The necessity of the Bread of Life

“Bread of Life” painting by Corbert Gauthier

By David Carollo –

We hear the term “a new normal” lately. What does this mean?  The coronavirus has brought both a rational consciousness of the need for caution and increased sanitation, but also may be bringing about a call for the abandonment of sacred traditions out of fear, perhaps even paranoia.  A new normal? Never! Christ established a new and eternal covenant, promising to be with us always. He gave us food for our souls, the Eucharist. He called us to be one with Him and partake. Civil authorities can never understand the bond that breaks, when we are separated from the bread of life.

It is now two months since public Mass was offered in most dioceses around the world.  We are fortunate to have the technology to keep us connected to the Holy Sacrifice through video and television broadcasts during this time. We broadcast our 12pm ET Mass daily from the Blue Army Shrine, and we welcome those who tune in at bluearmy.com. We have done this for several years now.  It cannot however become a substitute for attending in person under normal circumstances.  Cardinal Sarah, Prefect for the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, stated, “Mass that is streaming is misleading also for priests: They must look at God not at a camera.”

Life is not devoid of risk. Many brave missionary priests and others have, and continue to, risk their lives and liberty ministering to the faithful around the world. Many have won the crown of sainthood by these actions. We need to be inspired by those who trust in Divine Providence.

The words “essential” and “non-essential” are designations bantered about these days.  Not being able to attend a sporting event is disappointing.  Not having access to the Holy Mass is a tragedy. Nothing is more essential to our overall well-being than our spiritual health.

Only time will tell what we will return to. “I will be with you until the end of time,” our Lord told His disciples before ascending into heaven. He is only with us fully in the Eucharist.  Hopefully, we will return to full access to the sacraments soon. Hopefully, this period of deprivation will enliven in us a resolve to never put off availing ourselves of this life in us. The Eucharist is our life.

Before Our Lady appeared to the seers of Fatima, they were visited by the Angel of Peace who brought the Blessed Sacrament.

The damage of this period devoid of the Bread of Life will endure for a long time. Let us commit ourselves to the new normal given to us on Holy Thursday. “Take and eat, for this is My Body which will be given up for you.” 

David M. Carollo is the Executive Director of the World Apostolate of Fatima, USA/Our Lady’s Blue Army.

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