Lent Eucharistic Prayer Companions

Eucharistic Prayer Companion for Ash Wednesday: The Journey Home

This Eucharistic Meditation is designed to help you spend 30 minutes to an hour in meditation and silent prayer with Jesus during Eucharistic adoration. Even if you cannot be physically present in a church or adoration chapel with the Blessed Sacrament, you can unite yourself spiritually to the Eucharist as you spend this time in prayer. Visit the page here.

Print a copy here.

The Eucharist and the popes

(CNS photo/Vatican Media)

From the video message of Pope Francis for the National Eucharistic Congress of Indian in Mumbia, Nov. 12-15, 2015

But the Eucharist does not end with the partaking of the body and blood of the Lord. It leads us to solidarity with others. The communion with the Lord is necessarily a communion with our fellow brothers and sisters. And therefore the one who is fed and nourished by the very body and blood of Christ cannot remain unaffected when he sees his brothers suffering want and hunger. Those nourished by the Eucharist are called to bring the joy of the Gospel to those who have not received it. Strengthened by the living Bread we are called to bring hope to those who live in darkness and in despair. “In the Eucharist the Lord makes us walk on his road, that of service, of sharing, of giving; and if it is shared, that little we have, that little we are, becomes riches, for the power of God — which is the power of love — comes down into poverty to transform it” (Homily for the Corpus Domini, 2013).

Pope Benedict XVI’s Legacy of Love for the Eucharist – Eucharistic Theology

Pope Benedict XVI’s Legacy of Love for the Eucharist

After leading the Church as our Holy Father from 2005 to 2013, Pope Benedict XVI’s death on the last day of 2022 has sparked prayer and reflection worldwide. However, our youngest Catholics likely don’t know him very well. Most children either weren’t yet born during his pontificate or won’t have memories of their own. In remembrance of his life, parents and teachers can introduce children to the great work that he did for the Lord and His people.

The Legacy of Pope Benedict XVI

a box of crayons

One of the legacies that Pope Benedict leaves behind is the vast collection of his writings. His books and encyclicals are treasures worthy of study and prayer. The Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis, Sacrament of Charity, highlights the gift of the Holy Eucharist. Pope Benedict writes that through the Blessed Sacrament, God reveals his love and strengthens us to love those around us. He says, The sacrament of charity, the Holy Eucharist is the gift that Jesus Christ makes of himself, thus revealing to us God's infinite love for every man and woman” (SC, no. 1). The text also connects the Eucharist to all other sacraments, teaches about the liturgy and participation in the Holy Mass, and encourages a Eucharistic life of mission and service.

"Let the Children Come to Me"

a coloring page of a monstrance from Catholic Paper Goods
Download this coloring sheet: English | Spanish

While reading this apostolic exhortation (or any of Pope Benedict’s books) might be a few years down the road for most children, we can still bring the wisdom of his writings to their level. Using short quotes that are rich in meaning, kids can learn from Pope Benedict XVI about the precious gift we have in the Eucharist. Speaking of the well-known Scripture passage from John 3:16, Benedict says, “These words show the deepest source of God's gift. In the Eucharist Jesus does not give us a ‘thing,’ but himself; he offers his own body and pours out his own blood. He thus gives us the totality of his life and reveals the ultimate origin of this love” (SC, no. 7).

Words like these speak richly about our belief in the True Presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and are perfect for reflection, especially as children are preparing to receive Holy Communion for the first time or the hundredth time. Pope Benedict also reminded us that something as wonderful as the Eucharist is not meant to be kept a secret. We should desire to share the good news of our faith with others. A child’s natural enthusiasm and joy can be used to reveal the love of God to everyone around them. Pope Benedict writes, “The love that we celebrate in the sacrament is not something we can keep to ourselves. By its very nature it demands to be shared with all. What the world needs is God's love; it needs to encounter Christ and to believe in him. The Eucharist is thus the source and summit not only of the Church's life, but also of her mission” (SC, no. 84).

A coloring page of the Eucharist from Catholic Paper Goods
Download this coloring sheet: English | Spanish

This month, as our culture surrounds us with messages of love in the form of hearts and flowers and chocolate, let’s take a moment to share with our children the greatest gift of love we have received, Jesus himself in the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.

“In the sacrament of the Eucharist, Jesus shows us in particular the truth about the love which is the very essence of God.”
Pope Benedict XVI

Family Activity Ideas

  • Use the Eucharistic quote coloring pages included in this post with your children. Read the quote and talk about Pope Benedict’s words. Identify the monstrance, chalice, and host. Connect the quote with the love of God and his gift of the Holy Eucharist. [Coloring Sheets: English #1#2#3 | Spanish #1#2#3]
  • Color the quote pages and hang in your home, using them as a reminder of how Jesus shows us his love through his True Presence in the Eucharist.
  • Color the Sacred Heart cards and give them away like Valentines. Maybe stick a few in the mail to family members and hand one to your priest and deacon after Mass.
  • Visit your parish church, kneel before the tabernacle, and say the Prayer for the Faithful Departed for the soul of Pope Benedict XVI: Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
A mom and daughter coloring together

Questions for Discussion

Use these questions to prompt conversation with your children, maybe while using the Eucharistic quote coloring pages or on the drive home from Mass.

