Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Book Order Is In.
The book I ordered finally came in a few days ago. The book entitled A Hemorrhaging Church: Evangelization And the Neocatechumenal Way. I browsed through the book and will soon start reading it from start to finish. At any rate, as I was browsing through it, I would like to copy a section of it on this post. I will only copy some excerpts from it. Anyone who is interested in reading the entire book will simply have to purchase the book on their own. The section is "Why a Weekly Community Eucharist?" According to the author:
........It is logical to ask why the Way incorporates a Eucharistic celebration for the small community on Saturday evening. Why don't those in the community come to Sunday (or Saturday) Mass with the rest of the parish community? Pope Benedict XVI in his address to the Way in January 2012 states two fundamental reasons: The Eucharist on Saturday evening responds to the needs of those who have gone far from the Church and the Eucharist on Saturday evening supports the radical nature of those living the Christian life in the Way. Let us look at each reason in turn,
First, the Eucharist in small communities helps in a special way those who have been far away from the Church and are just beginning a journey of renewed faith or faith for the first time. A large celebration with its setting of anonymity for someone who is on the fringe of the faith has an unsettling effect. Further, there is a loss of "belonging" to the community of the parish because of its relatively large size compared to a small community......
The second reason that the Pope stressed in the significance of the Saturday community Eucharist is that the community is walking on a Way that is quite counter cultural and as such is a radical way of life that needs the support of the Eucharist.
The celebration in small communities, regulated by the liturgical books, which should be followed faithfully, and with the particular features approved in the Statutes of the Way, has the task of helping those who are undergoing the Neocatechumenal itinerary to receive the grace of being inserted into the saving mystery of Christ, which makes possible a Christian witness capable of assuming the traits of radicality 
Now "radicality" is the state of being radical and "radical" relates to the "root, basis, or foundation of something; original, primary" (Oxford English Dictionary"). This focus is important because the "radical nature of the Way is not a nature that is separatist or fundamentalist or divisive as the word is often used in medial language. In its radicality, the small community of the Way in the parish returns to the root or primary reason for its existence. That reason is to make Christ present in the World through a radical (original) sign of Christian witness........
A third reason for the Saturday evening Eucharist in small communities is the reality of young people participating in a Eucharist rather than in the hedonist, "hook up" culture that encapsulates so many young people. The celebration of of the Eucharist in a small community on a Saturday evening (open to all the faithful) is so opposite to our "normal" way of weekend living that it is a point of rejection and a branding of the community as "strange" and apart. Indeed, the Saturday evening celebration of the Eucharist is a marked departure from the weekend culture. Yet it is the basis for an original and rooted faith life especially for young people who face a Saturday night live world of sex, drugs, and alcohol. For a young person to give witness of coming to a Eucharist on a Saturday night is to raise questions on the part of onlookers......"What is going on here? We see you all gathering each Saturday night and we wonder who you are." This is precisely the questions that the early Christian communities received and is the beginning of a process of evangelization that builds on the interest engendered by Christian witness.
,,,,,,,,,For the priest who celebrates with the community, the response is always one of having an experience that strengthens his vocation. The community Eucharist is not exclusive in the sense that only those who have membership can enter. It is a celebration that is born out of a community of persons who are walking together to discover the meaning of their Baptism. In doing so, the community relies on the strength of the Body and Blood of Christ. Guardini, in the 1930s, raised the question of how many people in the parish at large receive the Eucharist with a community surrounding them or receive Communion solely as individuals.
With respect to the third objection regarding the orthodoxy of the Eucharist, the liturgy has been recognized by the Church and celebrated by Blessed John Paul Ii and numerous bishops and pastors. It is a most dignified and holy experience contrary to some who paint it as a kind of group gathered around a table conducting their own ritual........