Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Eat Jesus Again for the First time

While attending the mass at Conception Mo. (See the previous post) the Archpriest of the ceremony stood at the ambo and gave a short speech. He wanted to emphasize the real presence of our Lord in communion, he wanted to remind people that it was only 1-Catholics, 2-that had observed the Eucharistic Fast, 3-and were living without MORTAL sin- as we are all absolved from venial sin during the mass- were allowed to come forth and receive communion,

To those that met the requirements set forth by that Church He said come forward and get the Most Holy Communion you have ever received come Kneel down, the priest will bless you with the Blessed Sacrament and then you must receive on your tongue, he said dont reply anything, just realize what you received and meditate on the fact that you received Jesus Christ, Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity!

So I have been thinking, why do so many Catholics today either a) Not Believe in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, or b) are totally ignorant of this fact - even in all Novus Ordo parish's when you go to receive Jesus, you are told, and in a way almost asked to confirm " THE BODY OF CHRIST", then you respond "AMEN", Amen means YES!, so if a Catholic that chooses not to believe in the real presence of Christ goes to communion why do they respond AMEN? Why would the priest say "THE BODY OF CHRIST" if it was not so.

Why has catechesis of the true presence of Christ declined? I don't have the answer for you, I can only think of a few factors that may perpetuate the issue, one possibly being the continuation of the indult of Communion in the Hand, maybe priests are not preaching enough of how Jesus is present Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, he wanted to let us know that we are all called to be saints and that certain saints only received communion maybe a total of 5 times in their life, if 5 times was enough for them to be saints then we must adhere to the churches instructions.

Once we have everyone believing in the truth of the presence of Christ in the Eucharist then the next problem I foresee is stopping the outrageous amount of sacrilege, Catholics whom use birth control, and that are not validly married seem to be the most common offender of this sacrilege, not to mention the scores of people that only attend confession once or twice a year when they are constantly living in a state of mortal sin. I am not here to judge, but I do feel called to protect Jesus in Most Holy Communion.

The wife and I are very close to completing our convalidation in the church, we have not been receiving communion for quite sometime, it has been somewhat of a penitential time preparing to re-enter a state of sanctifying grace, As I have been making my spiritual communion each week at Mass and as the time comes to re-enter this state of grace, after the convalidation is finalized and after a good heart felt confession, I truly feel as if I will be making my First Holy Communion for a second time. I'm not sure if I will be able to hold back the tears of joy.


Joanne said...

You pose a question I have asked myself many times, especially w/regards to the use of birth control. While I realize that it's not my place to judge, I've found that this rather commonplace offense rankles at my nerves somewhat fierce.....and then I end up having to quietly ask for forgiveness because I can't let it go.

I applaud you and your wife for the journey you've undertaken and wish you well. You are both very blessed.

Christopher said...

Joanne, thanks for your comment,

we have dealing with someone in the family who was baptized Catholic, yet has been married outside the church, yet she states she would still go to Communion,

I must pray for her every day, maybe even a little fasting wouldn't hurt.

its one thing to Assume, its another when they outwardly proclaim their mortal sin, as if almost proud of it

Frank said...

Amen, means more than even "Yes," more like "truely," "indeed," or "I'd stake my life on it."

thetimman said...

Christopher, my prayers with you. Ever since I have attended the Oratory in St. Louis, with so much reverence shown to Him in the Sacrament, I often become emotional. When you receive again, let Him decide your reaction.

MMajor Fan said...

I have two thoughts, the first being about the decline in belief in the bodily presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist, and the second on receiving. The decline in belief is the result of poor formation of Catholics, where the Gospels were not taught in sufficient detail. In the Gospel when Jesus explains the need to eat his body and drink his blood in the sacrifice, a number of his disciples left him, believing this to be some cannibalism or something. So this is something anyone can understand if it is taught to them that this actually happened and that it was so revolutionary that Jesus actually lost some of those who he loved, who would not believe this was true even as he was telling this to their faces. Also, the secularism of science has crept into the minds of even faithful Catholics, where if they don't see on the Discovery channel of how the Holy Eucharist becomes Christ, they start to develop an intellectual barrier to faith. In a way it's like the change in hearts many are starting to feel now that they actually see video of living real human babies in the womb, not imagining feeling-less globs that can be aborted. People will believe all sorts of things so long as a picture of it can be taken. So I think proper formation is very important to belief in the truth of Christ in the Holy Eucharist.

While I understand that there is a lot of sin and hypocrisy in some who are currently receiving the Holy Eucharist, I see a difference about being super critical of the ordinary faithful who may be in some state of sin or hypocrisy, versus those who are politicians or activists who are flagrantly politicizing receiving. What is the difference? Do not forget the incredible healing power of receiving the Holy Eucharist. Many saints survived on it alone for long times in terrible circumstances. And we all know the feeling of coming home and receiving after a long time of being away. The sacrament gives strength and nourishment to those who are in a state of sin too. It's like spiritual penicillin, by virtue of it being the body of Christ, so long as they believe, and so long as they recognize where they are sinning. So I am all for people receiving who are in an understanding of their sin and making a sincere effort to change. Here's where I'm against allowing receiving. Politicians and social activists totally deny their state of sin and through their examples, seek to lead others into sin. They seek to make the Church bow to them, rather than them bow to Christ. So the Holy Eucharist is not able to be efficacious in their movement away from sin, because they are using the host as a prop and are moving toward sin. This, I believe, deserves the most severe denial of sacrament. It is not a lack of mercy, because as I say, these activists are not only in a state of sin, but seek to use the host as a propaganda prop. Your average divorced or birth control using Catholic is a human struggling in real life, and is open to fuller communion and conversion to the Church, and is aided in this by the grace of the sacrament. Your average conflicted Catholic who is not an activist is not leading others to sin, nor trying to force the Church to conform to their sin. If they are open to the teachings of the Church and receiving, I see the sacrament as being a way to strengthen their progression from sin and toward more purity. But I support any bishop who will deny the sacrament to politicians and activists who are using the Holy Eucharist as a prop for their sin, and are thus leading others to sin.

Christopher said...

mmajor -

Thanks for your input on this, and I would agree that one factor of the decline in the Real presence would be the lack of education on the faithful, Education of some really important scripture.

While I agree with you on the previous point, I would not view the abortion supporting politician and the "Everyday Contracepting Catholic" much different - the church is very clear on the teaching that no one should partake unworthily in the Eucharist, St. Paul had this problem in his day too, 1 Corinthians 11:27-29, anyone whom lives in a state of mortal sin in unworthy, once again unless someone makes their mortal sins known in public we have no right to judge, but we are asked to admonish the sinner.

The simple fact of the matter is in most parish's The Communion lines are so long on Sunday but Confession lines are so short on Saturday.

Thanks everyone and God Bless!