipresent or not also present in other modes."

    May I ask, Jordanes, in what other modes?

  14. I will say this, in my lifetime (which began well after Vatican II) I have seen an increase in Eucharistic Adoration. It used to be none where I lived; now it's in most parishes. My town last year even had its first Corpus Christi procession through town since the 1930s.

    As for the Pope's alleged previous denial of Adoration, the same allegation would have had to be applied to St. Paul who said:

    Acts 17 24 God, who made the world, and all things therein; he, being Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; 25 Neither is he served with men's hands, as though he needed any thing; seeing it is he who giveth to all life, and breath, and all things:

  15. \\ even posing like mahomatens.\\

    How do mahometans pose, Leon G?

    Are you referring to the prostration with one's forehead to the floor?

    Those mahometans got that posture from Eastern Christians.

    It is properly assumed by the faithful in the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts when They are brought out during the Great Entrance.

  16. Michael Davies very strenuously defended Cardinal Ratzinger--whom he enormously respected and whose election to the papacy he longed for--against that ridiculous accusation when it was bandied about around 2003 or so.

    CAP - I think maybe we could say that there is a springtime of sorts regarding Eucharistic adoration...certainly there is more devotion to the Eucharist now than there was in the "winter" of the 70's and 80's. The beginning of spring doesn't seem that much better than winter, but the flowers may now be in bud. We will need a few more good Popes in a row before we see its full flowering.

  17. LeonG said..."With the Eucharist routinely abused in the church as it still is today "Springtime" is a wholly inappropriate word to utilise."

    On the contrary, at least in regard to my experiences throughout the Dallas Diocese, "Springtime" is a wholly appropriate word to have utilized.


  18. Pedro:

    The only problem with your symbolic analysis is that Vatican II was not just a winter but a nuclear winter. Plants have trouble shooting up when the seeds from which they spring have been eradicated. We have the old seeds safe in a barn but the soil is no good: nothing good can grow in the spiritual soil of the sixties generation. Fortunately, there is new soil in the young, those, that is, not contracepted out of existence by their hippie forebearers. I won't continue the analogue by explaining the relationship between the N.O. ecclesiology and old manure. Let us just say that there is much to be discarded before we can restore that which is good. They didn't throw out the baby with the bathwater forty years ago: they threw out the baby and kept the bathwater.

    I agree with the poster who said that, to encourage a real Eucharistic adoration, the first step is to abolish communion in manu. The Queen of Spain has overruled the Pope in public. If the Pope is not prepared to refuse her hands per se, he can refuse eveyone's hands by makiing the practice illegal. The sooner, the better.


  19. Dear Jack:

    I know all about Eastern prostrations, having attended the Ukrainian Byzantine Liturgy for many years.

    It is just as inappropriate for Westerners to affect the Eastern prostration as it would be for Easterners to affect the Western prostration, in which we lie prone on the floor.

    We genuflect and they bow profoundly before the Altar. We bow the neck at hearing the name Jesus; they do not. Let' s not mix rites.


  20. Dear Jordanes,

    The following is the usual scandalous quote from then Father Ratzinger:

    “Eucharistic devotion such as is noted in the silent visit by the devout in church must not be thought of as a conversation with God. This would assume that God was present there locally and in a confined way. To justify such an assertion shows a lack of understanding of the Christological mysteries of the very concept of God. This is repugnant to the serious thinking of the man who knows about the omnipresence of God. To go to church on the ground that one can visit God who is present there is a senseless act which modern man rightfully rejects."

    Can you advise what is wrong with the translation, and tell us about the context?

    On its face, it would seem that at some point the Holy Father changed his mind, which would be a good thing -- and, God willing, a harbinger of things to come.

  21. Can you advise what is wrong with the translation, and tell us about the context?

    Certainly. Here is a literal translation of the original German of this particular passage:

    "Eucharistic adoration or quiet visiting in church can, reasonably, not simply be thought of as conversation with the God who is thought present in a locally-circumscriptive manner. Statements such as 'God lives here' and conversation with the locally-thought God based on such [thinking] express a mistake [misjudgment] of the christological event as well as the idea of God, which necessarily repels the thinking man who knows about the omnipresence of God. If one were to justify going to church on the grounds that one must visit the God who is only present there, this would indeed be a justification which would make no sense and would rightfully be rejected by modern man."

