The two most difficult challenges to our faith today are: God’s laws in regard to human sexuality and the gift of Jesus Christ Himself in the Holy Eucharist. Both are essentially faith issues of the utmost importance in our daily moral lives. No other doctrines are questioned more, even by those who call themselves Catholic.
Pornography, promiscuity, infidelity, contraception, invalid marriages and homosexual activity have contaminated much of Christian life. Some people are not aware of the malice of these sins. They persist in this immoral behavior without any seeming repentance, with no reception of the Sacrament of Penance, or any firm purpose of amendment. The live in sin. They have rationalized their guilt away. Their lust has become a form of idolatry. They will find no lasting happiness therein.
In some places the Church has been de-Eucharisticized. The Blessed Sacrament is the best-kept secret in those neighborhoods. The Holy Eucharist has been minimalized, marginalized, trivialized, casualized, and in some places, even ostracized. Watch the behavior of our people in church at Holy Mass. Look how they dress for the Sunday Liturgy. The atmosphere is often profane without any seeming reverence. Can they really believe without a sense of the sacred?
If our people really believed in the Presence of the Risen Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, how could 75% of them fail to show up for Sunday Mass? How could they leave the Catholic Church and give their faith away? Ex-Catholics are the biggest denomination in the United States of America today. The pools tell us that fewer than 30% of the United States Catholics actually believe what the Church teaches about the Holy Eucharist.
St. Padre Pio would assure us that the Holy Eucharist is the greatest deterrent for the pestiferous influences of our culture. He was convinced that the world could sooner live without the sun than it could live without the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. What makes the chaste life possible, bearable, fruitful, and dare say, even joyful, is the grace of Holy Communion. Without the Holy Eucharist, we are headed for failure and destruction.
Any suffering, like loneliness, sandwiched between two receptions of the Holy Eucharist, make it doable, bearable, and swallowable. The words of Consecration that make our God so available as to make Him edible still contain the solution for all the problems of the world, including our own. A chaste life is possible when it feeds upon the Bread of angels. Our God has provided for the challenges of our time, but only if we believe.