Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Blessed Sacrament

Something to read before you read my post today. Shameful...

I (and many others) have said before that the Eucharist is the source and summit of the faith. For a Catholic to be at Mass and watch the priest raise the Host as he says the words of consecration, you feel awed that those words call forth the great continuing miracle of the faith. Those words cause simple unleavened bread and wine to become the body, blood, soul and divinity of the Risen Lord.

Get ready because there's a soap box coming. I can only speak of the Catholics in America because it is all I know, but far too many; deny the Real Presence, disrespect the sacrament and just generally abuse in so many small ways the greatest gift they have. Now that 70% number that gets thrown around a lot concerning lack of belief in the Real Presence is artificial, but no less telling. We as American Catholics have gotten squishy and soft we tout our faith only when we seem to perceive it as beneficial. Or we flat out ignore the parts we don't like. The bottom line is my generation was poorly catechized because our parents were dealing with their reactions to Vatican II, and other things so we got a mishmash of poor catechesis, and it is our loss. But this really is another column.

What I want to talk about today, relates right back to the theft I pointed out in the link above. I guarantee that those consecrated Hosts weren't stolen by some starving homeless person, or misguided fundamentalist.

They were stolen with the intention of using them in a Black Mass. It seems telling to me that most Protestant denominations view Communion as symbolic, but the Satanists love to get hold of consecrated Hosts.

Now this isn't an issue where dispensing the indult against Communion in the Hand would have preserved these Hosts, if someone is determined enough they will get their hands on the Sacrament. It does however cause me to look again at Redemptionis Sacramentum: "If there is a risk of profanation, then Holy Communion should not be given in the hand to the faithful” (Redemptionis Sacramentum, 92).

If you ask me ever since the indult concerning receiving on the hand was granted that was the beginning of the end of reverence to the Sacrament. I grew up receiving on the hand, but once I did research and found out that it was an indulted practice and not the norm, I stopped. I haven't received in hand in more than a year. Receiving on the tongue is no big deal and has certainly helped me to find some of my lost reverence toward the Mass as a whole and particularly the Eucharist.

Ultimately, as I said I think it is an interesting note that Satanists seem to give a lot of credence to the idea that there is something special that happens to the bread and wine at Mass. While most Protestants deny that Communion or The Lord's Supper is anything more than a symbolic memorial. 

No comments: