John Vianney on his death bed
(May we all die in a state of grace)
“And to man He said, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom;
And to depart from evil is understanding.’” Job 28:28
It is already being proposed that when we go back to Mass we should wear a mask and only receive communion in the hands.
Aside from the practicality of wearing a mask and receiving communion in the hand (I am thinking how exactly does that work? At some point the mask must come off, which makes them totally ineffective), the larger issue at play here is the spiritual blindness to the battle we are actually in.
While I have no doubt that the intentions of this are good and that the goal is to protect people, it begs the question, what are we protecting? If we protect our physical bodies and we lose our souls, then we have objectively failed in the mission Christ came for.
To be certain, it isn’t the fault of one specific Bishop, or even of our current Bishops as a whole. This is an issue that began generations before ours.
The Mass is the Center of the World because it is where heaven is brought to earth and the Kingdom of God is at hand. The real true presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ, body, blood, soul and divinity, coming down to us on the altar. Placing Himself, once again, among us.
And the question has always been, how will we treat Him? When the Thrice Holy God comes in the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, how will we treat Him?
And the answer, in my observation, is, not very well. In fact, we have been crucifying him. We don’t even recognize him in the sanctuary as we chatter away and walk past the tabernacle and the God who resides there.
I have been at a very large church in the United States where Our Eucharistic Lord was left in the pews.
My husband and I have both witnessed people walking away with Christ in their hands and no attempt by the Eucharistic Minister to stop them, one of them even putting Jesus in his pocket.
I have witnessed the Eucharistic Chalice spilled on a woman’s blouse and on the floor.
Do we wash Jesus out with Tide?
I myself have been guilty of irreverence. All the years I received paying no attention what so ever to the particles that fell around me. Our Lord Himself had to show me what I had done. And I wept. And I went to Confession because I am guilty of scourging Him.
How many times did we go up and receive with mortal sin on our soul, with no thought of confession, not thinking twice about the fact that we are violating covenant with God and inviting in the demonic?
When a society loses reverence and awe for the Lord, society itself plummets into chaos, and into paganism. We may think we have moved beyond spirituality into the rational, but we just make a god and an idol of other things.
We have lost our sense of Fear of the Lord, a gift of the Holy Spirit. And it is this loss that brought about the other evils we see today. These things are intimately tied together. When we became irreverent to the Eucharistic Lord, evils like abortion and gender identity become the result. When Catholic Governor’s usher in infanticide, you can bet irreverence for the Eucharistic Lord were a common occurrence.
It was only recently that I realized that reception of communion in the hand was at one time considered an abuse. To be clear, I am not condemning receiving in the hand, for the authority of the church says that we may. But why did they say it?
They said it because the laity were already doing it, and so an indult was issued, and the bar was lowered instead of raised. When we lower the bar we cease to reach for the heights of holiness. We cease striving to be Saints.
The indult is to sanction something outside of church law, with the blessing of authority. So is it sinful to receive in the hand, no. But is it reverent?
I suppose it could be if one took care to make sure particles of the Lord are not falling to the ground to be trampled upon. But why in the world would we even take that chance?
Why would we even allow for the possibility that Jesus can be left in a pew or in a pocket?
We are meant to be guardians of the Sacred. Have we done our jobs in protecting?
Or did we stand by as the apple was bitten and then join in biting the apple ourselves?
Those whom Satan couldn’t get to defy Doctrine he instead uses the Beast of Fear to devour.
We should protect the Eucharist just as Joseph protected the Divine Child for we ourselves are held inside that Body of Christ, militant, suffering and triumphant.
So while we can be prudent when it comes to illness or any of the things that plague us, and I believe we can find safe ways to be at Mass, we would do well to remember, our ability to save ourselves has never proven to be very effective. But there is one who can save us, and he places Himself in our midst, trying to teach us how to love.
When I think of going to Mass in a mask and trying to receive in the hands, I can only picture more abuse not less. A mask like a clown in a show ready to get ahold of and trample Our Blessed Lord. And I hang my head in sorrow that we head in the opposite direction of the one who can truly save us, if only we would have faith and recognize who He truly is. He is the Lord our God and we should have no other gods besides him.
I have missed Him so much the only way I can imagine to receive Him is on my knees and on my tongue. May we not be deprived of giving God due reverence when we return. And may we continue to pray for all Bishops and Priests who have to make these decisions. May Saint Joseph protector of the Universal Church intercede for them.