Christocentric and Eucharistic Spirituality

Because the specific purpose of our Religious Family is the evangelization of culture, that is, working to transfigure it in Christ [1] and for Christ [2] and because we are convinced that “our poor breath is only fruitful and irresistible if it is in communication with the wind of Pentecost” [3] the members of the Institute of the Incarnate Word have the noble office of “loving and serving, and making Jesus Christ loved and served… Both the physical Body of Christ in the Eucharist, as well as the Body mystic of Christ, who is the Church” [4] . Since Christ in the Eucharist is the source and center, creator and fundamental expression of Christian culture [5]. Likewise, the Holy Eucharist is the source and creative force of communion among the members of the Church [6] .

Also knowing that we are called to be “other Christs” [7] and recognizing that this cannot be achieved without familiarity with the Word made flesh [8] hidden under the sacramental veil, we feel urged to incessant prayer and adoration [9] . For this reason, in our communities the Blessed Sacrament is adored for one hour a day, aware that it is not only the holiest and most just act [10] that we can perform, but also because we are convinced that “a time of true adoration has more value and spiritual fruit than the most intense activity, even if it were the same apostolic activity” [11] .

Thus, this beautiful Christocentric and Eucharistic spirituality that identifies us requires an authentic liturgical education leading to a “full, conscious and active” [12] participation in the Eucharist. This is an aspect that is manifested explicitly in the formation that we receive and that we impart in our formation houses, since we consider that “the celebration of the Eucharist has [an] ‘essential importance’ in the spiritual formation of our seminarians [13] , and it is the ‘essential moment of your day’ [14] ” [15] . We are convinced of this to such an extent that we can say that “the Seminar is the Mass.”

For us, “the main thing, the most important thing that we must do every day, is to participate in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass” [16] and thus “in all the houses of the Institute, Holy Mass is the center of life, it is the sun that it illuminates the interior life, the apostolate, the work and all activity” [17] . In this sense, it seems that the fact that it is up to our priests “to be teachers of the ars celebrandi , and to our senior seminarians, to our brothers, etc., cannot be stressed enough. the effort on their part, to live the ars participandi in the most perfect way ” [18] .

Furthermore, since “in the task of evangelizing culture, individual efforts or those of a generation are not enough, but rather a great movement that grows in extension and depth is necessary” [19] we consider that the Eucharist, in addition to being ” the deepest foundation of our unity as a Religious Family” [20] , impels us to the mission and it itself becomes the center of our pastoral care.

That is to say, the Eucharist is not only a source of charity but, in some way, the objective of all our apostolate. Consequently, all our apostolic activities – camps, oratories, the educational apostolate, pilgrimages, youth groups, popular missions, etc. – have as an essential component a strong Eucharistic devotion or at least are conducive to it.

Being then the Holy Eucharist the “consummation of spiritual life and the end of all the sacraments” [21] all the members of the Institute are “ready to go to any part of the earth where the preaching of the Gospel and the celebration of the of the Eucharist” [22] ; in order to propose and promote, in all environments – of families, lay associations and parishes and, above all, in educational centers (especially seminaries and universities) and scientific research, and in means of social communication–, an authentic pastoral of holiness, which emphasizes the primacy of grace and which has its center in the Sunday Eucharist [23] .

Wherever our missionaries have the pastoral care of a parish -whether in the middle of the jungle, in rural areas or in the great metropolises of the world- they work with determined effort “so that the Holy Eucharist is the center of the parish community of faithful ” [24] , and “are nourished by the pious celebration of the sacraments, in particular by frequent reception of the Most Holy Eucharist and the Sacrament of Penance” [25] , also promoting the worship of the Eucharist through the Eucharistic exposition to be adored by all.

The solemn Eucharistic celebration on Sundays and holy days of obligation, the Eucharistic processions with their corresponding “Eucharistic dialogue”, the care of the liturgical trousseau, etc. They are nothing but manifestations of the marked Eucharistic devotion that characterizes us and according to which we want to stand out. Because it will always be true that “the Holy Eucharist contains substantially all the common spiritual good of the Church [26] , ‘that is, Christ’ [27] ” [28] .

Those who participate in the masses celebrated by the members of the Institute perceive “a style of liturgical celebrations in which the Word is incarnated and in which it appears –sacramentally– Incarnate, in which the main presence and action of the main Priest is always highlighted − Christ himself−, and in which it is perceived that the essential attitude of the secondary priest is the prayerful attitude –proper of the one who knows himself to be a mere instrument, and a deficient instrument, subordinated to the main cause and subject to its ends–, and in which all the visible elements contribute to the splendid knowledge of the Invisible” [29] .

In short: we know that “in the Eucharist, the logic of the Incarnation reaches its extreme consequences” [30] and that in it we will find the light, strength and inspiration necessary to carry out the enormous work of the New Evangelization that awaits us [ 31] . Therefore, devotion to the Incarnate Word present in the Eucharist is, just like that, a non-negotiable element attached to the charism of the Institute of the Incarnate Word and the ‘platform’ from which we launch ourselves on the wonderful adventure of inculturating the Gospel.


[1] Cf. Directory of Spirituality , 122.

[2] Cf. Constitutions , 13.

[3] Constitutions , 18.

[4] Constitutions , 7.

[5] Cf. Directory for the Evangelization of Culture , 244.

[6] Directory of Spirituality , 294.

[7] Constitutions , 7.

[8] Constitutions , 231.

[9] Cf. Directory of Consecrated Life , 226.

[10] Cf. Constitutions , 139.

[11] Constitutions , 22.

[12] Sacrosanctum Concilium , 48.

[13] Cf. Pastores Dabo Vobis , 48.

[14] Cf. ibidem .

[15] Directory of Major Seminaries , 224.

[16] Constitutions , 137.

[17] Directory of Minor Seminaries , 14.

[18] Cf. PC Buela, IVE, Ars Participandi , chap. one.

[19] Constitutions , 268.

[20] Directory of Spirituality , 300.

[21] Saint Thomas Aquinas, S. Th., III, 73,3; quoted in Directory of Liturgical Life , 8.

[22] PC Buela, IVE, Priests forever , Part II, chap. 3, 12.

[23] Cf. Directory of Evangelization of Culture , 243-244.

[24] Directory of Parishes , 59; cf. C.I.C., c. 528 §2.

[25] Ibid .

[26] Cf. Santo Tomás de Aquino, S. Th., III, 65, 3, ad 1.

[27] Saint Thomas Aquinas, S. Th. , III, 79, 1 c.

[28] Directory of Liturgical Life , 6.

[29] Cf. Ibidem , 2.

[30] Saint John Paul II, Sunday Address (07/19/1981), 2; OR (7/26/1981), 2.

[31] Cf. Directory of Spirituality , note 385; op. cit. Saint John Paul II, Message on the V Centenary of the First Mass in America (12/12/1993); OR (01/14/1994), 9.