Edmund: Hi everyone. And welcome back to the Real + True podcast. I’m your host Edmund Mitchell.
Emily: And I’m your host, Emily Mentock.
Edmund: And this podcast is for us to discuss the unit of videos in more detail, to dive deeper into the content and to share a bit of the behind the scenes of the mission and vision of Real + True
Emily: And we’re really excited. This is our first podcast for our first themed unit. So, up to this point, our project has been going through pillar one of the Catechism sort of section by section and really breaking that open for our audience. But we decided to kind of take a pause in anticipation of the Eucharistic Revival that’s coming up here, in the Church, to look at what does the Catechism say about the Eucharist? About the Real Presence? About adoration? All those things. And we’re excited to, uh, be talking a little bit more about the behind the scenes on that with you today.
Edmund: Yeah. This is a special unit and the Eucharistic Revival, um, was planned by the USCCB. And it’s gonna be launching June 19th, 2022. So in, uh, preparation for that, we put together this unit, um, Emily, do you want you, or I to go over kind of the overview of the month content?
Emily: Yeah, I can go over that. So we’ll still follow the same structure. We still follow the same structure of a unit, uh, for this section, even though we’re going a little out of order for it, the Catechism. And so the Proclamation video is, uh, well, I guess first the thesis is that the Eucharist is sacrifice and communion, and this really pulls from the document that was put together by the U.S. Bishops about, okay, how do we, what do we need to understand about the Eucharist? So that then we know more people can come to believe in the Real Presence, in the revival. Um, and so to introduce that concept, we’re exploring in the Proclamation video, “what does sacrifice really mean?” When we say that, like, what does that really mean? I think we sometimes have more shallow versions of sacrifice in our lives, but real sacrifice. The Explanation video is “the Eucharist sacrifice and communion.” So these are these two pieces of the Eucharist, um, in Mass in the sacrament that we, uh, can look at both the sacrifice piece and the communion piece. And then finally in the Connection video, we’re calling it, “how silent can change your life.” But really taking a deep dive on Eucharistic adoration as a practice.
Edmund: Yeah, this is, um, really an some movement of the bishops. They’re calling for a three year grassroots revival of devotion and belief in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. And this, uh, comes from a Pew Research Study that showed that one third of U.S. Catholics believe the Church’s teaching on the Eucharist, uh, as truly the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ. And this Revival’s gonna have of these tiers of parish, diocese and nationwide. And it’s really trying to encourage the whole Church and even the world to, to, um, come to understand and be aware, but also to dive deeper into the belief of the True Presence. In that document, you mentioned Emily, um, “the Eucharist in the life of the Church” is the, the kind of pillar document for this movement. And we use that to influence the unit themes.
Emily: Yeah. And one of the things I really love about the revival that I think aligns with something that we wanna do, you know, through this project is that, uh, the Bishop said, we want to start a fire, not a program. This isn’t just meant to be sort of catechetical program or curriculum that we’re rolling out in parishes, in schools or anything like that. They really, um, have a mission to renew the Church by enkindling, a living relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and the holy Eucharist. And I think that aligns so well with how we’re approaching the Catechism as well, where it’s not just about getting people to learn things or know things, or even believe things it’s really, how do we help people have a relationship with Jesus, like the real person, um, us through exploring the Catechism and then for the Revival through the holy Eucharist.
Edmund: Yeah, that’s awesome. That’s so important for people to know that intellectual ascent, you know, intellectually believing in something is good, but it’s not the, the end all be all. Um, I love in Acts chapter2 Peter gives this great homily and then everyone says, “now what must we do?” Um, they were cut to the heart and then they say, what must we do now? How does this apply to my life? And the same with the Eucharist, we sometimes forget, like, what does that mean for our life? And the two big themes of the Eucharistic revival document are the gift of the Eucharist and then our response, what we’re supposed to do. So maybe we could move into the Proclamation video. So we, we, this was really interesting because maybe you want to share a little bit about how we came to the idea of this Proclamation video.
