The Eucharist is not the DMV

The Pope seems to agree
Pope Benedict giving Communion

Pope Benedict giving Communion

The following comes from a January 14 blog post by Deacon Greg Kandra on Patheos.

Okay. I’ve changed my mind. It’s time to bring back the altar rail.

Hey, I’m as surprised as anyone else that I feel this way.

Two years ago, I rhapsodized on the Feast of Corpus Christi on the theology behind standing to receive communion, and defended it. And why not? I’ve received that way for most of my adult life; I even remember the Latin church’s experiment with intinction back in the ’70s. Standing and in-the-hand always seemed to me sensible, practical and—with proper catechesis—appropriate.

But now, after several years of standing on the other side of the ciborium—first as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, now as a deacon—and watching what goes on, I’ve had about enough.

I’ve watched a mother receive communion, her toddler in tow, then take it back to the pew and share it with him like a cookie.

At least four or five times a year, I have to stop someone who just takes the host and wanders away with it and ask them to consume it on the spot.

Once or twice a month I encounter the droppers. Many are well-intentioned folks who somewhere, somehow drop the host or it slides out of their hands and Jesus tumbles to the floor.

A couple times a year I get the take-out crowd. They receive the host properly, and then pull out a hanky and ask if they can take another one home to a sick relative.

Beyond that, I’m reminded week after week that people have no uniform way to receive in the hand. There’s the reverent “hands-as-throne” approach; there’s the “Gimme five,” one-hand-extended style; there are the notorious “body snatchers” who reach up and seize the host to pop into their mouths like an after-dinner mint; and there are the vacillating undecideds who approach with hands slightly cupped and lips parted. Where do you want it and how??

After experiencing this too often, in too many places, under a variety of circumstances, I’ve decided: it’s got to stop. Catechesis is fruitless. We’ve tried. You can show people how it’s done; you can instruct them; you can post reminders in the bulletin and give talks from the pulpit. It does no good. Again and again, there is a sizable minority of the faithful who are just clueless—or, worse, indifferent.

The fact is, we fumbling humans need external reminders—whether smells and bells, or postures and gestures—to reinforce what we are doing, direct our attention, and make us get over ourselves. Receiving communion is about something above us, and beyond us. It should transcend what we normally do. But what does it say about the state of our worship and our reception of the Eucharist that it has begun to resemble a trip to the DMV?

Our modern liturgy has become too depleted of reverence and awe, of wonder and mystery. The signs and symbols that underscored the mystery—the windows of stained glass, the chants of Latin, the swirls of incense at the altar—vanished and were replaced by . . . what? Fifty shades of beige? Increasingly churches now resemble warehouses, and the Body of Christ is just one more commodity we stockpile and give out.…

Pope Benedict XVI seems to agree. He has decided he will only give communion at papal Masses to those who kneel and receive on the tongue. He was gently making a liturgical point. Are we paying attention?

After what I’ve seen, I agree with him. We need to get off our feet, and on our knees.

Bring back the communion rail. It’s time.

To read entire posting, click here.

 

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Comments

  1. Abeca Christian says:

    I completely agree! Excellent article exposing the growing problem we are having.

  2. Well said, very well said!!!

  3. For almost 10 years the parish I attended had a communion rail and I loved receiving communion kneeling. The action of kneeling fit the reverential nature of the act receiving our Lord. One Mass there was held under the auspices of then Cardinal Mahoney and the celebrant announced that the communion rail would not be used during that Mass — a harbinger to things to come. I left that parish and after returning some years later saw that the communion rail was now gone according to the Cardinal’s wishes. Was something lost in the process? For me, quite definitely. I would welcome a return to the altar rail, but it would be such a slap in the face of the progressive crowd I can’t see it happening here in Los Angeles. Hope I am wrong.

    • Kenneth M. Fisher says:

      Dan,

      I sincerely hope you are wrong, but I just as sincerely believe that you are not. Just go see how the Sacred Species is handled at the LA REC and you will know what I am saying.

      God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
      Kenneth M. Fisher

      • Kenneth, it would help if you would tell us how it is handled. Most people can’t make it to the REC from all over the country. What exactly are they doing?

  4. Clinton R. says:

    Hopefully the realization Holy Mass has become a protestanized clap fest rife with liturgical abuses will lead to the restoration of the TLM as the Ordinary Form of the Latin Rite. God deserves our best form of worship. If the TLM served the Church well for 1500 years, then it surely will lead more souls to Christ and His Church today.

