Be in God’s Presence Among His People

Blessing of the Wheat at Artois 1857, Breton

A man recently registered for the Madison Diocesan Eucharistic Congress (Sept. 29-Oct. 1) and left a message summing up the Congress in a nutshell: “Being in God’s presence, among his people.”  That’s his vision, and it’s an accurate one.  But the phrase also implies a priority.

Together, we will hear inspiring speakers.  In fellowship, we will learn profound, eucharistic truths in workshops, and enjoy beautiful music and stimulating conversation.  All of these things—talks, truths, music, and conversation—are wonderful in themselves but only point to the goal of the weekend:  being with Jesus and knowing Him in His loving death and Resurrection, in His glorified, real, and intimate presence in the Holy Eucharist, drawing us to His divine life.

Through God’s grace, we will experience a conversion to a deeper faith when the Holy Spirit moves us with His Divine Love.  And happily, we will be in God’s presence, among his people, united to others who experience the same thing.  In God’s providence, He sent these people to support us.  And, in turn, we support them too.

Put out into the deep!

First and foremost, we come for Jesus in the Holy Eucharist.  We open your hearts to a powerful encounter with Him, ready to “put out into the deep” (Lk 5:4b).  Then, we discover a depth we never imagined, both here and in Heaven: “[N]o eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him…” (1 Cor 2:9)  Always strive to go deeper!

The Congress features a two-part period to help us plumb those depths. We will hear a Talk followed by a Conversion Call. This pairing of Talk and Call repeats three times: Friday evening, Saturday morning, and Saturday afternoon.

What is a Conversion Call, and why is it paired with a Talk

The Congress features five inspiring speakers.  They reveal a deep, heartfelt faith and a gift for expressing it.  The Holy Spirit works through them—and others at the Congress—to help draw our hearts and souls toward Jesus too.

So, after each talk, we naturally seek ways to express what is in our hearts.  We need time to wrestle with the Holy Spirit’s work, to listen to His voice, to go where He moves us.  The Conversion Call gives us those options.  We can be with Jesus, praying in Adoration.  Or, we can confide in someone, one-on-one, who will also pray with us.  Maybe the Holy Spirit prompts us to confession or spiritual direction.  Some may prefer to join a small group discussion, or to learn more about eucharistic truths at a workshop.  All of these options help us to respond to the Holy Spirit’s work.

You might choose one option in the Saturday morning Call, and a different one in the afternoon. Go where you need to go, where the Holy Spirit prompts you.

So, the Conversion Call responds to the talk, to the Holy Spirit at work in our hearts and souls.  We need that time.  Otherwise, a talk can simply circle back on itself.  But by pairing it with the Conversion Call, it bears fruit in each soul and between each other in a shared experience.  We will be in God’s presence among His people.

Invite others and pray for souls.

We’ve heard a lot about Go Make Disciples.  At this time in salvation history, souls need everyone’s effort to evangelize, to bring people to Jesus in the Eucharist.  And the Eucharistic Congress is a powerful opportunity.  Invite someone who particularly needs this weekend.  Guide them to the website to pre-register:

Finally, would you please pray the following prayer for the Congress, for yourself, and for others?

Lord Jesus, thank You for Your presence in the Holy Eucharist where I encounter You in an intimate, true, and loving union.  Through the Holy Spirit, pour the graces and merits of Your Sacred Heart—into my own.  Make the Eucharistic Congress a moment of conversion, turning me from my self-love to live the divine life with You as a child of God.  Help me to truly realize the gift of Your Body and Blood.

I pray for all who come to the Congress, that You will set their hearts on fire for love of You in the Holy Eucharist.  I pray that the Congress will strengthen our union as one Church—one in the Eucharist, in faith, and in love for You and others. Mary, our Mother, pray for us, that the Congress will glorify Your Son and help open souls to the encounter they need.  Amen.

Madison Diocesan Eucharistic Congress:
Sept. 29-Oct. 1
St. John the Baptist Catholic Church
209 South St., Waunakee, WI


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