Emily: So we wanted to, we really break open the theme of sacrifice because, you know, I mean, in a lot of my life, I thought sacrifice is like, you know, giving something up to gain something, but it wasn’t necessarily for a greater good. And what really, the concept of sacrifice, you know, comes from is like really going and in a way that can help us understand what Jesus’ sacrifice is like for the Eucharist is to really look at okay, what is sort of a sacrifice of a, of a almost incomprehendible like greater good.
Edmund: It’s a religious, it’s a religious term. Like, we think often we use it as a secular like, oh, I’m gonna do CrossFit. That, that requires sacrifice. I’m gonna be in the Military
Emily: Or I wanna lose weight, so I’m gonna give up cake.
Edmund: Yeah, for me, it was like my sister, my younger sister always got what she wanted. My dad would just be like, make a sacrifice, you know, but it’s a, religious, it comes from a religious term. Like it, it comes from a word, meaning a religious act. It’s a deeply religious act. And that’s why when we say the Eucharist is a sacrifice, it’s not just someone gave something up, it’s a deeply spiritual act that has importance.
Emily: Right. Which is why it was kind of hard to find it like that hook story. So we ended up settling on the story of, um, St. Maximilian Kolbe, because the, that story of him just voluntarily giving up his life to a save another was like the closest thing we could lay as like still a human foundation for the concept of Jesus’ sacrifice. We even had found someone who had given up their kidney.
Edmund: Oh Yes, that’s right.
Emily: To like for the sake of like helping another person. But we even felt like, okay, we don’t want there to even be any confusion about that person, having something to gain about feeling good about themselves and not saying that they did, but like, we needed to keep it as, like, how do we lay the foundation for our audience of like a true sacrifice of Jesus as closely as possible to like break open their minds away from doing a, doing sacrifice for your own gain in any way.
Edmund: Yeah. That, it’s something more than just the act like. There’s, there’s this spiritual dimension to it. And definitely with St. Maximilian Kolbe, I think during his canonization, um, when the Pope was talking about him, he said, this sacrifice was like that of Jesus on the Cross. Like that sacrifice was, um, in a similar vein of the way Jesus offered himself for others.
Emily: Right. And the, so the document from the bishops for the Revival really stresses the Eucharist as a sacrifice. Um, it says that, you know, as a Memorial, the Eucharist is not another sacrifice, but really the, the re-presentation. Yeah. The re-presentation…
Edmund: Not representation, but
Edmund: Re-presentation, presentation. Yeah.
Emily: Re like re transforming, uh, yeah. Of the sacrifice of Christ by which we are reconciled to the Father. So it’s like, that’s how much of the, that the impact of that sacrifice, we’re not just representing what happened. We’re re-presenting actual sacrifice of Jesus, like through the Eucharist now.
Edmund: Yeah. If you think about it, like if you were standing there watching, uh, this man get picked, if you were there at the concentration camp, you watch this man get picked, and then you see St. Maximilian Kolbe, you know, offer himself up. And then, and let’s say you walk to the cell and you’re watching him, you know, basically starve to death. Um, you’re kind of part participating in it, but in the Mass, the sacrifice itself is re-represented in such a way that we get to spiritually, like actually participate in the sacrifice. We get to bring our own prayers. We get to bring our own offerings of our worship. We get to participate in that sacrifice. PopeBenedict XVI, Pope Emeritus Benedict said through that, it’s not, we just statically receive Jesus. We enter into the dynamic of self-giving. So we’re part of this dynamic. We enter into the actual, we can bring our sacrifices, we can receive his sacrifice and we’re enter into this dynamic of Jesus offering himself to the Father for us.
