Wednesday, August 24, 2011


This incident happened not too long ago:

After Mass an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion came up to me and said, “There was a young man here today who came to Communion, received Christ in his hand and then slipped the host into his pocket. What should I do?”

I replied, “Here is what I have done in the past. I halt the line, immediately go up to the person, place my hand on his shoulder and say, ‘either consume that host right now or return Him.’”

I’ve been told that I am rude in such incidences. But if you understand the Eucharist as the center of our covenant it would be ridiculous to do otherwise. Consider a husband and wife. At the center of their covenantal bond is the marital act. It would be beyond the thoughts of Christians to invite anyone else into this most intimate of acts no matter the excuse. It would also be beyond the pale if another would abuse one’s spouse in anyway. “That is my other self! Unhand her right now. I don’t care how innocent your intentions that is inappropriate and if you continue I will intervene most sternly!”

Christ is the bridegroom, the Church is His bride. At the center of our covenant the Groom gives us His Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity for us to bring into ourselves. For us this is not symbol or ritual act, it is the Groom giving himself completely to us – we become one with our Savior, with God! and like a good spouse we jealously protect that relationship. If someone wants to become part of this covenant – GREAT! But there is no such thing as “Eucharistic hospitality” – at least in the way most people understand it. (Would you entrust your newborn with someone who says, “I don’t see your baby as a true human being, but you can trust me with her.”)

Because Jesus appears to us under the form of bread and wine, we often find those who say, “God can fend for Himself.” And though Jesus could most probably fend for Himself, if we love Him we would not make Him do so unnecessarily.


MJ said...

Great post! I think too many people have a casual attitude or take the Eucharist forgranted. This is a great reminder of how important the Eucharist is to us and our faith.
Have a very Happy Birthday today!!

Father Cory Sticha said...

Isn't it interesting how it's "rude" to love the Eucharist so much that you want it protected? Apparently, "rude" no longer means pushy or insulting, but now means "You're not making me feel good and letting me do what I want." Keep being "rude" to those who are truly being rude and disrespectful to Our Blessed Lord.

lgreen515 said...

Maybe we should go back to everyone receiving on the tongue. Why did we stop doing that?

ck said...

When I first started reading, I thought you were going to post about this:

No one in the comments seems to understand what...or rather Who...was really stolen here.

ck said...

The comments at the Plain Dealer I mean.

Kate J said...

“I don’t see your baby as a true human being, but you can trust me with her.”
Here is another true problem, the inability to find truly Catholic and pro-life OB/Gyn care! I have had doctors smirk at me over the years for practicing NFP, and one jokingly ask if I had had another baby "without him" in the year since my previous appt.
And as the mother of a severely disabled 9 y/o, you wouldn't believe the battles I and my Catholic special needs mom-friends have had to wage just to get what would otherwise be ordinary care for our children.
Always advocating, always on guard, because we hear things from the doctors such as, "Well, it's not like (treatment/drug in question) will change her career options..."
Just today was the funeral of a sweet little boy who may have died from something preventable (ruptured appendix).
One of my fervent daily prayers is for physicians and their agents to have a deep appreciation for the value of human life and for the work they perform in its service.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately too many have lost belief in what the Eucharist is. I've spoken at length to a Catholic co-worker who doesn't believe in the real presence of our Lord. However, after years and years of standing and receiving in the hand from EM's in flip flops and T-shirts I suppose much of the mystery has faded.