  5. Thomas Edward Miles says:

    Yes, well said, however, it is not about bringing back the communion rail, it is about education! Benedict XVI is a reactionary pope and he is living in the past! Because the pope institutes a change in his papal mass by no means do we need to follow him like sheep to the slaughter! Let us avoid taking the expresss bus back to the dark age!

    • Perhaps it is you, Thomas Edward Miles, who is “living in the past” — all the way back to the pagan Roman Empire.

    • “sheep to the slaughter”? “reactionary Pope”? Really?
      Let me think… just whose example do you propose we follow?
      I think I will choose to follow the example of our Holy Father over the ramblings of T.E. Miles, whose remarks are themselves quite dark.

      I prefer to think of what I would do if I were actually to meet Christ face to face… would I continue to stand? I think not. I believe I would fall to my knees in profound adoration. I choose to do so when I meet Him in the Eucharist.

    • The Church is ‘out of time’. The truths She teaches are true in every age and do not change with the winds of cultural fads and fancies, which evolve constantly because they’re based on fear and ignorance. To say our beloved Pope Benedict is ‘reactionary’ is a sad reflection on your woeful and limited understanding, Thomas. You always bring a forthright honesty of what you feel, which is commendable, but it also leaves yourself vulnerable to negative opinions, since you just insulted Jesus’ Vicar on earth. That being said, I really think if you reflect a moment, perhaps that wasn’t what you intended?

      • Abeca Christian says:

        It is a virtue to remain silent if one feels anger or negative towards our Pope, when our Pope upholds moral teachings. When a practicing homosexual wants the church to change and accept immoral lifestyles, one has to question if such a person is really trying to change to meet Christ.

        Our Lord does not need to have change of heart just because mankind decided to turn against Him but it is man who needs to rekindle it’s relationship with God and seek to please Him. Heaven hasn’t changed and nor has hell… the laws to enter have not changed nor will they to accommodate mankind. But what has never changed, it is God’s compassion and mercy for all His children, one need not replace God to find that love and mercy but one must be open to it with humility and great zeal in Love!

        • Pope Benedict could approvingly be called a reactionary and approvingly be called a progressive. The task is to discern the will of God. In some things, we are called to keep or restore the ancient faith; in others we are called to follow Christ in building the Kingdom of God on earth. The Holy Spirit guides the Church. The things He has given the Church since Vatican II should not be dismissed. Pope Paul VI contended in 1972 that he “believed in something that is preternatural that has come into the world precisely to disturb, to suffocate the fruits of the Ecumenical Council.” In this Year of Faith, Pope Benedict is calling us to learn that which the Holy Spirit has given us in the Church and separate it from the dross. It is very true as abeca writes that man must rekindle it’s relationship with God and seek to please Him. Also true, is her witness to God’s compassion and mercy.

        • Thomas Edward Miles says:

          Abeca,

          Your implying that I am a homosexual is a real liability, PROVE your STATEMENT, you can’t because the “truth will set you free”!

          • Mackz formerly known as max says:

            Thomas, do you think she meant you? Hmm… hard to tell.

            In any case, I find the phrase “practicing homosexual” a little funny, rather like “practicing attorney.” As if one does this for a living.

        • Abeca Christian says:

          There are in truth three states of the converted: the beginning, the middle, and the perfection. In the beginning they experience the charms of sweetness; in the middle the contests of temptation; and in the end the fullness of perfection.

          Pope St. Gregory the Great

          AND

          Since the Church began aiming more at temporal things than at spiritual, things have gone from bad to worse.

          `St. Catherine of Siena Comfort

    • Ah Thomas, just when I think you might be on to something (“it is about education..”) you then disappoint most profoundly. If the depth of your wisdom was as great as the shallowness of your remarks on Benedict, you would truly be a sage for the ages.

    • Juergensen says:

      Receiving the Holy Eucharist reverently is “like sheep to the slaughter”?

      I can think of only one being who would say such a thing.

    • Not at all, TEM. Pope Benedict XVI is actually alive now, and is the current pope. There have been several hundred past popes, and most or perhaps all are now living in our hoped for future. But then, in eternity there is no past, present or future, so you could say that some Heaven residents are “living in the past”, when they intervene in our lives or in the lives of those who have passed into history but whose lives were at one time in our past and yet were intervened by members of the Heavenly Host.

  6. Right on. People need to be more aware of who they are receiving. Requiring a short bow to the Lord our King before receiving is also in order. More reverence is needed. Much more.

