Wounded in the house of them that loved Me

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And they shall say to him: What are these wounds in the midst of your hands? And he shall say: With these I was wounded in the house of them that loved me. (Zechariah 13:6)

Today I received this message from a friend in the state of New York :

"Four ciboria were sold/given to a local antiques dealer. All of them contained particles of the Most Blessed Sacrament, and one ciborium was from a church that closed in 1996. Imagine, Our Lord was in there for that long."

A Cancer at the Heart of the Church

How and why does this sort of thing happen? It causes me a piercing sorrow because it is emblematic of the widespread loss of faith in the adorable mystery of the Most Holy Eucharist that is a cancer at the heart of the Church.

The Erosion of Faith

Several years ago, in the context of a course I was teaching, I suggested that the erosion of faith in the Most Holy Eucharist was, in fact, fostered by a number of liturgical and disciplinary changes:

-- Minimalistic approach to the fast before Holy Communion.
-- The offering of the Holy Sacrifice by the priest facing the congregation.
-- The removal of the communion rail and obfuscation of the sanctuary as "the holy place."
-- The relegation of the tabernacle to the side of the sanctuary.
-- The reception of Holy Communion standing, and in the hand.
-- The introduction of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion.

Taken together, these changes sent a chilling message to the Catholic faithful (and even to confused clergy): "Folks, the Blessed Sacrament just isn't all that we thought it was."

The Protestantization of Catholic Worship

Let it be noted, en passant, that while all of these changes are a cause of scandal to Eastern Orthodox Christians, not one of them would be considered offensive to mainstream Protestants. When one begins to worship like a Protestant, one begins to believe like a Protestant.

Ignorance

The cumulative effect of these changes, compounded by a woefully deficient sacramental catechesis and by certain lamentable theological, liturgical, and moral sensibilities in seminaries during the 60s, 70s, and 80s, is the current Eucharistic Crisis. Redemptionis Sacramentum (2004) remains, in most dioceses, a document that is virtually unknown. Pope John Paul II's Year of the Eucharist seems to have faded into oblivion; his Encyclical Ecclesia de Eucharistia (2003), and his Apostolic Letter, Mane nobiscum, Domine (2004) seem not to have been assimilated at the parish level. Pope Benedict XVI's Sacramentum Caritatis (2007) is, in many places, unknown.

Adoration and Reparation

Adoration in a spirit of reparation is more than ever necessary. Where are the adorers and reparators who will console the Heart of Jesus, wounded by the irreverence, coldness, indifference, and sacrilege that He receives "in the house of them that loved Him," and in the Sacrament of His Love?

As for the much discussed "reform of the reform," might it not be a case of too little too late? Can anything apart from a Divine Intervention, a new sacerdotal Pentecost, obtained through the intercession of the Maternal Heart of Mary, bring about the change of heart that is needed?

7 Comments

In my own life, my reverence for the Mass and the Eucharist began to change after praying the rosary regularly. I still have what most people would term as poor catechesis, but I am trying to learn more.
Our Lady seems to introduce you to your own faith, in a joyful way. She also deals with sin and addictions in your life too, swiftly, if you let her. And once you are her's, she doesn't want to let go of you, in spite of yourself!! I don't know if that is theologically sound, but I do sense this regarding her care and protection.

I still, as I say, have much work to do, but Father, don't forget, the battle belongs to the Lord. You can ( within your rights) joyfully anticipate that 'all will be well'.

Father, thank you for raising this in the manner that you have. About time more and more start understanding these very basic facts.

Thanks for another outstanding post, Fr. For every positive comment you receive, please know that there are scores (maybe hundreds, thousands?) of those that visit your site, read, are uplifted, but remain silent. Using the Net (figuring out how to comment, etc.) can be a bit overwhelming. Keep up the great work. I can hardly wait for what tomorrow will bring. You seem to be on an awesomely spiritual October clip so far. Must be for Our Lady!

This is a very painful post to read Fr. but is so true (one doesn't even have to reflect on it to see the truth in it). As I catechist (although not for sacraments), I have emphasized and will continue to emphasize what the eucharist is, why it's important, the necessity of proper disposition for reception, and, of course, reception on the tongue as the norm (all those particles that get stuck/left on the hands). The necessity of confession comes up too.

I think one of the best things that those of us who see this problem is to become catechists and try and teach the truth to the new generation. They are the future. Let them catechize their parents, we need to focus on them.

Dear Father,

If particles can survive for so long then what should we do about the particles that surely fall during Communion in the hand, or when a communion plate is not used? A while ago I served at a traditional Mass and was shocked by the sheer number of Particles. Sometimes I feel afraid to walk near the areas where Communion has been distributed because of the very real possibility that I might stand on Our Lord. This actually is currently causing me a lot of concern, indeed pain, at the moment whenever I enter a church.

Do you have any advice?

Please explain the genesis of the extreme speed at which the Holy Eucharist is distributed during Novus Ordo Masses - this together with the absence of altar servers holding a plate under the Eucharist if you can. We have the opportunity to attend Latin Mass in a nearby parish and the drastic differences are difficult to explain to children. Thanks!

When I was young, numerous people did not take communion as they/we needed to go to confession or had not fasted properly. Now...just about everyone receives communion EVEN those who voted for Obama!!!

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About Dom Mark

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby is Conventual Prior of Silverstream Priory in Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland. The ecclesial mandate of his Benedictine community is the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar in a spirit of reparation, and in intercession for the sanctification of priests.

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