    The alleged quote that is usually bandied about among traditionalists and sedevacantists is a fabricated one, deliberately, maliciously mistranslated to make it appear that Papa Ratzinger denies (or at least used to deny) the Real Presence and is opposed (or at least used to be opposed) to Eucharistic adoration. In fact, and as the surrounding context makes clear, he was explaining what is wrong with a hypothetical misconception of the Real Presence in which Jesus is present in the Eucharist in such manner as to not be omnipresent. And you'd never be able to guess from the spurious "quote" that the very next thing Father Ratzinger said in his lecture was: "Eucharistic adoration is in truth related to the Lord, who, through his historical life and suffering, has become "bread" for us, that is, who through his Incarnation and abandonment unto death has become the one who is open for us [the for-us-open-one]. . . ." Far from rejecting Eucharistic adoration, he was explaining what Eucharistic adoration is really about, that is, Who and What it is "related" to.

    A literal translation of the surrounding context is available here (and from a hostile source as well):

  22. May I ask, Jordanes, in what other modes?

    1373 "Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us," is present in many ways to his Church: in his word, in his Church's prayer, "where two or three are gathered in my name," in the poor, the sick, and the imprisoned, in the sacraments of which he is the author, in the sacrifice of the Mass, and in the person of the minister. But "he is present . . . most especially in the Eucharistic species."

    1374 The mode of Christ's presence under the Eucharistic species is unique. It raises the Eucharist above all the sacraments as "the perfection of the spiritual life and the end to which all the sacraments tend." In the most blessed sacrament of the Eucharist "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." "This presence is called 'real' - by which is not intended to exclude the other types of presence as if they could not be 'real' too, but because it is presence in the fullest sense: that is to say, it is a substantial presence by which Christ, God and man, makes himself wholly and entirely present."

  23. Taking into account Fr Ratzinger's writings in the original language & good (and deficient) translations and his sometimes suspect views on various subjects such as The Latin Mass and traditional devotions, his perspectives on God's Real Presence in the church building & His omnipresence are orthodox. I was taught by my traditional catechist and by priests that we could visit God in the Tabernacle as this was a lieu of special presence, of course, but we could talk with God where ever and when ever as we chose and as He gave inspiration. To claim God is only present in a church building & make visits upon this presumption was and is a complete misconception.

    The issue I would raise is why Fr Ratzinger among most other of his contemporaries would sit by and allow the Tabernacle to be removed from the sanctuary and even placed in another building altogether and say nothing against this appallingly damaging liberal modernist manoeuvre without some complicity on his part.

  24. \\ Is he prominently housed on the Altar of Sacrifice or shunted off to a side-room somewhere?\\

    The custom of reserving the Mysteries in a Tabernacle on the main altar dates ONLY from the time of the Franciscans, who adopted what was for the time an innovation.

    Chapels of Reservation (especially in cathedrals, pilgrimage churches, and monasteries), Sacrament Houses, Aumbries on a side wall, and hanging pyxes (in every shape from a sphere to a dove) were found before Trent, and even afterwards.

    Remember the movie THE NUN'S STORY? There was clearly NOT a Tabernacle on the high altar there, but rather in a Chapel of Reservation.

    I'm saying nothing against the Tabernacle on the Altar, but simply giving some historical information.

    In my opiniong, btw, the Mysteries would be safer in a good strong aumbry built into the wall.

    *It is just as inappropriate for Westerners to affect the Eastern prostration as it would be for Easterners to affect the Western prostration, in which we lie prone on the floor. **

    Why, PTKP? There's been no reluctance to impose Latin acts of piety on Eastern Christians in the past.

    The Western double genuflection before the Exposed Mysteries or the Holy Cross on Good Friday is nothing more than an abbreviated Eastern prostration, made under similar circumstances as I described.

    In any case, my question was to Leon wondering just what he meant by "mahometan posture."

  25. \\should put to rest the accusation that Joseph Ratzinger does not believe in Eucharistic adoration.\\

    BTW--Has not Pope Benedict actually LEAD public Eucharistic adoration on several occasions in His papacy, such as his state visit to Great Britain?

    Seems odd he would do something he doesn't believe in.


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