The Eucharist (Otherwise known as the Holy Communion or the Blessed Sacrament) is a Catholic sacrament considered to be the apex of Christianity. While some Catholics and different branches of the English Church believe that this bread and wine are transformed into the literal blood and body of Christ, others believe that it is a simple expression of faith. It is considered to be the very essence of love that binds us to the savior; and it is this teaching of love that inspires the Catholic view on social justice. Social justice spreads love to all humankind, via fighting for equality and respect for all man. The Eucharist is the symbolism of this love, and it is the concept that inspires the catholic doctrine of the social mission.
The Eucharist is the ‘fount and apex’ (Lumen Gentium, 11.5) of all Christian life. ‘By Sacraments and other appointed means this divine life of the God-made-flesh is actually imparted to us, and by our sharing in it we ourselves become divine’ (J.W.C Wand, 1937, pg. 65). As the above quote states, the Eucharist is considered to be the source of Catholic life, as it provides Christ’s blood and flesh for our own consumption. By consuming the God-made-flesh, His own blood and body redeems us, bestowing upon us incorruptibility of spirit in communion with God. (Rebirth into His family and a new opportunity of life). Without this rebirth and communion, Christians would have no connection with Christ, and therefore be cut off from the source of Catholic life. ‘It is impossible to think that a boy who is faithful to prayer, to attendance at the Mass and the Sacraments would take the wrong road through life.’ (Davy, 1960, pg. 180) As asserted by Davy, the Sacraments (Eucharist in particular) are the summit of all life (and, by extension, they provide the correct road of life). By attending Mass and accepting the Sacraments, Catholics may reach the summit of their faith; and by partaking in the Eucharist, Catholic’s may also partake in the essence of God’s love. The love of Christ is the raison d’être for the Christian faith, and the Eucharist (as the vassal of Christ’s love) is, therefore, the ‘source and summit of all Christian life’. (Engerberton, 2003, p. 156)
In order to understand the power of the Eucharist in Social Justice, basic points of the Catholic doctrine on this subject must also be understood.
‘If Christian precepts prevail, the respective classes will not only be united in bonds of friendship, but also those of brotherly love.’ (Leo XIII, Rerum Morarun, 25)
According to Leo XIII and his letter ‘Rerum Morarun’, social justice should be working towards uniting the classes, in not only friendship and equality, but also in ‘brotherly love.’ This love and equality is mentioned again in Catholic social justice doctrine, by Pope Benedict in his encyclical letter ‘Caritas in Virtitate’. He states that ‘charity is at the heart of the Church’s social doctrine’ (Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, 2). In...