Emily: Yeah. I love that. In the paragraph and from the Revival document that emphasizes that it’s, that Jesus did this for like that, that Jesus did this for the salvation of humanity it’s present in there. Like that sacrifice is present in the celebration of the Eucharist every time. And so us being there and, and attending Mass and participating in that sacrament there it’s like being present and participating in the sacrifice that Jesus made.
Edmund: Yeah. Like, imagine that, like, what, like you think, like, what would it be like if you were there, when Jesus said, “I will offer myself on your behalf” and we get to do that, we literally get to be, it’s re-presented to us the same sacrifice, not many sacrifices, the priest doesn’t re-sacrifice Jesus every Mass. We’re re-presented, we’re made present again to that one sacrifice.
Emily: Definitely. And there’s so many great quotes from this document too. So let’s take some time to, uh, maybe share a few that stood out to us.
Edmund: Yeah. Instead of our normal stand out Catechism paragraph, we’re gonna do a special, special segment here- stand out paragraph from the document. Who should go first?
Emily: You wanna go?
Edmund: Sure. I’ll do mine. So mine again is, it’s kind of unfair, cuz it’s a quote by Pope Benedict XVI that’s in the document, but it says, “the love that we celebrate in the sacrament is not something we can keep to ourselves. By its very nature, it demands to be shared with all.” And I love this because again, we think that, oh, a third of all Catholics don’t believe in the True Presence of the Eucharist and that’s it. We just need people to just believe it. But it’s the effect, the impact on our lives if we were to believe it, if we were to believe it, it would, it would cause us to go out and tell people about it. Um, I also love in the Catechism, hopefully we get to this in later units when we actually cover the Eucharist. Um, again, it says that one of the effects of the Eucharist is that it unites us closer to the poor, that it, it draws us into service of the poor and people don’t often, I didn’t think about that until I read that in the Catechism. And I think that’s the, that’s the effect of the Eucharist should have on us… Is that it’s not just something for ourselves, but it’s something by its very nature demands to be shared. You share this Bread of Life with others.
Emily: Yeah. That leads so well into, um, my standout paragraph, um, which comes from number 25 in the document, which says, The sacrament of the Eucharist is called holy communion, precisely because it places us in intimate communion with the sacrifice of Christ,” which we just talked about, but also an in intimate communion, like with him, through him, and then with each other as well. And think about it, like we don’t call Eucharist just Eucharist, we call it like your first holy communion, because it’s through the sacrament that you are placed into that intimate union with others as well. And um, the, the document has this great quote of that, “It’s the efficacious sign and sublime cause of that communion in the divine life and that unity of the people of God by which the Church is kept in being.” And I’m just like, okay, that shows we’ve always, I think one of the, probably most memorized Catechism quotes is like “the Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life” or whatever, which is great. Super important. I don’t wanna downplay that at all, but I love that this kind of like emphasizes that even more of like, why is it? Because one, the ultimate sacrifice of Christ, but also in how it puts us in communion with others.
Edmund: Yeah. I love that. Uh, I don’t know when exactly people are gonna be hearing this, but last Sunday I know Edmundo’s nephew received first communion and two of my sons received first communion or Edmundo’s godson received first communion. Yeah. And um, one of my sons who’s been going through the preparation process we were talking about, for some reason we talk about something and I said, “oh, it’s a symbol or a sign.” And, and my son Noah, he said, “oh, a symbol is something that you see it, but it means something else really, really important and really, really deep.” And I love that. It’s like, like the sacraments are these signs, but more than just a stop sign, it actually represents that communion in the divine life because it is communion in the divine life.
Emily: The the sign and the cause. It’s like both, it’s like the sign of the Church and the cause of the Church, both, which is just amazing
Edmund: I love that. Um, we’re gonna talk a little bit more about communion cuz one of my favorite Frank Sheed images that we got to put into the video. Um, but let’s give a shout out to…
Emily: Quanah Jeffries, Quanah.
Edmund: Wow. You pronounced it extremely well, like you know how to pronounce it.
