A Year with John Paul II: Daily Meditations from His Writings and Prayers

Prayers And Devotions from John Paul II: 365 Daily Meditations
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Why, at holy Communion, do we have to drink from the same chalice that everyone else has used? It seems to me to be a very unsanitary practice, with all the germs and diseases that are around. So my family and I do not partake of the precious blood of Jesus at Mass. Sherwood, Arkansas. Over the years, the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has several times answered inquiries regarding the risk of disease transmission from a common cup.

Nevertheless, common caution should be observed: Ministers should clean their hands thoroughly before distributing the Eucharist, and the Communion chalice should be washed with soap and hot water after every service. Those currently suffering from an active respiratory disease should have the good sense to receive the host only, not the chalice, and a number of Catholic dioceses have actually suspended the use of the Communion cup during outbreaks of influenza.

As to the manner of reception, Catholics, Episcopalians, and Lutherans typically use a common Communion cup, while Methodists, Presbyterians, Baptists and evangelical congregations tend to pass out individual and disposable cups. It seems to me that the common cup more closely carries on the tradition of the Last Supper and highlights our joint sharing in the eucharistic sacrifice.

Instead he blessed the one cup to be given to many. The common cup fulfills this symbolism beautifully. That pretty much says it all for me. Because every single one of those disposable cups would have to be purified and then buried or burnt up afterwards because they held the Precious Blood of Christ. Once again concerning the lack of belief in the Eucharist among Catholics, to have a priest write several paragraphs to this question and only addresses health risk and symbolism is part of the problem.

This could very well just be an oversight on the part of this priest. Some times we get deep into the weeds of a question and forget the totally obvious. The General Instruction of the Roman Missal specifies that sacred vessels be composed of noble metals, kind of leaves off plastic. Protestants have various devices for filling trays of these disposable cups with grape juice or wine. A variety of these devices range from simple one-click cup fillers to more complex devices with various tubes.

Rather nightmarish to think of these sterile devices when it comes to Communion. Thinking about the ignorance of so many Catholics regarding the Eucharist, I wonder how many realize that just receiving the Host, that they have fully received the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus. Receiving under both forms has a higher sign value and the priest always receives under both forms. I am still thinking about the recent poll regarding the lack of belief in the Eucharist among Catholics. So just posting as things cross my mind.

So this blogging will be on aspects and not making a systematic plan for renewal. Plus I will take this GKC quote in mind. One of the things I have noticed in my own diocese over the years is the increased use of a credence table. Mainly the use I have noticed is that it is now being used for the purification of the vessels after Communion. As I remember before there were smaller credence tables in use and I have been seeing them increase in size to accommodate this use. For one thing, I love to watch a priest purify the vessels after Communion.

Especially when done with careful attention. That this is truly the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ and you really want to make sure there are no leftover particles or his body or precious blood. For some priests, I think I could have come to faith in the Eucharist just by seeing their Eucharistic piety. The purification of the vessels is an important part of the Mass. I can see no reason either logistically or theologically to move this from the altar to the credence table.

Plus I get rather suspicious about such trends that usually start from some infertile mind of a liturgist somewhere and take off for no good reason that it is different. I see this as more of a symptom than a cause. Truly though we have now for some time about the loss of belief in the Eucharist and so any deemphasis just makes no real sense.

There has been a good number of commentary about the recent PEW study. None of which comes as much of a surprise to anybody paying attention.

Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary in Latin by Pope John Paul II [+Litany of Loreto]

The invitation to comment by the USCCB Twitter account is of course an invitation to trot out our hobby horses at full gallop. Still I got to thinking, is this a new problem or one that goes back farther. I know there have been some previous polls on this with more dubious methodology that I had heard referenced from time to time. I would guess the numbers of people believing fully in the Church teaching of the Eucharist would be higher.

Especially considering the aftermath in regards to the sexual revolution and the general chaos that erupted in those times. The sixties saw greater acceptance of Catholics generally, but with this acceptance was a Catholic trend to go with the flow. A trend that to the present day was one where the cultural beliefs of Catholics were hardly distinguishable from the general populace. When I first saw this tweet my initial reaction was that this failure to discern the body and the blood of Christ was generally because of a loss of Eucharistic piety.

A loss of the sacred. Thinking more about this I think this has played a part, but that the question is much more complex and involves a variety of causes. Regardless I will ride this aspect of my hobby horse a little. There is much that was done that seems like a determined undermining regarding the Eucharist.

The moving of Tabernacles and elimination of patens was bad theology. The building of ugly churches with the loss of the sacred. Places of worship that could be repurposed for convention centers. Abstract stained glass and the general Iconoclasm that seemed to prevail. The banality of hymns that celebrated how awesome we are — God should be pleased to have us.

I suspect it is not as much as I would want. The Eucharistic piety I observe in both situations I see pretty positively. Still, these daily Masses are in Eucharistic Chapels — one with Perpetual Adoration and the other with generally available adoration. I suspect that daily Mass-goers also have a high number of attendees who fully believe in the Eucharist.

The general level of noise before Mass starting along with apparently perfunctory genuflections. This along with the number of people who leave right after Communion certainly for me lends support for the conclusion of the PEW study. When my wife was alive, she liked to go to different parishes on Sundays. So I did have a pretty wide sampling of Mass as celebrated in my diocese. On the positive side I also witnessed a trend away from liturgical abuses over those years also.

So while I think the liturgy and the practices and pieties involving the liturgy have gone a long way to undermine Eucharistic belief, general culture also plays a big factor. The miraculous and general belief in the Sacraments gets lost in an empirical culture which lives on the philosophy of scientism. We do not really need a religion that is right where we are right. What we need is a religion that is right where we are wrong. So many times I have heard some person being described as prophetic when they go against what the Church has always taught.

That accepting what the culture was accepting was a prophetic act. Apparently forgetting that the prophets were often martyred for going against what the culture was accepting. I think about our hierarchy and how they have been ineffective regarding societal trends, mainly since they have flowed with the river like a dead thing. But then I remember that in England there was only one episcopal martyr and that things largely remain the same.

All of this makes me largely pessimistic that this latest wake-up call will be answered. Our leadership has become quite adept at the snooze alarm. Despite my skepticism of general trends in the Church, I also see those on fire for the faith in my parish and elsewhere. I also see priests and bishops who are generally upset about this loss of Eucharistic faith. I want everybody to experience this gift and have a fuller understanding regarding this sublime mystery.

That people who seem on the outside to be just going through the motions at Mass come to a fuller theological understanding. I also pray that I never take this gift for granted or believe that I deserve it. This version of The Weekly Francis covers material released in the last week from 21 July to 7 August Going to the Chesterton convention this year in Kansas City, Kansas marks my second year going. Last year it was much closer to home, and now I am addicted. I originally wanted to go to these conventions to listen to authors I admire and to hopefully meet them. I soon found I enjoyed just listening to and talking to the convention goers themselves.

I believe it is a mark of sanity to be a GKC fan, and thus this is a group of sane people. I have met no one there that challenges this assumption. I always feel so awkward at first and then the ice is broken.

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