  7. Disagree completely. I have served as an Extra Ordinary Minister for 20+ years and have not experienced the situations described by Deacon Kandra. Fortunately, articulate, faithful and holy priests have been assigned to the parish and they have provided solid instruction regarding the reception of Holy Communion.

    • OneoftheSheep says:

      Tell me where you serve. If you have spent 20+ years as an EM without encountering any of the incidents named in this article, you must be deaf, dumb, and blind.

      I was only a EM for a few short years before I could no longer tolerate the deacon dumping the consecrated wine into the sacristy sink after mass. I could no longer tolerate the inappropriate responses, the dirty hands, etc.
      Surely, you are not as clueless as you sound.

      • Anonymous says:

        Why did you feel the need to insult FHKJ? Why would it be OK to be abusive to a person? You know the scripture…

        • OneoftheSheep says:

          Didn’t realize I was insulting. Thought I was just being extremely skeptical however, I can see how this might be interpreted. My point being: I am incredulous of FHKJ’s experience but rejoice if it is factual. I would have loved to have a similar experience.

      • Mackz formerly known as max says:

        Sheep, sorry your church experiences have been so bad, but if someone else has been blessed to have BETTER experiences about reverence that doesn’t make him “clueless.” It might just mean he’s been blessed to be a member of a parish where better behavior is the norm, thanks to God, good parenting, better catechisis, or the local culture. I envy him!!!

    • Abeca Christian says:

      The number of people who agree with this Deacon are greater than those who are still in denial.

      I have seen little kids drop our Lord, there are also people standing by the exits of the church to make sure no one runs off with our Lord, especially during Halloween season. I can go on and on. I sure hate it when people are in denial. Why aren’t people truly honest about this issue?

      • Abeca Christian says:

        I hate it when the editor feels the need to edit my comments, it totally changed what I wanted to convey!

        • Mackz formerly known as max says:

          Abeca, I hear what you’re saying and have gone through the same, but that’s the editor’s job.

          Sometime he does it perhaps because my post is too long; or it is too sassy; or it creates confusion. I just whistle a little tune and move on to my next fascinating insight…

  8. Everyone copy this article and give it to your Archbishop, pastor, priests and deacons. I loved going reverently to the rail to receive our Lord growing up. I am often sadden at the outlandish lack of reverence for our Lord at Mass. We must make reparation for the offenses He continually experiences at Mass. Everyone please pray for this to happen. Help to get the word out in your parish — make copies of this article and distribute to everyone. Ask that they all copy and send in their plea to the Archbishop in their area.

    • Abeca Christian says:

      Sandra it certainly can’t hurt to have the rails back up and people kneeling to receive our Lord. I see that the pro’s are far greater than the con’s. When it comes to our Lord, we can’t compromise.

    • Kenneth M. Fisher says:

      At Our Lady Help of Christians in Garden Grove, CA we actually receive kneeling and with the altar rail cloth drapped over our folded hands as we receive the “Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Our Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament”!

      Msgr. Perez explained to me that he did not want to risk the possiblity of dropping the host on the floor, so he requries us to us the altar rail cloth in that manner. He really believes and so do his Assistant Pastors!

      God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
      Kenneth M. Fisher

  9. I agree, except for the Latin, as Jesus and the early Church used the language of the people so they could be involved with the Mass. Latin wasn’t used in the whole Church until the 1600′s and the dance halls were full and the Churches became empty, much as we have since the late ’60s despite the Second Vatican Council. +JMJ+

    • I agree with the deacon, although the Mass should not always be in Latin, There should be vernacular options but with an altar rail, kneeling and receiving on the tongue. I prefer facing East too, so there should be that option — at least one in each diocese.

    • Abeca Christian says:

      That is fine… if the Latin Mass was translated into English that would be nice too… more would understand the Mass and we can still keep the reverence as well.

      • Kenneth M. Fisher says:

        Abeca,

        Except for the words of the Consecration, that is exactly what was supposed to be done after Vatican II. The Council was hi-jacked!

        God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
        Kenneth M. Fisher

  10. Well said, and experience-based arguments such as this one are very hard to refute. His experience is like mine, almost exactly. Bring back kneeling, and bring back Communion only on the tongue.

  11. Robert Lockwood says:

    Amen brother, Amen.

