The Word Among Us

June 2004 Issue


Have you ever noticed how earthy the celebration of the Eucharist is? Despite all the "mystery" that surrounds the sacrament, it still remains rooted in the very natural, everyday substances of our lives. For example, the basic elements of Communion are nothing more than wheat and grapes reduced to flour, water, and sugar. The ingredients are so very simple, yet when transformed by the Spirit, they become life-giving and powerful. More »

By the gift of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, the church was born and set out upon the pathways of the world, yet a decisive moment in her taking shape was certainly the institution of the Eucharist in the Upper Room. Her foundation and wellspring is the whole Easter Triduum, but this is as it were gathered up, foreshadowed, and concentrated for ever in the gift of the Eucharist. With it Jesus brought about a mysterious "oneness in time" between that Triduum and the passage of the centuries. More »

Special Feature

The Easter event—the bodily resurrection of Christ—pervades the life of the whole Church. It gives to Christians everywhere strength at every turn in life. It makes us sensitive to humanity with all its limitations, sufferings, and needs. The resurrection has immense power to liberate, to uplift, to bring about justice, to effect holiness, to cause joy. More »

Have you ever wondered how writers come up with ideas for their books? Especially, how do people who write books about prayer and Scripture come up with their material? Do they just pray all day? Do they do a lot of research and publish their findings? More »

The gospels are full of meals. Some even call it the "eatingest" book in the world. Having meals was one of the ways Jesus made contact with people: his disciples, tax collectors, and sinners, even enormous crowds of women, men, and children. He ate with the young couple in Cana, with Simon the leper, with Martha and Mary, with Matthew, and with Zacchaeus. More »

Sometimes, the voice of a saint echoes clearly to us down through the centuries. More »

The fragile dress hung delicately on a hanger in my closet for months. It was my mother's Communion dress, passed down to me. As she gently laid it out on my bed that morning, she whispered, "This is a very special dress for a very special day." That day was my first Communion. More »