“Wow” these are the words that come to mind when I think about today’s experiences at the Congress.
The first conference in the morning was by Bishop Robert Barron. It was a very simple, straightforward talk, but it drove the point home. He basically talked about the Eucharist as Meal, Sacrifice, and Real Presence. This is exactly what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says, and I think that is why it is so powerful. The 15,000 people attending the conference were mesmerized by the words of Bishop Barron, and that is the power of the Teaching of the Church.
Every morning we also have a testimony. Today, Marianne from Belgium shared her powerful story. She comes from a strongly anti-Catholic protestant background. After her studies in Theology she came to live in the Philippines with her family. She was deeply moved by the faith of the Philippinos, and little by little got close to the Catholic faith. Participating in the Easter Vigil, she felt deeply in her heart the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist:
“I decided to join the Catholic Church because I felt for the first time at home”.
After hearing her talk, I felt such a burning desire to adore Jesus in the Eucharist. I went straight to the Chapel where the Blessed Sacrament is exposed throughout the day. What a treasure the Eucharist is.
In the afternoon, I went to a conference with an Argentinian priest who works with the poor in a landfill in Manila. His parishioners literally live in the midst of the garbage. He spoke about the Priesthood, the Poor and the Eucharist. At one point, he said that once talking to one of the ladies of his parish, he told her, “Poor you that need to put up with a priest that barely can speak English,” to which the woman replied saying, “Father, before you came we were poor, now we are a Church”.
We could hear a pin drop in the conference room.