  12. St. Christopher says:

    There is no real disagreement over this, surprisingly, among many N.O. Catholics. The disagreement comes from now older, 1960′s through 1980′s clergy, pastors and bishops, which is not surprising. All these men were schooled that anything Traditional was an evil. One Virginia Pastor at St. Mary’s in Fredericksburg, directed his congregation not even to genuflect (it might trip someone). Anything that makes the Catholic Faith different than Protestantism is wrong, according to there clergy. Kneeling to receive Christ, receiving on the tongue, not the hands, all of that is not only a better practice, but it has been central for centuries in the Church in teaching the proper reverence and relationship between Man and God. But, things will not change with the present USCCB, the member of which are directly and almost universally disobedient to the Pope (who many think probably does not mind that at all, given his disinclination to enforce his motu proprio, or much else for that matter). People should start demanding that local ordinaries change, and then withdraw all monies if they do not (and tell them so). There are many wonderful Catholic and other charities that will receive your donations, instead of an arrogant local parish or diocese that constantly asks for money and then ignores even the very head of the Church due to the hubris of the bishop. Kneel to receive — of course! Communion on the tongue — of course! But be in the face of bishops that do not permit this (and that ignore Summorum Pontificum).

  13. Great article! I’m right behind you. I would love to see the altar rails return if only to stop hordes of people walking around the Sanctuary like they are in Piccadilly Circus. We seem to have lost sense of the “sacred.”
    It’s also time to stop the “ushers” ushering everyone to Holy Communion. Are we all, always, in a state of grace to receive? And finally, it’s time to stop Extraordinary Eucharistic Ministers making comments to people when they are distributing the Body of Christ. That has happened to me on a couple of occasions and it is hard enough to get into the right disposition to receive Our Lord with all the singing going on, (why can’t we have silence so we can think and pray?) without the EEM making an inappropriate comment – friendly though it may be.

    • OneoftheSheep says:

      With you. The troops of men and women, some inappropriately dressed, who trapse up to the altar and parade around the sanctuary are a complete distraction to me. What are they thinking?

  14. I agree, but I can hear all of the cries of, “we are going backwards”. “Why can’t we just mosey up in any way we choose and wear any old thing to take communion”. “Who are you to tell me what to do”. “Next thing there will be no women as EM or readers”. How many priests would want to put up with it or even implement kneeling with communion on the tongue? At my parish they won’t even tell the parishioners to kneel for the Great Amen or stand for the, “May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands….”.

  15. I agree with the deacon, although at most post-Vatican II Masses I have gone to, the people seem to take it reverently when taking in the hand. Nevertheless, priests have had to remind them to do so, so perhaps I have missed something that was going on.

  16. Altar rails were removed and some parishes removed kneelers. and with those, gone is the reverence people had for being in a church. Often, I have seen people talking through much of the Mass and parents allowing school-age children to misbehave and talk during Mass. Then there is the way some people dress for church: girls and women wearing mini skirts, blouses or tops showing ample cleavage, men and women wearing shorts and tank tops. When the Latin Mass was taken away, many traditions and the reverence for God’s house were thrown to the wayside. When I attend a TLM, I notice adults, and even young children, being respectful, and dressing appropriately. Many people don’t genuflect when going in to the pew. Bring back the TLM at all parishes now.

  17. OneoftheSheep says:

    At the very least, place a kneeler next to the priest so that those of us who wish to receive Kneeling down are able to do so with some decorum. I am getting older and kneeling without any support on the floor is getting difficult for me. What bothers me the most is weekday masses with only minimal attendance, half the congregation tromps up to become Eucharistic Ministers. What’s with that?

    • Kenneth M. Fisher says:

      OneoftheSheep,

      Think of the Graces you gain by kneeling on the cold hard floor even when it is difficult for you to do so! I agree, a kneeler would be a blessing!

      God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
      Kenneth M. Fisher

  18. good cause says:

    I was an altar boy in the 1960s and I can’t tell you how glad I am that you don’t kneel down anymore. Kneeling doesn’t bring back reverence, any more than more Latin and some of the word game changes in the Mass will restore it, either. Just because we can’t say Yahweh anymore doesn’t mean the Mass is holier than it was pre-Yahweh. And those cosmetic responsorial changes in the Mass… good Lord! Is this meant for increased devotion or just the resolution of an inside-the-Vatican- battle of what the Latin translation REALLY was?

    Bottom line: Too much cosmetic stuff and not enough spiritual development. Kneel, stand, who cares… it’s what goes on in one’s soul that counts.

    • There is a terrific video on Father Z’s website called ‘The Altar Server’ . It’s on Youtube, and a ‘must watch’.

