Adoration of Communion Wafers...


#1

In nomine Jesu I offer you all peace,

I have been engage in RCIA this year for eventual reconcilation with the Catholic Church this Easter Vigil but I am experiencing some concerns that are troubling me.

I recently learned about perpetual adoration of the Communion Wafers and to be honest this scares me a bit. It strikes me a bit of Idolatry. Could anyone explain this and tell me if this is something that I must accept to be Catholic?

Peace, Love and Blessings,


#2

Well, your concern is a bit of a concern because it suggests that you do not believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist (Transubstantiation). You should start there. We believe that the consecration of the bread and wine results in the actual Body and Blood of Jesus. It becomes Jesus in a real way. If you cannot believe this, then that is a problem. If you do believe, then Eucharistic Adoration should not be a problem. Transubstantiation is a fundamental dogma of the Catholic faith and one should not receive first communion if he/she cannot believe what the Church teaches.

There are volumes written on the Eucharist. I suggest starting with the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Blessings


#3

The Eucharist is the actual body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ.

So if Christ is worthy of adoration, and the Eucharist is Christ, then it follows that the Eucharist is worthy of adoration, so it cannot be idolatrous.

As I like to say, Catholics put their faith where their mouth is. :slight_smile:

Scott


#4

You list yourself as Catholic, yet you describe the Eucharist as communion wafer. I am concerned.

The Eucharist is the Real Presence of Christ - not some wafer, cookie type thing. Because it is the Real Presence of Christ, we treat it with respect and are fortunate to have time alone with Christ in Adoration. In fact, Adoration is such a great gift that Pope JPII made this the basis of the 5th Luminous Mystery.

Your question is a good one, but I am alarmed because it is coming from a Catholic. I do not mean to pick on you - honestly I do not. I am glad you asked the question. I am alarmed because if you have this confusion or misunderstanding, how many other people have this?

Where is the church teaching breaking down?

It is very sad since I am in love with going to Adoration.


#5

[quote=jrabs]You list yourself as Catholic, yet you describe the Eucharist as communion wafer. I am concerned.

The Eucharist is the Real Presence of Christ - not some wafer, cookie type thing. Because it is the Real Presence of Christ, we treat it with respect and are fortunate to have time alone with Christ in Adoration.

Your question is a good one, but I am alarmed because it is coming from a Catholic. I do not mean to pick on you - honestly I do not. I am glad you asked the question. I am alarmed because if you have this confusion or misunderstanding, how many other people have this?

Where is the church teaching breaking down?

It is very sad since I am in love with going to Adoration.

[/quote]

In nomine I offer you peace jrabs,

Perhaps you didn’t notice the first part of my post. I am currently in RCIA. Right now! Today! So technically I’m a catechumen but I have been doing fine going through the RCIA up until a week or so ago when I learned about this and saw footage on it on EWTN. I found it a little scary for him. I understand that Transubstaniation means that the wafer becomes the body and the blood of Jesus and I even understand the Real Presence but I really though of it as Jesus descending among us during the Eucharist and enhabiting the bread and wine. Perhaps I’m just not ready for all this but it still feels idolatrous to adorate even the Body of Jesus or his Blood. I’m confused. Please give me some guidance here.

Peace, Love and Blessings,


#6

[quote=chrisb]In nomine I offer you peace jrabs,

Perhaps you didn’t notice the first part of my post. I am currently in RCIA. Right now! Today! So technically I’m a catechumen but I have been doing fine going through the RCIA up until a week or so ago when I learned about this and saw footage on it on EWTN. I found it a little scary for him. I understand that Transubstaniation means that the wafer becomes the body and the blood of Jesus and I even understand the Real Presence but I really though of it as Jesus descending among us during the Eucharist and enhabiting the bread and wine. Perhaps I’m just not ready for all this but it still feels idolatrous to adorate even the Body of Jesus or his Blood. I’m confused. Please give me some guidance here.

Peace, Love and Blessings,
[/quote]

sorry - I looked at your profile and you listed Catholic. I was confused.

Why don’t you try Adoration. Sit in front of Christ and ask Him to help you with this wonderful awesome mystery/gift?

I think that He will help in your understanding.

Christ is not descending - where would he descend from? He is already with us. If He were descending, that would mean He was previously somewhere else.

God Bless you in your journey.


#7

[quote=chrisb] Perhaps I’m just not ready for all this but it still feels idolatrous to adorate even the Body of Jesus or his Blood. Peace, Love and Blessings,
[/quote]

:hmmm:Ahh. Remnants of a sojourn in an Evangelical denomination, perhaps?

You might pray: “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief.”

Once you “get it” that Christ himself is there, then the rest falls into place.


#8

I came into the church in 2003. I too, have trouble with this one. I finally came to the conclusion that if other people want to worship Christ in the form of bread they may do so. But, I do not feel like I MUST do it as well. I find that I can worship Christ better in silent prayer and during Mass. I don’t feel the need to spend hours in front of the Blessed Sacrament, although at times it has given me great peace to do so. If others do feel that they need to do this frequently that is fine with me.

So, I think you should do what is comfortable tor you. You’re not breaking a commandment if you don’t. I understand that it feels idolatrous because you’re worshiping a “thing”. It feels the same for me sometimes. But, in your mind you know that the “thing” is God! I think over time it will seem more natural for you. It does feel strange for some new Catholics, like me and you, I admit. But, I’m not Catholic because of how I feel. I’m Catholic because it makes sense in every way.


