Food For Thought
An article ran in last week's edition musing about an accidentally spilt chalice. This week, a letter about the column appeared from a Scottish priest which makes for very compelling and beneficial reading.
It will challenge many of you, but it's an appropriate discussion in these days of a Synod on the Eucharist.
[The column] recalls stories of priests who risked and sometimes lost their lives trying to "rescue" the Blessed Sacrament from a burning church, when a moment's reflection would have made clear that Christ could no more be burned in a fire than he is drowned at the purification of the chalice.OK, so who's gonna take issue with Trent?
Sadly, respect for the Real Presence of Christ continues to be tinged and tainted by what the Dutch theologian Godefridus Snoek calls "pious and pseudo-historical meanderings of the ecclesiastical mind."
The Council of Trent made it quite clear that it is not Reservation, Exposition or Benediction, much less Forty Hours Adoration, which is the reason for the institution of the Blessed Sacrament, but Holy Communion -- "instituted in order that it might be received" (ut sumatur, institutum) cf.Dz 878.
The more the independence of the eucharistic cult, from the reception of Communion within a community Mass, has gathered pace, the more the reverence has been transmuted into awe and sometimes fear -- and this in turn has spilled back into the Mass. To gather up any visible crumbs after Communion, as at the feeding of the five thousand, is reverence -- to worry about any others is scruples, and misplaced veneration. The primacy of the Real Presence is as a working sacrament; it is good that in a recent Instruction to the bishops the Holy See has reminded us that the two candles and simple genuflections at Mass are not to be improved upon for Benediction.