    • Kenneth M. Fisher says:

      good cause,

      I still want to know just what your “good cause is”!

      “I go unto the Altar of God, the God of my joy and my youth, protect me from…….

      If those words don’t seem to be devotional to you, again I ask, just what is your so called good cause?

      How about the “Last Gospel” which St. Catherine prophesied would some day, in a time of great turmoil for the Chruch, be eliminated?

      God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
      Kenneth M. Fisher

  19. RIch Peterson says:

    My only question is, Deacon why did it take you so long? Have you not seen the studies? 65% – 70% of Catholics no longer believe in the Real Presence! I know a priest who just finished training a group of parents and others for Confirmation. When he asked them, if they believe in the Real Presence, not one person raised their hand!
    I have seen accounts of hosts being found in Missals, pews, and on the ground after Mass! And there are worse stories . . .
    The Altar rails alone are not the answer. We DESPERATELY NEED the pre-Vatican II Mass.

    • Dear Rich ~ Every mass? I never knew the Tridentine mass but I’ve enjoyed the few I’ve been to as an adult. Why can’t I have the regular mass I like and you can have the mass you like? Also – I go to mass every Sunday and holy days as well as a lot of my girlfriends weddings and I’ve only seen the host dropped twice and each time someone saw it happen and consumed it.

    • Kenneth M. Fisher says:

      The late very elderly Pastor of an Orange County Parish once spent all night on his hands and knees in tears cleaning the floor where Sacred Hosts were found. God bless him. He was and is a true priest of God!

      God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
      Kenneth M. Fisher

  20. I refuse to go to a regular Catholic church precisely for this reason. Not only to the mystery of the Holy Communion deminished but it is downright irrevent. I only attend an Anglican-use church where we kneel down at the altar rail and received the sacrament on our tongues.

  21. Mackz formerly known as max says:

    WHY DON’T WE GO ALL THE WAY AND LIE DOWN FOR COMMUNION?

    Reclining at table with his disciples, Jesus was deeply troubled and testified, “Amen, amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me.”
    The disciples looked at one another, at a loss as to whom he meant.
    One of his disciples, the one whom Jesus loved, was reclining at Jesus’ side.

    • Perhaps one of us, who shall remain nameless, should at least ponder just what it is he finds so amusing. I don’t hear anyone else laughing.

      • Anonymous says:

        Dana, he was making the point that at the First Holy communion they did not receive kneeling and on the tongue.

      • Abeca Christian says:

        Mackz that was stupid. Lie Down? Why such harsh comments, this article is correct and you still can’t accept that. What have you against feelings that do not appreciate the disrespect people have with the Eucharist.

        • Well, he does liven us up, Abeca! I only had communion at an altar rail once, and the next time I attended the church a year later, the rails were all taken out and pictures of obama, Jesse Jackson, et al were around the sacristy (2008). I do remember feeling very reverent, and it was also somehow more meaningful to be surrounded by other communicants kneeling together at the railing.
          At the time I had just become Catholic so I wasn’t able to appreciate the difference.

          • Mackz formerly known as max says:

            Oh, dear, such a kerfuffle. I did some research on how Jesus and His Disciples would have been “reclining” at the Last Supper, which reminded me of watching “The King and I” where people would not merely kneel in the presence of the King of Siam, but would actually lie on the floor, sidways, as a sign of respect. Rather cool, actually.

            There are many practicies in the Catholic Church — a very traditional Nun from Jerusalem, full habit, was in our parish last week and stood for the Eucharistic Prayer and indeed for the whole Mass. I found this rather distracting and odd, then got a compassion attack and realized this might be what they do in the Holy Land sometimes — rather like the Russian Orthodox who stand for the Divine Liturgy that lasts over two hours!

            So, in summary, kneeling is not the ONLY way to show reverence for God and His Son.

    • The Pope is not “the boss”, Elizabeth. We do not work for the popes. He is your shepherd, who guides you towards Heaven and protects you from danger. He cannot force any soul to follow Jesus; it is purely voluntary for each soul.

  22. I highly recommended reading the short book:
    “DOMINUS EST – It is the Lord”
    by the Most Rev Athanasius Schneider.

    The preface is written by the Sec of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

    It gives the historical perspective including that in the 16th century, Calvin stopped the kneeling and on the tongue since he did not believe in the Divine Presence, and did not want the Bread to appear to be worshipped.

    It also goes back to Jesus where it was customary for the host to feed a piece of bread to his guests.

    It’s such a good book that this week, I have just sent a copy to my Paster and to my Diocese Bishop.

