POPE John Paul II said greater Christian devotion to the Eucharist can help heal a world torn by terrorism and racked by poverty.
In a document offering spiritual guidelines for the upcoming Year of the Eucharist, the Pope calls for more intense public witness of the faith.
As the centre of the Christian experience, the Eucharist should have a transforming power that carries beyond Sunday Mass and into daily life, he says.
The 31-page letter, released on October 8, was written for the Year of the Eucharist which the Pope will officially open with a Mass at the Vatican on October 17.
He will also greet via satellite the closing session of the International Eucharistic Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico.
He had wanted to travel to Mexico to close the congress, but his frail health made that impossible.
Titled, “Stay With Us, Lord”, from the words of the apostles to the risen Christ, the Pope’s letter urges local Churches to promote respectful liturgies, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and a better understanding of Christ’s “real presence” in the Eucharist.
At an October 9 meeting with several thousand young people from the Diocese of Rome, the Pope said the eucharistic year should be a time of mission for the Church, as Catholics are inspired to imitate the life of Christ.
The Pope said the Year of the Eucharist would mark a time of special grace and energy for the Church. Its effect should not be limited to eucharistic celebrations, but spread into every area of life, he said.