Emily: That was my most confident guess. Uh, so Mr. Jeffries, if we were incorrect, please, we apologize. Please do correct us. And he commented on your last Connection video from the last unit: “Great video and great series in general. I’ve already used two and will be using this one soon.” So another Connection video and uh, just wanted to give him a shout out, thank him for using these videos in his sort of capacity as a catechist. And just a reminder that we would love to hear if you’re a catechist, who’s listening to this podcast, who’s watched the videos and you’re using them with whomever you are, you know, catechizing, whether it’s friends, whether it’s an RCIA class, you’re parish, small group, we would love to know about that and get feedback for how to continue to, make these videos better for, for who you’re serving.
Edmund: Yeah. And we’ll give you a little shout out. Yeah. So that leads, so with the Proclamation video, we tried to set up this idea of sacrifice we tried to reorient or I guess reposition the idea of sacrifice in people’s minds so that we could then go into the Explanation video and talk about the Eucharist as communion and sacrifice, which we are already started touching on.
Emily: Yeah. So the Explanation video starts out with the analogy of a “good meal has death and community.” Every meal, you know, even if you’re eating like a raw vegan meal still has the death, like something had to die for you to eat it, gotta kill the carrots, you know, chomp ’em into bits. And then, uh, and, and that’s like the sacrifice, the sacrifice of the food to eat, right. Something had to be offered up for that. And then also the community side of it. Uh, I think that there’s something really human and like biological, sociological, but also of course, like how God made us that, you know, meals are very communal, right? You share your food? I can’t think of any memorable meal of my life that I’ve had, like just by myself. It would’ve felt probably like…
Edmund: That’s a good point.
Emily: …in complete experience. One time I read somewhere, um, shout out to all the like the millennials who posted a million photos of their food on Instagram, that like that the reason why we are so compelled to do that is because just like instinctually, when we have like food, we wanna share it with others. Yeah. So even if I’m just making a salad at home alone, like the reason I wanna share it, like on Instagram or something is because of the instinct to want to share my food with others.
Edmund: Yeah. That’s awesome. I love that the idea, well, I mean, not that I heard this, but it’s true that the altar at mass is both an altar of sacrifice and a table for a banquet. It’s like both at the same time, you know, it’s a table for a banquet, but it’s also an altar for a sacrifice and the same with really good meals, right? You sacrifice, you know, I mean, we don’t anymore, literally walk outside and sacrifice a cow, but there is some sacrifice that goes into it. And then there’s this community of the banquet and the Eucharist is both of those things together. And it brings the family of God, the Church together into communion co-union with Jesus Christ. Um, one of my favorite images that we were able to kind of work into this, uh, comes from Frank Sheed talking in Theology for Beginners, I believe, um, or Theology and Sanity, where he says, imagine the cells in your body, they have life in them. And they share life. You are not your cells, but your cells kind of share your life. And because they have life in them, you’re sharing together. And so the same with the Eucharist, we have the Eucharist in us and it’s sharing life. The cells make up the entire body just as we make up the body of Christ. And I just love that image of all these cells, all these people working together and unified in Christ because Christ’s life is in us.
Emily: Yeah. I think that this video probably has some of the strongest imagery of any of the video that we’ve done so far. And I think that’s a combination of a lot of things, but, um, and one, but one of the pieces was like, we really wanted to, you know, one with the script, but also like visually drive home that like the Eucharist is not this like bread symbol, the like holy Mass is not this like ritual reflection of what really happened. It is this like, you know, union, communion with like what really took place. And so you see just like that imagery come through in the video. There’s this cool moment where like, you see, like we see Jesus on the Cross and then the host comes behind like the Cross of like Jesus. And then like the Cross that you see in most of like the hosts, when you go to Mass, like it’s there, but in this really beautiful way.
