Pontiff Shares Joy at "Eucharistic Springtime"
Reflects on St. Juliana, Promoter of Corpus Christi Feast
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VATICAN CITY, NOV. 17, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI says there is a "Eucharistic springtime" in the Church, manifested in the numerous people who pause before the tabernacle to enjoy a "conversation of love" with Jesus.
The Pope mentioned this springtime when he dedicated today's general audience to a woman saint of the 13th century who was instrumental in promoting the feast of Corpus Christi.
He spoke of St. Juliana of Cornillon (1191 or 1192-1258), noting that she had "a profound sense of the presence of Christ, which she experienced by living in a particularly intense way the sacrament of the Eucharist and pausing often to meditate on the words of Jesus: 'And lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age' (Matthew 28:20).
This saint had visions in her Eucharistic adoration, which led her to promote a feast "in which believers would be able to adore the Eucharist to increase their faith, advance in the practice of virtue and make reparation for offenses to the Most Holy Sacrament," the Holy Father explained.
He added that through trials, Juliana persevered in her devotion to the Eucharist, up to her death: "In the cell where she lay the Most Blessed Sacrament was exposed and, according to the words of her biographer, Juliana died contemplating with a last outburst of love the Eucharistic Jesus, whom she had always loved, honored and adored."
Benedict XVI went on to reflect about Eucharistic devotion in the Church, affirming "with joy" that there is a "Eucharistic springtime" and noting the consolation that "not a few groups of young people have rediscovered the beauty of praying in adoration before the Most Blessed Sacrament."
In this regard, he recalled Eucharistic adoration in Hyde Park during his September visit to London.
"I pray so that this Eucharistic 'springtime' will spread increasingly in every parish, in particular in Belgium, the homeland of St. Juliana," the Pope said.
And he encouraged the faithful to find the Eucharistic Christ not only at Sunday Mass. "[L]et us try as well to frequently go to visit the Lord present in the Tabernacle," he urged. "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."
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