  • What are some ways that God shows you that he loves you?
  • Christ is wholly, truly, really, and substantially present under the Eucharistic species at Mass because he loves us! What can we do to show that we love him in return?
  • Around St. Valentine’s Day this month we hear and see lots of things about love. How do you think Jesus wants us to love the people around us?
A child coloring with a parent

Resources for Kids

Help your kids get to know Pope Benedict XVI using these children’s books. Look for copies online or request them from your local library:

Learn more about the life of Pope Benedict XVI with the timeline and coloring pages offered by Catholic Paper Goods:

Resources for Adults

You can read the full text of the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis here.

When God Calms the Storm – A Revival Story

Looking for God in the Storm

It was the early evening of the first day of the new year, 2007, and my son and I had just gotten home from visiting my dad, who was in a respite care unit at a local hospital enduring the final stages of his battle with lung cancer. Additionally, he’d suffered a stroke that morning, limiting his movement and robbing him of his ability to speak clearly.

I felt like one of the disciples in the boat on the stormy sea, being tossed around by the waves, desperately trying to row to the other side with the wind against us. In my mind, I went back to the past year in which we’d rowed our way through the sea of biopsies, scans, doctor appointments, chemo treatments, procedures, holidays, and a few trips to visit extended family. But the wind had picked up speed these past few weeks: the cancer had stopped responding to treatment, blood clots had formed in his lungs, and his doctor told me of the kind of death he would most likely suffer, adding: “I wouldn’t wish this kind of death on my worst enemy.” And now this—a stroke, robbing him of what little ability he had left.

IV Drip

Just a few years earlier, we’d lost Mom to this same disease and I admit to wondering this day—"God, where are you now?”  

I didn’t have to wait long for his answer.

A Prayer Offered with the Eucharist

Shortly after arriving home from the hospital, the phone rang. It was a nurse at the hospital saying that Dad was suffering from chest pains, and that it would be best if we came back to the hospital right away.  

Although Dad was a very faith-filled man who taught us kids to love the Lord and see Jesus in other people, he wasn’t Catholic. It was my dearest desire that Dad experience the grace of the sacraments of the Church before he died. Our priest, Fr. Tim, had asked me several weeks earlier if Dad wanted to join the Catholic faith but when I asked Dad, he was a little hesitant, saying, “I don’t think so right now, thanks.”

Person holding a patient's hand

I once heard Mother Angelica of EWTN fame speak on how if you’re really praying hard for something, you should bring it with you when you receive the Body and Blood of Christ in the Eucharist. Consequently, for the past several weeks, every time I received the Eucharist—taking the Body of Jesus into my hands—I offered him up to God in exchange for Dad to have the desire to join the Catholic faith.

On the way to the hospital that evening, we called our priest, Fr. Tim. Would he come and give Dad a blessing or pray over him? He agreed, asking once again, “Do you think he’d like to become Catholic?” Heavy-hearted, I replied, “I don’t know. I don’t think he’s changed his mind.”

The doctor met us in the lobby of the hospital and explained how serious Dad’s health was and that he had requested no unnecessary treatment due to his advanced cancer. She seemed to be preparing us for the worst. My husband and my two brothers and I entered Dad’s room. He was in pain but so glad to see us. We gathered around his bed; I held his hand and told him Fr. Tim was coming. In my mind, I imagined Fr. Tim offering Dad the very sacraments that I had been praying for him to receive. But would Dad be open to them?

Jesus Climbs into the Boat

Suddenly, I had this overwhelming urge—a physical sensation welling up in my body—that I had to ask Dad just one more time if he wanted to become Catholic, but I was hesitant. I didn’t want Dad doing it for love of me—I wanted him to do it for himself. And I’d just asked him a few weeks before. Could this sudden, overwhelming urge be God nudging me? Was he working to answer the very prayer I’d brought before him each time I’d received the Eucharist for weeks now? Dare I hope?

I pulled my brothers out of the room and discussed this “feeling” I had and my reluctance to ask Dad. My oldest brother, who wasn’t practicing any religion at the time, said simply, “I’ll go ask him.”  

And that’s when Jesus climbed into the boat with us.

My brother came out of the room a few minutes later saying, “Yep, he does!”

Stunned, I asked, “Are you sure you understood him? He’s had a stroke, you know. He can’t speak well…” to which my brother replied, “I told him to squeeze my hand if he wanted to become Catholic and he squeezed it three times!” Oh, the joy that filled my heart! Jesus was powerfully answering the prayer I’d so hesitantly brought before Him in the Eucharist.  

