Eucharist Is School of Peace, Asserts John Paul II

In Apostolic Letter “Mane Nobiscum Domine”

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VATICAN CITY, OCT. 8, 2004 ( John Paul II has presented the Eucharist to the world as “a great school of peace” which can form men and women to be “weavers of dialogue and communion.”

This is one of the convictions the Pope repeats in the apostolic letter “Mane Nobiscum Domine” (Stay with Us, Lord), published today, for the forthcoming Year of the Eucharist.

“The lacerated image of our world, which has begun the new millennium with the specter of terrorism and the tragedy of war, invites Christians more than ever to live the Eucharist as a great school of peace,” the Pontiff writes.

“The Christian who participates in the Eucharist learns” to “make himself a promoter of communion, peace and solidarity,” he states.

Archbishop Domenico Sorrentino, secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, explained at the press conference to present the document that the “Eucharist and peace are very related.”

“The Eucharist and peace are united in spirituality; it is not something automatic,” the archbishop said. However, as “it is necessary to have the power of prayer, whoever goes to Mass learns the logic of fraternity and peace and applies it. This is the school of peace.”

John Paul II reminds the faithful that the Eucharist must lead to “a more just and fraternal society.”

He invites them to make this “Year of the Eucharist a period in which communities commit themselves in a special way to seek out, with fraternal commitment, some of the many poverties of our world.”

“The criteria according to which the authenticity of our Eucharistic celebrations will be verified” is “love” and “attention for those who are in need,” he adds.

The Pope believes it is important to remember that “the Eucharist is the manifestation of communion.” In this connection, he clarifies that “the Church puts conditions to be able to participate fully in the Eucharistic celebration,” and refers to the directives and documents already published by the Holy See on the topic.

Archbishop Sorrentino disclosed that on Oct. 15 a document will be presented entitled “Year of the Eucharist: Suggestions and Proposals,” which will offer guidelines for an appropriate celebration of this sacrament.

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