(Vatican Radio) — Pope Benedict XVI celebrated Mass on the steps of Rome’s Cathedral Basilica of St John Lateran Thursday evening, and then led the faithful in Eucharistic adoration before a public procession through the streets of Rome to the Basilica of St Mary Major, to mark the Solemn Feast of the Most Precious Body and Blood of Our Lord, Jesus Christ – the Feast of Corpus Domini or Corpus Christi.
In his Homily, the Holy Father spoke of the need to find the right balance between Eucharistic celebration – in the Mass – and Eucharistic adoration, saying they are complementary and equally necessary for a healthy and balanced spiritual life, for individuals and believing communities alike.“In fact,” said Pope Benedict, “it is wrong to oppose [Eucharistic] celebration and adoration, as if they were in competition with each other.” In fact, he said, “It's just the opposite: the cult of the Blessed Sacrament is like the spiritual 'environment' within which the community can well and truly celebrate the Eucharist.”
The Pope went on to say, “Only if it is preceded, accompanied and followed by this inner attitude of faith and worship, can the liturgical action express its full meaning and value.”Pope Benedict also spoke of the public importance of ritual, saying:
If, for example, this city's Corpus Domini procession was abolished in the name of a secularized faith no longer in need of sacred signs, the spiritual profile of Rome would be "flattened", and our personal and community consciousness it would be weakened. Or think of a mother and a father who, in the name of a desacralized faith, deprived their children of all religious rituals: in reality they would end up leaving the field open to many surrogates in the consumer society, with other rites and other signs that could more easily become idols. God our Father, has not done so with humanity: he sent His Son into the world, not to abolish the sacred, but to complete even this.