PhD Candidate, Theology Department, Boston College
Home » Uncategorized » Can the Eucharist Unite Us?
Check out my latest post on Patheos.com, entitled “Can the Eucharist Unite Us?“
Tags: Catholic Identity, Church Dialogue, Community, In the News, Liturgical Experiences
Fantastic my dear. Well expressed. It is worth of pondering. It is this exact issue that has lead me to distrust and discredit the direction of the church. If we don’t have unity in what matters most what do we have? And yet, who is asking what is essential? Thanks for illuminating this area.
The liturgy is the means by which Catholics participate in the Sacraments. Cardinal George’s claimed interest in unity would be well served if he and his brothers established for women the same set of sacraments that men have. Six Sacraments unify Catholics. The seventh divides. Every participation in the liturgy confirms the split, perhaps more obviously, if subtly, to a woman than to a man. Unfortunately, for the time being, dreaming and longing look like your best bets.
I don’t think the Eucharist should be used as a weapon against anyone. Right before receiving the sacred body and blood we say “Lord I am not worthy to receive you but only say the word and I shall be healed” (or at least we will for the next year or two). I don’t know how any Catholic can utter those words and then turn around and exclude, disregard, or ignore anyone. Built into that statement is such a radical notion of humility and trust in God. I can’t see how you can possibly say this on one hand and then turn around and systematically ignore and refuse to listen to the voice of tens of thousands of your fellow members of the Body of Christ. I wonder if there’s a point where if enough people speak up they will eventually listen. 100,000? 1 million? 5 million? 10? They don’t even need to “wait.” They can just decide to allow parishes to make their own decisions about what mass best meets their needs. We have a children’s Eucharistic prayer that was written so that young people can better understand the mass. They clearly are willing to offer such concessions to those they ideologically agree with (see the decision to admit dissenting Anglicans into the Church).
That being said, I’m not ready to give up on the Eucharist. I’m no bishop nor am I a theologian (and there’s good reasons for both of these 🙂 ), but I believe that the Eucharist will always be a source of comfort, hope, and the unity for Catholics. 2,000 years after the last supper and Jesus’ death we still celebrate it…and you can find Catholics celebrating it in nearly every land and every language on Earth. A college friend invited me to Eucharistic adoration at BU last week. It was pretty amazing. There were 30-40 people in their 20’s packing a small college chapel / room for the chance to pray for an hour. Apparently there are dozens more people that show up there during the school year. I’m pretty sure I would disagree with a lot of the people there on a great number of things. No one I talked with questioned me or assessed me on my worthiness to be a Catholic. Rather, everyone I talked with was very warm and welcoming and they seemed glad that I could come. Moments like those are what convince me that the church still has something to offer the world. That being said, I don’t think I’d mind if anyone called me a cafeteria Catholic since I’m a big fan of food!
Apparently the Pope caught your post on Patheos.com and answered the question. See
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