Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Eucharistic Heresies: A crisis in the Church

There is no doubt that there is a Eucharistic crisis in the Church. An attack on the Real Presence is an attack on the very "heart and soul" of the Church. To attack the Eucharist is to attack the Mass, the priesthood, the sacramental economy, the mind of Christ. 

Elizabeth Harrington, the Archdiocese of Brisbane's "liturgical commission education officer" has written numerous articles on matters pertaining to the Most Holy Eucharist. Since 1999 The Catholic Leader has been publishing her articles. She is also a colleague of the well known dissenter, Fr. Tom Elich who is the Archdiocesan Director.

Four disturbing examples: 

Home baked bread allows a community to offer its own gifts for the eucharist. Unlike small hosts, it can be seen by everyone in the church. It looks, smells and tastes like real bread. While hosts are quicker and easier to use than real bread, the sacred gestures of the Last Supper when Jesus took, blessed, broke and shared the bread are best actualised when the community shares the one loaf and becomes one Body of Christ. 

When the minister presents the host to the communicant, he or she does not say “This is the body of Christ” because that narrows the meaning to one aspect of the body of Christ alone – the real presence in the consecrated bread.  The less specific “The body of Christ” also contains within it the understanding that it is through sharing communion that the church becomes the body of Christ, that you and I are members of the body of Christ broken and given for the world.

When we eat and drink the Body and Blood of Christ, we ourselves are transformed more perfectly into the presence of the risen Christ.  This is Christ’s gift to us, but it is also a challenge, because it calls us in turn to give our own body and blood to others so that they too might be nourished

By taking and eating the Body of Christ together, the faithful become the Body of Christ, united in service to the world and in working for the Kingdom of justice, love, and peace.


PocketSketch said...

Barona, Thanks for your information. Yes, I did read Elizabeth Harrington's shameful article last week about the revulsion of priests for communicants who come forward to receive communion on the tongue. Can't handle the saliva? Would a man who faints at the sight of blood become a surgeon? Such public contempt for the faithful is astonishing.

In any case, you put into context that sentence from the Archdiocese of Winnipeg, "With the words of consecration, the Eucharistic Prayer transforms bread, wine and assembly into the presence of Jesus, one body and one cup, now food for the world." "Toward a Full, Conscious and Active Participation."

Who is the food?
"Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me."John 6~

Barona said...

Thanks Elizabeth for your comment. We are to be fed like little children. "Unless ye become like little children, ye shall not enter the Kingdom of God". There is a strong intent that we trust in God in a child-like (not childish) way - huge difference. This trust is made manifest in the way we receive Him; and if we really, really believe we will show it through our actions.

Now, I am not saying that all those who communicate on the hand do not believe; but the original intent of the "modernizers", was to strip away the reality _ independent of our mind - of the Real Presence. They have done a phenomenal job.

Yesterday, Caridnal Collins called for wide access to the Sacrament of Confession, and Eucharistic Adoration. Will anyone listen? How late in the game are we?

I recall attending one of Cardinal Ambrozic's inaugural Masses after his elevation. The noise before and after Mass was shocking. People, laughing, shouting, joking rushed about the church, crossing in front of the Blessed Sacrament without any sing of reverence.... catechesis, catechesis.... the Faith is not known. And this is perfectly exemplified with total confusion about what the Holy Eucharist is and is not.

PocketSketch said...

Yes, it would be counterproductive to suggest anyone who chooses to receive Holy Communion with their hands or standing does not believe in the True Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Heaven knows we certainly don't like rash judgements when they happen to us. Only a couple of days ago, while I was sharing these "controversial" documents on the Liturgy, a woman told with me how her parish priest, who has since been moved, called her a hypocrite for receiving communion on the tongue. When I asked her why he had spoken so harshly, she said rather nonchalantly, as if she had become accustomed to such name-calling, on any number or occasions, that her refusal to partake of this most pure sacrament in her hands stemmed from stubborn pride. In other words, he point blankly told her she thought she was better than everyone else and playing the part of “holier than thou.” I inquired further if she had written to the bishop; she hadn't.

She is a remarkable, spunky woman who, after raising her own children, has taken in dozens of foster children. She doesn't have time to compose letters of complaint. Yet parish priests don't seem to understand this little lady is living her faith with a missionary spirit in this broken world with so many broken families.

She didn't have the luxury of post-secondary education but she is nevertheless a defender of the faith. Unfortunately, she has, more than once been called to defend her faith from attacks within the Church. God bless her and all the "little children" like her whom some seek to dominate with their exaggerated sense of power. Didn't Jesus instruct his disciples to come as servants?