It was such a joy to be a part of the Eucharistic Congress, held to celebrate the central place of the Eucharist in the life and mission of the Church, and to spend the weekend with so many Catholics who want greater intimacy with God.
This was my first experience of Liverpool and of the Eucharistic Congress and I was extremely excited to find out about what the Catholic Church wanted to teach us at this particular event which focuses wholeheartedly on the Eucharist.
I really loved the way Bishop Robert Barron described the Mass – as going to see a friend. The first thing you do when you come into the home of a friend is that you sit and talk with them. This is the dialogue where we listen to the Word of God in the readings and respond with our prayers. The next thing you do is eat what they have cooked for you. This is where the Eucharist makes its significant transformative effect on us – from the inside.
The Word and the Body are so necessary. Close, intimate friendships often begin and are maintained in this way, and so is our faith.
There were about 50 people from our diocese at the event, including many familiar faces from parishes around East Anglia, including Norwich, North Walsham and St Ives, along with Bishop Alan.
Some of the religious from our diocese came, including the Daughters of Divine Charity from Swaffham. The sisters of the Community of our Lady of Walsingham brought the statue of Our Lady of Walsingham from the Slipper Chapel to lead the procession of the Eucharist in the streets of Liverpool.
There were also many young people that I recognised from London, where I am from, and there was so much unity between different parish groups – always a pivotal inspiration.
I thoroughly embraced the concept presented by Bishop Barron that play is the most serious thing in life and, like Mary who sat at Jesus’ feet while Martha cooked, wasting time with God and adoring Him is one of the greatest acts of living.
Mass itself is meant to be the place where heaven meets earth, and only those who are like little children may enter…
What a joy our faith is! I will carry this beautiful experience of the love of God as I work as part of the Ignite team to share the Gospel with the young people of East Anglia over the next year.
Pictured top, Adoremus 2018 concluded with a procession of the Blessed Sacrament through the streets of Liverpool followed by Benediction on the steps of the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King. © Mazur/catholicnews.org.uk