Hands holding

The priest came, and Dad was received into the Church, confirmed and anointed. He made a Spiritual Communion because his illness prevented him from receiving the Blessed Sacrament. I sat by Dad’s side holding his hand through it all, hardly able to comprehend the holiness of the moment. We prayed the Lord’s Prayer together one last time.

The storm’s winds that had been blowing so fiercely died down, and Dad rested peacefully through the night.

Winds of Doubt Continue to Blow

But, like the disciples, there was a part of me that still doubted. Was Dad resting comfortably because of the grace of the sacraments or the newly-installed morphine pump (the machine that administered the drug that relieved pain and gave the sensation of being able to breathe)?  

Several times that long night, I got out of the recliner and walked over to Dad’s side to adjust the oxygen mask, knowing how hard it was for Dad to breathe without it and wanting to make him as comfortable as possible. During one of my bedside vigils, the nurse came into the room lit only by the glow of a light in the side of the wall and stood next to me, gently and quietly taking Dad’s vital signs. She and I both commented how peacefully he was resting.  

“That morphine must be doing the trick,” I whispered. Startled, she glanced over at me and said,

“He hasn’t used that pump all night.”

What? How was that possible? He was in so much pain and struggling so hard to breathe before the priest came. What had changed?

Peace in God's Perfect Timing

Jesus had shown up. His grace was present in the sacraments that gave Dad the peace he needed. And that’s when I, like the disciples in the boat in the storm-tossed sea, was completely astounded.

Painting of two sailers on a boat in calm waters

Dad passed away a few hours later: calmly, peacefully, and prayerfully.

God had answered my prayer brought before him in the Eucharist at the perfect time and in the perfect way. And I realized: God doesn’t come too early, and he doesn’t come too late. He comes just when we need him the most.

Barb Schmitz is a parishioner at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Brooks, MN.

How to get involved in the Eucharistic Revival

Excited by the journey ahead?

The Eucharistic Revival is a Spirit-led, grassroots movement powered by people like you who answer God's invitation to prayer and action! Here are four ways you can get involved today. What part is God asking you to play in this great work?

1. Listen

Throughout this three-year Revival, ask the Holy Spirit to inspire you with unique ways you can use your gifts and talents to revive your own community! Join us as we listen for the Good Shepherd's voice.

2. Pray

No matter how many plans we make or how much work we put in, the Revival is first and foremost the work of our Lord and all the results belong to him. Join us on our knees as we invite this renewal!

Join our Prayer List

3. Learn

Dynamic Eucharistic Preachers are visiting dioceses across the US, as well as sharing insights and inspirations through this newsletter. These priests help cultivate the National Eucharistic Revival within our country by guiding hearts to individual conversion. Use the resources on the revival website to help deepen your relationship with our Eucharistic Lord.

Dive In

4. Attend

The National Eucharistic Congress will be the event of the decade! You'll want to register early to secure your spot and lodging. Save the date for July 17-21, 2024, and subscribe to event notifications so that you can plan ahead!

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What is the Eucharist?

What is the Eucharist?

The Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life. The term “Eucharist” originates from the Greek word eucharistia, meaning thanksgiving.

In the celebration of the Eucharist, bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit and the instrumentality of the priest. The whole Christ is truly present -- body, blood, soul, and divinity -- under the appearances of bread and wine, the glorified Christ who rose from the dead. This is what the Church means when she speaks of the "Real Presence" of Christ in the Eucharist.

Where is the Eucharist mentioned in the Bible?

The Lord Jesus, on the night before he suffered on the cross, shared one last meal with his disciples. During this meal our Savior instituted the sacrament of his Body and Blood. He did this in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the Cross throughout the ages and to entrust to the Church a memorial of his death and resurrection. The Institution of the Eucharist is written down in the four Gospels below: 

Matthew 26:26-30

Mark 14:22-26

Luke 22:14-20

John 6:22-59 (The Bread of Life Discourse)

Revive Podcast for Eucharistic Revival – Episodes 1-4

Revive with Fr. Agustino Torres

Franciscan Friar of the Renewal Fr. Agustino Torres, along with professional actress by day youth minister by night Solanyi Rodriguez, wade through some of the biggest Catholic conundrums and catechesis fails, all through the lens of the source and summit of the Faith: the Eucharist.

Join Fr. Torres, Solanyi, and their special guests for honest conversations on how to right-size, recommit to and revive our understanding of the Mass and relationship with Jesus with a little humor and a whole lotta love. Official podcast of the USCCB’s National Eucharistic Revival (www.eucharisticrevival.org) and an OSV Podcasts partner (www.osvpodcasts.com).

OSV Podcasts

The Eucharist

The Eucharist is the secret of my day. It gives me strength and meaning to all my activities of service to the Church and to the whole world. Let Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament speak to your hearts. It is he who is the true answer of life that you seek. He stays here with us: he is God with us. Seek him without tiring, welcome him without reserve, love him without interruption: today, tomorrow, forever.

~St John Paul II