    This book may change your life.

    • When I was young we received kneeling on the tongue. I had no clue that the Eucharist was Jesus Christ. When I returned to the Church as an adult, I received the Eucharist standing, in the hand. When praying the rosary, the Real Presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament was manifested to me, although I doubted. The next time I went to Church, it was confirmed to me. I receive standing and in the hand and I adore the Lord. I have not felt, from Jesus or Mary, that this is offensive. I am aware of some private revelations that have said that it is, but they are condemned by the Church. The Church is the custodian of the Sacraments. If they say to kneel and receive on the tongue, then we will do that.

      • Kenneth M. Fisher says:

        Annonymous,

        Please quote us title and verse where any of the private revelations that called for a return to these devotions were “condemned by the Church”. I don’t believe you can!

        God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
        Kenneth M. Fisher, not Annonymous

  23. Maryanne Leonard says:

    Yes!

  24. Michael Ybarrondo says:

    Amen, great observation. Lets send this to all our liberal priest.

  25. Abeca Christian says:

    This article is excellent because it does expose the truth, the truth that there are more abuses being accepted.

    Why do humans compromise? Really think about it. If we do it in our own life time, fine, lets learn from our mistakes but when it comes to our Lord, we should not go there at all.

    No Compromise… it’s not worth it. We depend on His graces, His love, His mercy, His virtues, we depend on them to be better people, to live happy here on earth, why treat Him as if He is nothing, as if He does not deserve our best. He is our KING! OUR EVERYTHING! OUR EVERY BREATH!

    Why do most mistreat Him in His very own HOME! What has our Lord done to us, that we treat Him with such disrespect!

    It is as society that is desensitized, have hardened hearts! AWAKE! STOP TAKING OUR LORD FOR GRANTED! Have you forgotten the wounds on HIS back, His passion HE suffered for us? HOW PROUD and SELF Centered we have become!

    I wish we would approach HIM like little children again, with innocence and a humble heart! Just because society has dirtied our minds and values, it does not mean that JESUS can not rebuild/mold us and undue what we have allowed to hurt our relationship with our Lord! To learn to trust again… it will only take Christ and His courage in us. TURN AWAY FROM SIN! Don’t let sin define you but allow Christ to work in you. The mistakes we have made are not a definite but a lesson, so lets Look to Christ and submit to HIM wholly!

    • Kenneth M. Fisher says:

      Abeca,

      You have words of Wisdom!

      Viva Cristo Rey, hermana en Cristo!

      God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
      Kenneth M. Fisher

      • Abeca Christian says:

        Thank you Mr. Fisher, Jesus moves us. Without Him, we would be lost. He moves hearts.

        Just today I was reflecting on the life of Abraham. What a humble man he was. Just think, in his time, no one knew of God, they worshiped many false idols. It must have taken a great deal of humility, a great deal of love from a noble simple heart to get up and move his family, as did Abraham. He trusted God in everything, even in his life and to the point to pass the test and almost offer up his own son as a sacrifice, but of course God did not want that, he stopped him but he was only testing him.

        There was times when Abraham didn’t hear from God for a while, Abraham sometimes felt abandoned but still waited for God’s guidance. I admire that and I guess we can all relate to that too, of course those who choose God’s holy will. If only we could be more like that, trust God in all, to endure even the moments of not knowing, not hearing our Lord… I enjoyed reflecting on Abraham’s obedience, love and loyalty to our Lord, I enjoyed how he feared the Lord. Just think, what a blessing it must have been to have had God’s messenger’s come visit you. To hear God speak to you, like Abraham did. I think I would faint in so much excitement, I probably would feel unworthy, maybe then I would be able to understand how God see’s me.

        Like heaven, Like His angels, there is perfect order, it’s natural for those that get there, to follow God’s perfect commands, perfect order… I think that is how the Mass is suppose to be… When we approach like little children, we don’t question or make changes to suit our needs but we just approach in awe and since we are sinners, we need to approach and receive our Lord in humility.

        Lets set pride aside and understand our sinfulness, our stains that block our relationship with our Lord… remembering that we are not better than our Lord, He is not to serve us, but we are to serve HIM! Of course being humble too, is accepting His will, so if He serves us, it is because He willed it, not that we ordered it. It’s probably easier said than done… that is why we need to know our Lord, fear Him, so that we are moved by His graces that we so humbly embraced and welcomed. God help us stay in His graces, so that we can endure and obtain the virtues necessary to endure this life and not be mislead by evil forces.