Emily: And I just wanna give a shout out to our animation team for the incredible work they did to, uh, kind of take the, the visuals to drive home the point that, and even in like visuals, you think, oh, okay, it’s just art. It’s just animation of this. Like it’s even more of a symbol of a symbol, but this is the opposite of that. Like I think the visuals really drive home that the Eucharist is not a symbol. And you see the Real Presence of Jesus in the way that it’s like the Eucharist is animated in the video.
Edmund: Yeah. You and you did a great job creative directing. One of my favorite images that is stuck in my head has been stuck in my head for a while is where you have the painting of the lamb standing as if slain in heaven from Revelation, then you’re kind of looking through a doorway. So then you also see in front of it, a priest holding up the Eucharistic at Mass, and then you also see through a doorway from the Passover, the blood around the door posts of the Passover lamb. So you see the lamb in heaven, the lamb in the old Testament and in the middle of the Mass, I mean, it’s just such a cool, this is where it’s so great. This, this project that we’re doing, this mission, that these visual elements really add a moment that, that can stick in your head, you know, maybe for the rest of your life.
Emily: Yeah. I think that the, the team did an amazing job bringing that to life in a way that, like, it doesn’t just look like an artistic representation, but I think really is using the medium of today, right? This animated video, that’s gonna go out on YouTube and Instagram and TikTok and all those things to communicate a truth to the world. Yeah. So really excited about it. If you, if you haven’t watched the Explanation video from this unit, just so strongly recommend it. Yeah.
Edmund: That’s a good one.
Emily: And then finally the Connection video, which took a different sort focus of the Bishop’s document for the National Eucharistic Revival to focus on in particular on adoration. And so you start by introducing like how important, how rare is silence these days. And how important it is. Yeah.
Edmund: The Revival really wants to increase a love and a practice of Eucharistic adoration. Again, this comes into what does this mean for my life, right? If we really believe in the True Presence, that means you really can sit in the same room with Jesus. And so they’re trying to promote Eucharistic adoration, especially for the people who might not have ever heard of it. So the idea was to make a video that started with maybe a felt need that we all have. Social media and noise and all these things in our life like media, it’s great, but sometimes it can be a lot and there are fewer and fewer moments or opportunities to really sit in silence and silence can be a place or is a place where God really speaks to us. Uh, and then when you add on that, sitting in silence in the presence of the Eucharist, it’s really powerful. So we tried to put a positive spin on out without making it too negative about social media, but saying that, you know, this silence is a wonderful place. And so Eucharistic adoration is a great place to experience that silence in a really profound way.
Emily: Yeah. We’re, we’re going for the, both/and here, just talk about how cool it is. This video is gonna be out on all the social platforms, but obviously we can’t just find God by watching videos, we need to go sit in silence. And I think that adoration in particular is so is such a cool practice because, um, it’s, it’s even different than like the, the Mass, which, you know, even when you’re, when you want to believe it can feel like the ritual and the obligation, like it can, it could have that tendency, if you’re not, you know, kind of like, depending on just where you are in your spiritual life, but adoration is just like, it’s free and it’s personal. Like, I feel like adoration is such a perfect expression of like of a previous unit’s thesis. That faith is a free and personal response to God. And then in adoration you can go and sit and like express that free and personal response to God, just you and Jesus right there.
Edmund: Yeah. The Catechism says Eucharist is the source and summit. And so we go to Mass and receiving the Eucharist and then being sent out with the Eucharist is the source and summit. It’s what all the sacraments are. It’s what the sacraments of initiation, baptism and confirmation are leading to the Eucharist, the final sacrament of initiation, right. Um, depending on which order you receive them in, it’s leading to that. But the Mass and I love that we got this into the video and I’ve heard other people say this, I think it’s worth repeating, the Mass presumes, it supposes that you already have a deep, intimate, personal faith and relationship with God. So when we come together and worship, we’re able to all worship, we all have a personal relationship with Jesus, but then together we’re all worshiping with him. It presumes that. So a great way to even enter into Mass, even more fully is to sit with that Eucharist, to sit with Jesus outside of Mass and kind of put a pause on that moment when the priest lifts up the host and says, you know, the body and blood of Christ, we’re able to sit in Mass and foster and nurture that personal relationship with Jesus and develop a hunger for him. So when we go to Mass, it’s a deeper experience.
