ANCONA, Italy, SEPT. 11, 2011 (Zenit.org).- A person who can kneel before the Eucharist and receive Christ in Communion must be attentive to the needs of his neighbor and ready to share his goods with others, says Benedict XVI.
The Pope affirmed this today when he presented the Eucharist as the key to a person-centered social development. He was speaking at the closing Mass of Italy's 25th National Eucharistic Congress.
"A Eucharistic spirituality is a real antidote to individualism and egoism that often characterize daily life," the Holy Father stated.
He proposed that responsibility in community life is born from the Eucharist, such that the poor, sick and needy are placed at the center of social development.
"To be nourished by Christ is the way not to remain foreign and indifferent to the fortunes of our brothers, but to enter into the very logic of love and of gift," the Pope said.
"He who is able to kneel before the Eucharist, who receives the Lord's body cannot fail to be attentive, in the ordinary course of the days, to situations unworthy of man, and is able to bend down personally to attend to need, is able to break his bread with the hungry, share water with the thirsty, clothe the naked, visit the sick and imprisoned," he continued.
Benedict XVI proposed a Eucharistic spirituality as an antidote to individualism, saying that it leads to giving relationships a central role in life, beginning with family relationships.
A Eucharistic spirituality, he continued, is also at the heart of a Church community that overcomes divisions.
Referring to the problem of unemployment, the Pope also affirmed that a Eucharistic spirituality is "a way to restore dignity to man's days and, hence, to his work."
A Eucharistic spirituality is also an aid in approaching those who are weak, he said, remembering that the "different forms of human fragility" do not diminish the "value of the person," but call for "closeness, acceptance and help."
"There is nothing that is genuinely human," the Pontiff stated, "that does not find in the Eucharist the right way to live it in fullness: Hence, daily life becomes the place of spiritual worship, to live the primacy of God in all circumstances, within a relationship with Christ and as an offering to the Father."
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