The days of the Eucharistic Congress, Adoremus, are going to be a time of special grace for the Catholic Church in England and Wales. I urge everyone to join in this great celebration of the Eucharist, God’s greatest gift to us, His family.

The events in Liverpool, on September 7-9, will be memorable and moving. Great numbers will gather on each of these three days. I think there may still be a little space for the key events on Saturday. Do come if you can. And if you are staying at home, then join in the pilgrimage taking place in Liverpool in spirit and in prayer.

The Eucharist takes us to the heart of our faith. The celebrations and processions of Adoremus will enrich that faith and our love for the Lord. They will be powerful moments in which we can express the love we have for Jesus who has chosen, in the power of the Holy Spirit, to be with us always in the precious Sacrament. In the Eucharist, he is present to us in the very action of offering himself to the Father as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. In the Eucharist, his sacrifice becomes an abiding reality at the heart of our world, opening for us a true vision of our purpose and destiny in life.

To be before the Blessed Sacrament, to share in the Mass, to be filled with a profound devotion for his Real Presence, is to be before the still hidden, yet revealed, mystery of God’s love and mercy. We see, yet we don’t see. We taste and touch, yet are still to be absorbed into that mystery. We rely totally only on “trusty hearing”, for the Word spoken to us is the Word of God who does not deceive and cannot be deceived: “This is my body, given for you. This is my blood poured out for you.”

The Eucharist, then, is to be contemplated constantly. In Liverpool, we will strive to understand this great gift more deeply. We will give heart and mind to prayer and praise. We will enter its deepest dynamic: that of sharing in the mission given by the Father to His beloved Son to bring the fullness of life and light into our needy world.

This sense of mission was first appreciated by Cardinal Manning in July 1847, when he visited Malines in Belgium. Still an Anglican, he was on his way to Italy after recovering from a long period of illness.

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