It’s been almost a year and a half since Corpus Christi Sunday 2022 — June 19 — the launch date of the ongoing National Eucharistic Revival.
At the time of the revival’s start, Bishop Andrew Cozzens of Crookston, who is leading the efforts, said the following: “It’s our mission to renew the church by enkindling in God’s people a living relationship with Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist. We want everyone to encounter the love of Jesus Christ truly present in the Eucharist and to experience the life-changing effects of that love. We want to see a movement of Catholics across the United States that are healed, converted, formed and unified by an encounter with Jesus Christ in the Eucharist and sent out on mission for the life of the world.”
I’m not sure there’s a better mission than that. I’m also not sure there’s a bigger one. Following the timeline of the revival, we are currently in its second year — what is called a time for “fostering Eucharistic devotion at the parish level, strengthening our liturgical life through the faithful celebration of the Mass, Eucharistic adoration, missions, resources, preaching, and organic movements of the Holy Spirit.”
At my parish, we are having a 40 Hours Devotion at the start of Advent, where parishioners can come and spend time intimately with the Lord. I’d imagine most parishes around the country are doing something similar to foster devotion to Our Lord in the Eucharist.
Then, of course, in just eight short months, there will be the National Eucharistic Congress in Indianapolis. “Every movement needs a moment,” the website says. “This is ours.” A lot of time and money and planning is going into this national event, and it’s exciting. We’re going, and I hope you go, too.
But it’s also one event. What about the in-between times? What about the times when our parishes are not bringing in a speaker, or facilitating small group discussions, or coordinating special devotions? What about the times when we will not be gathered together by the thousands, being affirmed in our faith and encountering the Lord together? It’s in these in-between times that the habits of daily life are formed, and where virtue is born.
4 Eucharistic tips
This time of year offers us a prime opportunity for getting serious about our own personal revival in the Eucharist. With the start of Advent in a few weeks, we will begin preparations to welcome the Prince of Peace into our homes. Here are a few things we could do to draw closer to him in the Eucharist:
1) Make time for some spiritual reading on the Eucharist. In particular, sit and pray with the treasure that is St. John Paul II’s encyclical on the Eucharist, “Ecclesia de Eucharistia,” available from OSV for purchase or on the Vatican’s website for free. If you’ve never read it, or read it 100 times, there’s always more to glean from it, if we make the time.
2) Speaking of making time, any personal Eucharistic revival has to start with our own commitment of time spent in the presence of the Eucharist. Maybe we’re being called to attend daily Mass for Advent, or perhaps make a weekly holy hour. Or maybe you do both of those things, and the Lord is asking you to up the ante and make a daily holy hour! Pick something and commit to it.
3) Try really paying attention to the words of the Eucharistic prayer during Mass. I’ll be the first to admit, it can be easy or tempting to lose focus during this part of the liturgy. But try to really focus. Read along if it helps. Ask Jesus to quiet your mind and center your heart on him.
4) Once we learn more about Christ, spend more time with him, and seek to better understand his saving love for us in the Mass, the natural next step is to resolve to bring Christ to others. Perhaps there’s an opportunity to bring your kids to adoration — or your parents, a friend, or a sibling. Maybe, once you’ve read and enjoyed a book on the Eucharist, you could share it with others. Most importantly, we bring our Eucharistic Lord to the world through our love of and sacrifice for others.
We’re just about halfway through with the revival, which wraps up on Pentecost 2025. Let’s embrace the opportunity for renewal this Advent.
Gretchen R. Crowe is the editor-in-chief of OSV News.