Friday, June 5, 2015

Our One Great Act of Fidelity: Waiting For Christ in The #Eucharist

our one great act of fidelity
Our One Great Act of Fidelity: Waiting For Christ in the Eucharist
  • Written by Ronald Rolheiser
  • Available in Hardcover, Paperback, Audio CD or Digital Format
  • English Language - 144 pages
  • Published by Image Books and Released in Paperback on March 3, 2015
  • Publisher's Suggested Price for Paperback - $13 (USD)
  • Available from Barnes and Noble, or Amazon, and Many Other Booksellers
I just finished this compelling book by author Ronald Rolheiser.  As the title suggests, Our One Great Act of Fidelity: Finding Christ in the Eucharist examines this beautiful and amazing gift that Jesus instituted at The Last Supper.  Our Holy Communion is the source and summit of our faith and unfortunately, after a few decades of spotty Catechism, there are many Catholics who do not fully grasp the immensity of what happens on our altars and dwells in our tabernacles.  In this five part book we examine the Sacrament in several ways.  

After a short preface the book breaks out like this:
Part One: The Eucharist and the Incarnation     
  • The Incarnation and the Body of Christ
  • The Centrality of the Eucharist to the Christian Faith
  • The Radical, Shocking, Raw, Physical Character of the Eucharist 
Part Two: The Many Dimensions of The Eucharist:     
  •  The Eucharist as God's Physical Embrace
  • The Eucharist as an Intensification of Our Unity Within the Body of Christ: Totus Christus 
  • The Eucharist as the New Manna: God's Daily Bread For Us
  • The Eucharist as a Meal, as a Celebration of Our Pain and Sorrow
  • The Eucharist as a Sacrifice
  • The Eucharist as a memorial of the Paschal Mystery
  • The Eucharist as Reconciliation - As The New Wine
  • The Eucharist as the Ultimate Invitation to Mature in Discipleship - To Wash Each Other's Feet
  • The Eucharist as an Invitation to Justice
  • The Eucharist as a Ritual to Sustain Our Health
  • The Eucharist as a Vigil, as a Communal Rite of Waiting
  • The Eucharist as the Priestly Prayer of Christ 
Part Three: A Spirituality of the Eucharist: Receive, Give Thanks, Break, Share 
Part Four: Our One Great Fidelity 
Part Five: Three Famous Sermons on the Eucharist
The last pages contain notes and references  for further study and citation purposes.

This is a good choice for the people who show up each week but feel they are missing something during Mass.  It provides insight and Biblical knowledge in a gentle manner.  There are anecdotes and analogies that will help make the awesome mystery into focus for anyone who may be searching.  Of course, the converse of that is also true - those who already have a deep love of the Eucharist, this may be a little bit soft.

I definitely felt that the explanation of why Eucharist is an "act of fidelity" would be poignant for anyone who may be experiencing a time of spiritual dryness

Throughout the book Rolheiser cites Saint Augustine, and in the fifth part of the book he includes three of this great saint's sermons regarding the Eucharist.  These are magnificent, and if you were to look at my copy of this book, these pages are filled with underlining and  notes scribbled in the margins.

Overall, I would recommend the book to anyone seeking a better understanding of this Blessed Sacrament.