by Guest Editor, Don Boland
This issue of Universitas is published at the close of the year of the Eucharist. Much has been said and written about the Eucharist during this year. Nothing of course can do justice to the exalted nature of this subject, the heart of the Christian faith. Both the late pope John Paul II and the present pope Benedict XVI have done their utmost to bring all to a realization of its profound significance for us so that we may live our lives to the fullest.
To mark the year of the Eucharist we reproduce in this issue
the homily given by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI to more than 800,000 young people at the World Youth gathering in Cologne on 21 August 2005
In the Eucharist we have, as the Church teaches, the bread and wine changed into the body and blood of Christ, a transformation like no other, given therefore the special name "transubstantiation".1 This "substantial transformation", as His Holiness calls it, "was destined to set in motion a series of transformations leading ultimately to the transformation of the world when God will be all in all".
The celebration of the Eucharist, therefore, is not something to be indulged in by a select few. As the central act of worship willed by God, it is not a luxury, but a priority for all. In the Eucharist, and in it alone, can the world find the secret of happiness. As His Holiness said to those gathered for World Youth day in Cologne: "Dear young people, the happiness you are seeking, the happiness you have a right to enjoy, has a name and a face: it is Jesus of Nazareth, hidden in the Eucharist. Only he gives the fullness of life to humanity!"
- Cf. article in Universitas No. 10 where the strict philosophical meaning of "transformation" (a change of form only) is contrasted with the unique notion of "transubstantiation" (a change of the whole substance, form and matter). That does not prevent us referring in ordinary language to the change that takes place in the Eucharist as a transformation. The meaning of words is always governed by the context.
Guest Editor, Don Boland is a lecturer at the Centre for Thomistic Studies,in Sydney, Australia.
This article posted Dec 2005. It was published in
Universitas Number 12 (Dec 2005)
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