Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of June 23, 2008
Swiss legislator finds fulfillment in life given to adoration
By LAURA IERACI
"Christ was naked in the manger, naked on the cross and naked on the altar."
After completing the rounds, Buttet went to the chapel to pray before the Eucharist. It was there, he said, that he first began to understand the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. He realized that the eucharistic bread and the frail, bedridden bodies he had just washed were the same body of Christ.
He later volunteered with the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta, India, then spent five years in a Swiss hermitage. His discernment led to the establishment in 1997 of Fraternite Eucharistein. Eucharistein is a Greek word meaning thanksgiving or gratitude directed toward God.
Based in Switzerland, the community draws upon the spirituality of St. Francis of Assisi. The small community of 24 monks and nuns operates three houses. It received diocesan recognition in June 2003, and one week later Buttet was ordained a priest in the order.
Many people find strength in the Eucharist to continue through difficult circumstances, the priest said. He recounted his experience with a small community of Catholics in rural China, where he celebrated Mass behind a stable so as not to draw the attention of the authorities.
"You could see the hunger in their eyes for the Eucharist," he said.
Buttet told about several young people who experienced conversions and healing before the Eucharist. Many had come to his monastery at the brink of despair, with addictions or deep psychological and spiritual wounds.
The nakedness of Christ is the answer to the scandals of the world, he told congress participants.
"Christ was naked in the manger, naked on the cross and naked on the altar," he said.
Spending time before the Blessed Sacrament allows people to learn directly about Jesus, he added. "His way of being God (in the Eucharist) reveals to us the way of being human."
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