Fr. Corapi on the Eucharist and Benedict XVI
Father Corapi: When Cardinal Ratzinger chose the name Benedict XVI, I immediately did some research to come to some understanding of why he chose that name, which usually indicates the direction of a new pope.
I believe that I found a real clue through what Benedict XV was most interested in. Certainly he was interested in preserving and/or restoring peace in the tumultuous days surrounding World War I.
It seems to me, however, he was also very interested in the restoration of the priesthood and in the sacred liturgy. The latter, of course, has been historically of great importance to the Benedictine charism itself.
However, it may be in what is arguably Benedict XV's most notable encyclical, "Humani Generis Redemptionem," that we find a clue to the course Benedict XVI may be setting.
This document concerns the restoration of the priesthood and the preparation of good preachers of the Gospel. One cannot properly approach a Year of the Eucharist without considering the ministerial priesthood. Quite simply: no priest, no Eucharist. Jesus instituted the two sacraments together and they are indissolubly linked.
I believe that the proper education and holiness of priests is of paramount importance to the new Holy Father. This is, of course, very much wrapped up in his already-known interest in a "Reform of the reform" of the sacred liturgy. Not a return to the days before the Council, but a proper and authentic interpretation and praxis of what the Second Vatican Council truly said.
That, I believe, is one of the primary focuses of the new Pope's vision for the Church: holy and well prepared priests and a reverence and love for Jesus Christ in the holy Eucharist.
This will automatically result in a tremendous interest and love for adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Benedict XV wanted properly educated preachers -- in authentic doctrine -- and, most of all, holy preachers. You can't give what you don't have, and Jesus Christ is all we have to give.
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