What a gift to see the vibrant faith in these women
By Shawna Hanson
Eucharistic Revival Point Person
Over the past few issues of West River Catholic, I have been highlighting some of the ways ordinary lay people are being inspired by the National Eucharistic Revival and are becoming a part of the movement at a grassroots level. The ways they have answered the promptings of the Holy Spirit are diverse, but they all highlight how the Lord calls us to serve and to grow right where we are at!
For more than 18 years, a group of faithful women, the Martha and Mary Prayer Group, have been meeting on Tuesday mornings at Blessed Sacrament Church in Rapid City. The group grew out of another Tuesday morning group of young mothers that had met beginning in the late 1980s under the direction of the late-Peg Schneller. Over the years they have done Bible studies, read books, participated in the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, shared the fruits of their prayer, supported one another in times of difficulty, and rejoiced with one another in times of great joy. In the past couple of years, they have welcomed many new faces to their group.
What a gift to see the vibrant faith and joy present in this group of women! They inspire me and I pray that their witness and experience of choosing to be a part of the Eucharistic Revival also inspires and encourages you.
Last fall, they decided to be a part of the National Eucharistic Revival by focusing their study and prayer on the Eucharist. They began by watching the series, “Presence: The Mystery of the Eucharist” on Formed.org (written and read by) Jeremy Driscoll, OSB — “What Happens At Mass.” Published by Liturgy Training Publications, this short book (134 pages) is packed full of profound insights about the Mass. It takes each part of the Mass, from the Introductory Rites through to “The Mass is ended, Go in peace,” and explains in easily understood terms the theology, mystery, and action of God in the Mass.
Both the video series, “Presence: The Mystery of the Eucharist” and the book “What Happens at Mass” were fruitful for members of the group, but when I visited with them recently, they seemed to have the most to say about the Father Driscoll book. Some of the members found it quite challenging to read and were very grateful to have others to discuss the book with. Everyone benefited from hearing what struck others in the book and they agreed, “It’s a book that needs to be discussed!” When I asked them how this book and the subsequent discussions had touched them they had several responses.
“I realized that when we go to Mass, we are not just spectators. The Mass gives us the opportunity to surrender our whole lives to him and to receive back so many graces,” said Suzanne Feist.
Donna Larson added, “During the Mass, there is so much occurring that is unseen and not fully appreciated. As stated in the book, the Mass unites the whole of creation to the whole of heaven throughout space and time in an act of praise to God through Jesus Christ in the Holy Spirit. To be a small part of this act of worship is humbling. This is a book that I could read over and over again and gleam something new with each read.”
“This book touched my heart deeply. The Mass is so much more than we can imagine. I was especially touched by the idea that the whole Mass is a conversation between God and us, each of us alone and collectively and with the communion of saints. We are in dialogue with God throughout the Mass. What a privilege and a joy,” said Sandra Wade.