The personal life is nourished by the sacraments, of which the Eucharist is the centre. Many know about the care that we have for the celebration of the liturgy in general and the very strict approach to the Eucharist in particular. At the mother house, we celebrate the liturgy of Paul VI wholly in Latin, without confusion. It is normal, even more than normal, for priests and future priests, to have a great devotion to the Eucharist. The heart of the life of the priest is the Christ, who is present in the Eucharist. The Church is necessarily wholly centered on the sacrament of the essential sacrifice of the Chrust, of his life and his mission. “The Church, that is Jesus Christ spread and communicated”, wrote Bossuet. “The Church and the Christ is totally one”, said Jeanne d’Arc. We are only the continuation of his life, of his word. The Christian is a prolongation of the life of Christ and of his mission.
The Eucharistic devotion is also the obligatory route in order to uncover vocations which live a priesthood rooted in the celebration of the Holy Mass. It is necessary that the priest begins by being preoccupied by his personal sanctification in order to lead others to the sanctity. If we do not want to sanctify ourselves, why should we demand Christ to give us priests? The need for priests will always reside in our desire to be sanctified, in view of eternal life.
Conference given by Monsignor Jean-François Guérin, on Saturday the 10 November 2001, at Sacre-Cœur de Monmartre, at the occasion of the ceremonies of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Community of Saint Martin.