  26. Elizabeth says:

    Why can’t the Holy Father make these things happen?

    I don’t understand.

    He is the ‘rock’ of Jesus’ Church, in other words the boss.

    Bless his BEAUTIFUL heart!!!

    • Elizabeth, there is so much disobedience to the Pope including by some other Bishops and some Priests – who want to be God.

      There is a great schism going on – CCC: “schism is the refusal of submission to the Roman Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him”.

      Why do you think so many Bishops do not actively encourage the reading of the “Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition”?

      Our job is to stay Faithful to the Pope on all matters of Faith and Morals.

      The use of mass communciations helps us to get the TRUTH out to everyone. The CCC, and Vatican web site, are critical and important gifts to insure the TRUTH is told.

      QUOTE: “The church will become small and will have to start afresh more or less from the beginning. She will no longer be able to inhabit many of the edifices she built in prosperity. As the number of her adherents diminishes… she will lose many of her social privileges… As a small society, [the Church] will make much bigger demands on the initiative of her individual members…

      “It will be hard-going for the Church, for the process of crystallization and clarification will cost her much valuable energy. It will make her poor and cause her to become the Church of the meek… The process will be long and wearisome as was the road from the false progressivism on the eve of the French Revolution — when a bishop might be thought smart if he made fun of dogmas and even insinuated that the existence of God was by no means certain…

      “But when the trial of this sifting is past, a great power will flow from a more spiritualized and simplified Church.
      Men in a totally planned world will find themselves unspeakably lonely.

      “If they have completely lost sight of God, they will feel the whole horror of their poverty. Then they will discover the little flock of believers as something wholly new. They will discover it as a hope that is meant for them, an answer for which they have always been searching in secret. And so it seems certain to me that the Church is facing very hard times. The real crisis has scarcely begun. We will have to count on terrific upheavals.

      “But I am equally certain about what will remain at the end: not the Church of the political cult, which is dead already, but the Church of faith. She may well no longer be the dominant social power to the extent that she was until recently; but she will enjoy a fresh blossoming and be seen as man’s home, where he will find life and hope beyond death.”
      – Joseph Ratzinger (Benedict XVI), from his book Faith and the Future.

      • Beautiful, and a wonderful quote. I am so thankful for Pope Benedict… he is so faithful, loving and good, and extremely SMART, which some people tend to forget. I’ve heard it said more than once that he is one of the finest minds of our age.

      • MIKE, some popes have been less than worthy to follow. What do you do then in such cases?

  27. OneoftheSheep says:

    Let us console the heart of Jesus as best we can through pious Adoration, worthy reception. It may be difficult, but we want to be holy and holiness eludes those who receive unworthily.

    • Anonymous says:

      OneoftheSheep, very good post.

      • Anon, your faith in the spirituality of the Church far overcomes your knowledge; not to be a put down, but to put up the fact that faith is far more important, and provides those of any level of knowledge to take part in the activities of Heaven while still here on earth.

  28. Pro-life Mom, Pat D. says:

    If there are Catholics who don’t believe in the Real Presence, then they are not truly Catholic and they should leave the Catholic Church and go to a Protestant Church or any other church. It’s simple. At the Last Supper, Jesus said, “This IS My Body and this IS My Blood. Do this in Remembrance of Me.” If you don’t believe what Jesus said, then you don’t belong in the Catholic Church and you need to leave. Also, when Jesus was praying in the Garden of Gethsemani just before He was taken away to be scourged and crucified, He asked Peter and 2 others to pray one hour with Him. If you remember, they fell asleep. Jesus came, wakened them and said, “Could you not, then, watch one hour with me?” At Mass, each person’s focus should not be on a priest facing us nor should it be on the people sitting around us. Holding and shaking hands is a distraction which prevents us from giving our full attention to God. Jesus asks us for one hour only. We must give Him nothing less.

    • I kept reading it and hearing it over and over, for several years before I became Catholic, “This is my body; this is my blood”. It took me a lot of effort to pry open my eyelids, and what motivated me to keep at it until I could see clearly is a question for Doctors of the Church to explain. But suddenly I could see, and made what could be called a Beeline for the Church … although first I had to find the Church. You cradle Catholics have no idea how hidden the Church is from those who seek it. Probably seems preposterous to you, as well, I suppose. But the Church for all her pomp and ceremony and earth rattling pronouncements from bishops and popes, remains rather hidden from those not full sacramental members of Her.

