Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Church is a Meanie!

The US Catholic Magazine had an interesting tweet and survey that I just had to comment on. I'm often dogging on my previous faith tradition, this time I turn towards our fellow Catholics that seem to be leaning a little to far towards entitlement with regards to the sacrament of Holy Communion while ignoring the few things that they are supposed to adhere to.

In an effort for fair reporting I need to mention, that I am ineligible to partake in the sacrament of Holy Communion. Even though I've been going to Mass for the past year, and I often am asked at Mass why I only receive a blessing, I understand there are rules and why we have those rules. Just because I completed RCIA, have been baptized does NOT mean that I can jump up for the free food. On the contrary, I have way more respect than that for the Sacrament or any of them for that matter. So why throw a fit and stomp ones foot when a parishioner is denied the sacrament by their priest?

Perhaps it is truly that there are those that feel entitled because, regardless of where they are in life, they don't feel that they need to do things by the rules. Perhaps it is because there are those that are willing to make poor decisions and life goals; but don't feel the stain of sin directly (hello pro-abortion Catholics).

Let's use an analogy. Take for instance amusement park rides. We don't argue how tall we are when we measure against the sign? Why? Because everyone can plainly see how tall you are? Because it's the rule? Because of safety? I'd argue that the same is true regarding Holy Communion.

Everyone can see how tall you are in your Faith. There's a certain air we can sometimes get from people. You just know when they are good, loving Christians. There are others that seem to fall just short of the mark. Add to that Catholic politicians that willfully go against Church teachings and that seems to extremely straightforward. Not to mention, there are ways to fix it (i.e. Reconciliation).

Rules. We have them all over. Why on earth (heaven) should we believe that certain "rules", especially concerning the church could be ignored or swept under the rug? Honestly. Sure, I could walk into a different Parish with my family. Yes I could receive Holy Communion. But what have I done? Beyond the whole sin thing, I've cheapened it. I've made it simply a ritual that everyone can partake in. I've taken the commandment of our Lord and walked all over it. Thus why when my family and I walk up to receive Holy Communion there is only our two children that can receive. Myself, my wife and our two youngest all receive blessings and have for the last year. And you know what? That's okay. It's makes the blessed sacrament that much more sweet.

Safety. When one breaks the rules there are always consequences. Why should we expect less. Sure, the likelihood of a lightning bolt hitting you squarely in the forehead while receiving a sacrament you shouldn't have is likely pretty low, do not think for a minute that you won't have to answer for it later. You know that's something that sounds like a child. I caught my then youngest once sneaking and into my stash of Skittles. She was hiding in her closest. I let it slide the first time. The second, I confronted her in her closet. I made her spit it out. Was she mad and upset. You bet. But she also knew what she had done was wrong and that there would be consequences. Why, as adults, would we think it would be any less?

Modern day people seem to think of certain sins as simply bad things that go into a savings account that they will atone for later. It's really sad and you see it all the time all around. I've had to do some serious realignment of late; truly forgiving those that hurt me and offering that suffering up for his glory. I've really come around to a Christ centered life, rather than a Christ filtered one. We all need to try harder, be better, and EARN the graces and love He wants to gift us. We need only turn away from sin, follow the rules, check our height and get on the ride. It's a glorious one.

I leave you with St. Alphonsus Ligouri's prayer before the Blessed Sacrament prayer:

My LORD Jesus Christ, Who because of Your love for men remain night and day in the Blessed Sacrament, full of pity and of love, awaiting, calling and welcoming all who come to visit You, I believe that You are present here on the altar. I adore You, and I thank You for all the graces You have bestowed on me, especially for having given me Yourself in this Sacrament, for having given me Your most holy Mother Mary to plead for me, and for having called me to visit You in this church.

I now salute Your most loving Heart, and that for three ends: first, in thanksgiving for this great gift; secondly, to make amends to You for all the outrages committed against You in this Sacrament by Your enemies; thirdly, I intend by this visit to adore You in all the places on earth in which You are present in the Blessed Sacrament and in which You are least honored and most abandoned.

My Jesus, I love You with my whole heart. I am very sorry for having so many times offended Your infinite goodness. With the help of Your grace, I purpose never to offend You again. And now, unworthy though I am, I consecrate myself to You without reserve. I renounce and give entirely to You my will, my affection, my desires and all that I possess. For the future, dispose of me and all I have as You please.

All I ask of You is Your holy love, final perseverance and that I may carry out Your will perfectly. I recommend to You the souls in Purgatory, especially those who had the greatest devotion to
the Blessed Sacrament and to the Blessed Virgin Mary. I also recommend to You all poor sinners.

Finally, my dear Saviour, I unite all my desires with the desires of Your most loving Heart; and I offer them, thus united, to the Eternal Father, and beseech Him, in Your name and for love of You, to accept and grant them.