Emily: Right. And I think that, um, in Mass, we experience this cool analogy that you bring in the second half of the video about the hand, the head and the heart, and like how, like in our prayer, like how do we, you know, kind of need to unify those things to have a right relationship with God. Can you talk about that?
Edmund: Yeah. So this comes from, uh, I have a Catholic counselor Dave, that I’ve been talking to for years and he brings this up a lot, but it’s also theologically accurate. And it’s in the Catechism. The Catechism talks about the heart, talks about our intellect and our will. And we have hand is the idea that we make actions like our will. We act, we serve others. We do things with our head. We think things, we comprehend or apprehend things. Um, you know, you have your thoughts racing, or you’re thinking about stuff, you’re studying or whatever, and then your heart, right? The Catechism says, um, in the fourth pillar on prayer, the heart is the innermost dwelling where I live and move and have my being. In the Bible, it talks about how it’s deeper than even my emotional desires or conscious desires.
Edmund: It’s that, that place where, where I am. So that can even be troubled by the way our life is going. And so in adoration, we’re able to give those three things something do, and then something to rest in. Right. So we’re able to, we’re able to worship God with our hand, head and heart, but then we’re also able to like, kind of give them a, give them a rest and listen for God’s voice. And that’s one of the things I love about Eucharistic adoration is just take a pause and rest, um, for your hand, head and heart.
Emily: Definitely. And I think the, the video gives great tips at the end, uh, for how to do that too. So if you have, you know, an audience or is a friend who maybe has been thinking about, you know, wanting to try adoration, uh, this video will kind of in a really approachable way, lay out the need for it, explain what it is and why it’s important, and then end with some practical tips for how to try a sort of an adoration practice if you have never done it before, which I thought was really great. So that was our themed unit based on the National Eucharistic Revival. And, you know, we felt that it really aligned with this project because, you know, even though, uh, currently we’re kind of going through the Catechism in the order of the first pillar so far, but the Catechism is, is meant to sort of cross over weave over.
You pull, it pulls even from itself, right? It’s, it’s not just this thing where each paragraph is standalone. One thing we were able to do with this unit and why we hope to do more sort of themed or special units in the future is pull pieces from every different pillar of the Catechism into one unit, or went to one big theme that, uh, that is a priority for our faith. And so here in the U.S. Church, the U.S. Conference of Catholic bishops is launching this Eucharistic Revival in June on the feast of Corpus Christi. But I mean, the Eucharist is important for all of us around the world, too. Yeah,
Edmund: Yeah, yeah. And, and I’m really excited for this. I’m excited for the way, hopefully that the Church really embraces this and I’m really, um, just excited that we got to in a small way, uh, participate and support it and promote this by making content like this. It was really, really exciting,
Emily: Definitely and fitting with our structure. So hopefully our audience is familiar with it. They’ll still be each of these video, there’s a discussion guide still available online. If you haven’t found our discussion guides yet, definitely go, um, and check that out. And we would love your feedback of how you might use either this unit as part of how your diocese or parish is embracing the Eucharistic Revival or the other videos, uh, to help just unlock the Catechism for the modern world.
Edmund: Yeah. At Real + True, we believe the Catechism is the faithful echo of a God who desires to reveal himself to us. And we’re re-transforming that into a living voice that people can hear. So thank you so much for joining us on this mission. And we hope to hear from people in the comments, hear even more and give you guys shoutouts. And again, you could subscribe on YouTube and the podcast apps, or you can go to realtrue.org and join our email list.
Emily: Thanks much for for joining us today.
Edmund: Alright, see you next time.