Monday, April 21, 2014

TO HELL WITH IT: AN EASTER REFLECTION ON THE REAL PRESENCE

This is probably the most profound thing I've ever read about the Real Presence:

“I was once, five or six years ago, taken by some friends to have dinner with Mary McCarthy and her husband, Mr. Broadwater. (She just wrote that book, “A Charmed Life.”) She departed the Church at the age of 15 and is a Big Intellectual. We went at eight and at one, I hadn’t opened my mouth once, there being nothing for me in such company to say. . . . Having me there was like having a dog present who had been trained to say a few words but overcome with inadequacy had forgotten them.

Well, toward morning the conversation turned on the Eucharist, which I, being the Catholic, was obviously supposed to defend. Mrs. Broadwater said when she was a child and received the host, she thought of it as the Holy Ghost, He being the most portable person of the Trinity; now she thought of it as a symbol and implied that it was a pretty good one. I then said, in a very shaky voice, Well, if it is a symbol, to hell with it.

That was all the defense I was capable of but I realize now that this is all I will ever be able to say about it, outside of a story, except that it is the center of existence for me; all the rest of life is expendable.”

- Flannery O'Connor, (1925-1964), "The Habit of Being"


And that is exactly what this whole conversation has been about. If the bread and wine truly become the actual Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, then everything about how we view, treat, handle, reverence, and even reserve the Blessed Sacrament is either in accord with its being the "center of existence" or "to hell with it." 



9 comments:

  1. It is very sad that you would send the Eucharist to hell in ANY sense!

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    Replies
    1. Posting your comment as "more evidence."

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    2. Evidence for what?! Are you accusing anyone with anything? Hmm, you are not exactly in the position, Tim.

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    3. There you have it. More evidence.

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  2. Is that why on Holy Thursday, several seminarians left the mass at the Cathedral right after the washing of the feet and didn't wait for the Offertory, Consecration and Communion?

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  3. Continued|

    Is this their reverence of the Eucharist? How ironic when they all say, the highest form of prayer is the mass!

    Guess these seminarians were late for their community washing of each other's feet. What examples do you give when such actions are seen?

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    Replies
    1. Tim, I was also there at the cathedral on Holy Thursday sitting quite close to the seminarians. I was also very puzzled when several of them got up and left the church and did not return. Would you know why they did that? It seemed to me to be very strange behavior.

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  4. I just read your on-line booklet "Why I Am Catholic." It made me think of the movie "God's Not Dead" that I've seen twice now. Since it is Protestant it does not include belief in the Real Presence and Holy Eucharist but it does give convincing arguments for the existence of God. And before you have the Real Presence and the Holy Eucharist you need to believe God exists. I am looking forward to buying a copy of this movie when it comes out on DVD so I can review and write down the various arguments and sources.

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    Replies
    1. Version 2.0 will have a chapter on the Real Presence.

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