We know what the Eucharist is, viz. the real presence. In this last Sunday's Gospel Christ says, "I am the Bread of Life." Just moments later, the priest in persona Christi, says the words of consecration and makes present His Body and Blood. Most of us get this, but here is the catch. Our actions, and in particular, the actions of our clergy do not correspond with what we believe and know to be true. For, after the consecration we hear the doxology, the great Amen, and the invitation to pray in the words of our Lord.
So, again I repeat, Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi. For those who do not know what these words mean, they mean that we believe according to the way we pray, literally, the law of prayer is the law of faith. This also means that we believe something, we ought to pray like we really believe it. So, when it comes to the Our Father, if we believe that Christ is truly present, why are we staring up, looking at Fr. So-and-so, he looking at us, looking at the crucifix, etc... Christ is here in our midst, and we are to busy shuffling around to hold hands with people two pews away than to look to Christ, who is the image of the invisible God, the image of the Father, and beg him for that which we need most.
If we want Catholics to believe in the real presence, we can start by praying to Him at Mass. If we are acutely aware that the bread of consecration is Him, why would we look anywhere else? Fr. So-and-so, whoever you are, please stop staring at the ceiling fans, please stop looking at us, and please start looking to our Lord.
Now, a few words of encouragement. I recently attended the first Mass of a friend, a friend I have never had this conversation with. There I noticed something interesting. At this Mass there were several other newly ordained, all of whom have been trained in both the Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms of the Mass. There were other much older priests, who were only ever trained in the Ordinary Form of the Mass. Now, the newly ordained, during the Lord's Prayer, all held their gazes fixed intently on the Blessed Sacrament and the older priests looked up.
The bottom line is that we just don't pray like we believe what we do and it affects what others believe. What I hope is that these young men get it. I hope that the way they pray helps others to pray the same, and in praying in the same way, to believe. The bottom line is that we just don't pray like we believe what we do and it affects what others believe.