Saint Peter Julian Eymard’s eucharistic vocation did not spring full grown from some mystical experience; it grew and matured progressively. The Eucharist, God’s manifest gift of Love, was the focus of all the energies of his life. In time, he learned to subordinate everything to this love of his life. His heart, soul, and mind were shaped little by little by the Eucharist. That should be the beginning of every eucharistic spirituality. From this reality, Eymard discerned a call to share in the life and mission of the Lord. The same can be true of all who take the Eucharist seriously and try to make it the center of their lives.
The keystone of Father Eymard’s spirituality was what he called “the gift of self.” Just as God gave us everything in giving us his son, and Jesus gave himself completely on the cross and in the Eucharist, so should our Christian lives be a total gift of self to Christ. Father Eymard teaches us that we are first of all disciples of Jesus Christ. Whatever our unique vocation, all are called to serve. Our parishes should be gatherings of disciples, of disciples afire with the same Spirit which led Christ to give his life for the world, of disciples who are being transformed day by day by having the seeds of resurrection sown by the Lord in our mortal flesh.
Just as Saint Eymard’s was a life modeled and motivated by a deep sense of the transforming power of the Paschal Mystery, so should our earthly journey be stamped by the Eucharist, “source and summit of the life of the Church.”
-Father Norman Pelletier, SSS
Superior general (1993-1999) and Provincial Superior (2002-2014)