Saints We Love

Saturday, October 8, 2011

"Padre, Padre, per favore!" Fr. Robert Barron

In the spring of 2007, I was privileged to be a scholar in residence at the North American College in Rome.  During that period, I had the opportunity, on three occasions, to distribute communion at Mass in St Peter's Square.  Standing on one side of a partition, I watched as scores of people came forward to receive the Eucharist.  In the typically Italian style, things were a tad disorganized, and the faithful were compelled, in the press of the crowd, to stretch out their hands toward me.  I saw all sorts of hands--old and young, dirty and clean, line and unlined--reaching out for the bread of life.   When I would move along the partition, some would cry out to me plaintively, "Padre, Padre, per favore (Father, Father, please).  Never before in my priesthood, though I had distributed communion to thousands, had I had the sense of carrying food to those who were desperate for it.  Those faithful in St. Peter's Square embodied a truth that is deep in our Catholic tradition, though too infrequently stated:  the Eucharist is not a luxury, but a necessity, for without it, we would in the spiritual sense, starve to death.


Terry Fenwick said...

This is copied from Fr. Robert Barron's book, EUCHARIST, page 9

Anonymous said...

There are people who take the Holy Eucharist for granted, but those who hunger and thirst for the BODY and BLOOD of CHRIST surely wold be satiated.


Terry Fenwick said...


Saint Augustine helps us to understand the dynamics of Holy Communion when referring to a kind of vision he had, in which Jesus said to him: "I am the food of the mature: grow, then, and you shall eat me. You will not change me into yourself like bodily food; but you will be changed into me"(Confessions, VII, 10, 18). Therefore, while the bodily food is assimilated by the body and contributes to its maintenance, the Eucharist is a different bread: we do not assimilate it, but it assimilates us to itself, so that we become conformed to Jesus Christ and members of his body, one with Him. Pope Benedict XVI

Terry Fenwick said...

This is like MUSIC:

"The Eucharist is not a luxury, but a necessity, for without it, we would in the spiritual sense, starve to death."

Donald Gatwood said...