  29. Juergensen says:

    The 70s are finally over.

  30. Kell Brigan, Carmichael CA says:

    “I am not opposed in principle to Communion in the hand; I have both administered and received Communion in this way myself.” Pope Benedict XVI, February 2011.

    Thank God this isn’t a Deacon from my parish.

    • “Pope Benedict XVI seems to agree. He has decided he will only give communion at papal Masses to those who kneel and receive on the tongue. He was gently making a liturgical point. Are we paying attention?”
      Apparently not.

    • George, we are called to help our neighbor pull his stubborn ox out of the hole he fell into. We are our brothers’ keepers.

    • Notice, Kell Brigand, that in the quote you furnish, the Pope says “in principle”. What do you think this might mean?

  31. Tom Barbarie says:

    It is amusing to read that the Pope is living in the past, mainly since the person who made the accusation is obviously living in the 1960s.

  32. “Bring back the communion rail. It’s time.” Bring back Communion on the tongue! It’s WAY past time!!!

  33. Well it all doesn’t bother me anymore. I mostly attend a very reverent parish now and only attend the Tridentine Mass. Problem for me, solved. If you are happy at your current Mass however it is, great. You go to yours and I’ll go to mine.

  34. I have received communion at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome quite a few times over a 20 year period and it has always been protocol to receive the Body of Christ on the tongue whether the Pope celebrates the mass or a resident or pilgrim priest celebrates. In the picture that accompanies your article the communicant is not at an altar rail but kneeling on a predieux. Since you believe whole parish catechesis is no longer effective, instead of going to the expense of installing altar rails in churches (that would cost our parishes a tremendous amount of money), why not have the USCCB petition Rome to eliminate communion in the hand completely? This should stop all of the numerous abuses relative to communion in the hand.

  35. Abeca Christian says:

    ”Behold Jesus Christ crucified, Who is the only foundation of our hope; He is our Mediator and Advocate; the victim and sacrifice for our sins. He is goodness and patience itself; His mercy is moved by the tears of sinners, and He never refuses pardon and grace to those who ask it with a truly contrite and humbled heart.”
    –Saint Charles Borromeo

  36. Kell Brigan, Carmichael CA says:

    Describing the reception of Communion in the hand as “the DMV’ is heresy. Anyone who does so should be ashamed of themselves.

    Second, a “preference” on the part of a Pope in *certain circumstances* is specifically, clearly NOT a change in the rules for the world. It is, as the Pope intended, a way to remind parishes throughout the world to step up their education efforts and keep an eye out for abuse, NOT an overturning of Paul VI.

  37. There is a great website with tons of resources, papers, videos, and Church documents against Communion in the Hand. Just google Communion in the Hand. That’s the name of the website with dashes between the words.

  38. The weird thing is, I agree with Benedict’s quote about it being a smaller Church and how the Church of Faith will be an energized thing if it loses much of its social and political power. Because I see most of the great errors of the Church have come during the times it has wielded great worldly power.

    Instead of trying to compel obedience to its beliefs through state force, it will instead only teach what it sees as truth. Because, in many ways, compelling conformity to God through the coercion of secular law does no good. If an individual refrains from murdering his neighbor only due to fear of punishment, otherwise he would gladly butcher them, how is he any morally different than a red-handed killer?

    Consequently, what is the benefit of a populace held to God’s will only through the bully force of the state — other than to exercise the pride of spiritual leaders who can then tell themselves they are more successful in holding the people to God than the truth of their real belief? A Church shorn of much of its political power will become much more humble and lead through example — a much more pure way to bring people to God.

  39. Abeca Christian says:

    Confession heals, confession justifies, confession grants pardon of sin, all hope consists in confession; in confession there is a chance for mercy.

    St. Isidore of Seville

  40. Abeca Christian says:

    Before you receive our Lord, most importantly, please confess your sins, repent and ask God to help you continue on that path of rejecting sin. Our Lord deserves better, he deserves more, our love and genuine heart. Remove from thee all ugly pride, ask God to humbly you and to help you be meek!

    “Do you realize that Jesus is there in the tabernacle expressly for you – for you alone? He burns with the desire to come into your heart…don’t listen to the demon, laugh at him, and go without fear to receive the Jesus of peace and love…
    “Receive Communion often, very often…there you have the sole remedy, if you want to be cured. Jesus has not put this attraction in your heart for nothing…”
    “The guest of our soul knows our misery; He comes to find an empty tent within us – that is all He asks.”
    - St. Therese of Lisieux

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