#9

[quote=mercygate]:hmmm:Ahh. Remnants of a sojourn in an Evangelical denomination, perhaps?
[/quote]

In nomine Jesu I offer you peace mercygate,

Yep, I was raised Southern Baptist. My dad is Baptist, my wife is Baptist, but half of her family is Catholic.

You might pray: “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief.”

Once you “get it” that Christ himself is there, then the rest falls into place.

Yeah, I’ve read this but I don’t think I’ve said it in a while. I will do.

Peace, Love and Blessings,


#10

[quote=chrisb]In nomine Jesu I offer you peace mercygate,

Yep, I was raised Southern Baptist. My dad is Baptist, my wife is Baptist, but half of her family is Catholic.

Yeah, I’ve read this but I don’t think I’ve said it in a while. I will do.

Peace, Love and Blessings,
[/quote]

A familiar syndrome. And as Todd said, it takes time. Some Converts struggle with this one much of their lives – even when they “believe” they somehow do not experience it.

May God be with you in your struggle. And as long as you can commit to the truth of it, Todd is correct: you don’t need to make hourse of Eucharistic Adoration the centerpiece of your spirituality.


#11

I am also in RCIA. Because I first looked into the matter as to whether Holy Communion was symbolic only or not. I concluded that Eucharistic Adoration was not mere idol worship.

See my posts #20 and #21 under Non-Catholic Religions / “Jack T. Chick: Anti Catholicism at it’s worst”. Let me know if you see a flaw in my thinking in those posts.

See my post #11 under Apologetics / “The Very Early Eucharist—Jesus not present in the Bread and Wine?”. It is quite obvious to me that the early Christian Church did not consider the Holy Eucharist to be only symbolic.

This is a critical matter for you to decide. And you must decide it for yourself (and not just outwardly along with the RCIA people while you inwardly think differently).

Pray that God will give you a clear mind and a clear conscience on this matter. Sometimes the mind can bring up a seemingly intellectual argument only because putting forth an intellectual argument can be easier than to try to correct a moral matter.

If after much thinking you continue to think that Roman Catholics are incorrect to adore mere communion wafers, please do not take your “First Communion” in the Roman Catholic Church. Instead, I would suggest that you should follow your conscience and find the Protestant Church that seems best to you.

Catholic Brothers: When you take time for a “Holy Hour” and if God tells you something. I encourage each of you to start a journal of the things God tells you during “Holy Hour”. Of course, God does not audibly speak to me. And I am actually not so experienced at this. But sometimes at “Eucharistic Adoration” I do get thoughts that I think are from God.

For example, my journal entry under September 24, 2004 has:
“I learned again that it isn’t enough to want Jesus 100%, or more than anything else. Jesus also wants me to die to self. To live for Christ first before considering my own comforts. That is so far away from where I am at this time.”

September 24 was one of the best times I ever had doing it. It was at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception (Blessed Sacrament Chapel). At the National Shrine, they normally have Eucharistic Adoration on Fridays following the 12:10 PM Mass until about 5 PM. I only stayed about 2½ hours that day.

It is good to do Eucharistic Adoration in a group. And it is good to do Eucharistic Adoration alone.

It is easier to get some privacy with the Lord if you can find a tabernacle and some time when Christ is not exposed.


#12

[quote=jmm08]I am also in RCIA. Because I first looked into the matter as to whether Holy Communion was symbolic only or not. I concluded that Eucharistic Adoration was not mere idol worship.

See my posts #20 and #21 under Non-Catholic Religions / “Jack T. Chick: Anti Catholicism at it’s worst”. Let me know if you see a flaw in my thinking in those posts.

See my post #11 under Apologetics / “The Very Early Eucharist—Jesus not present in the Bread and Wine?”. It is quite obvious to me that the early Christian Church did not consider the Holy Eucharist to be only symbolic.

This is a critical matter for you to decide. And you must decide it for yourself (and not just outwardly along with the RCIA people while you inwardly think differently).

Pray that God will give you a clear mind and a clear conscience on this matter. Sometimes the mind can bring up a seemingly intellectual argument only because putting forth an intellectual argument can be easier than to try to correct a moral matter.

If after much thinking you continue to think that Roman Catholics are incorrect to adore mere communion wafers, please do not take your “First Communion” in the Roman Catholic Church. Instead, I would suggest that you should follow your conscience and find the Protestant Church that seems best to you.

Catholic Brothers: When you take time for a “Holy Hour” and if God tells you something. I encourage each of you to start a journal of the things God tells you during “Holy Hour”. Of course, God does not audibly speak to me. And I am actually not so experienced at this. But sometimes at “Eucharistic Adoration” I do get thoughts that I think are from God.

For example, my journal entry under September 24, 2004 has:
“I learned again that it isn’t enough to want Jesus 100%, or more than anything else. Jesus also wants me to die to self. To live for Christ first before considering my own comforts. That is so far away from where I am at this time.”
[/quote]

In nomine Jesu I offer you peace hmm08,

Thank you for your advice. I will look into our posts and I will get back with you. I understand this is a big deal and its one of the reasons I’m bringing it up. I know I can’t continue with my reconcilation if this is not resolved.

I’m going to RCIA Class soon do you think I should tell anyone there about my feelings on this?

Peace, Love and Blessings,


#13

but it still feels idolatrous to adorate even the Body of Jesus or his Blood.

Eeeeek! Perhaps the Scritpural affirmation of St. Thomas’ “My Lord and My God” toward Jesus might change your mind.

Adore him!!! The Real Presence means that it is no longer bread and wine, but is not the real body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ made present in a Holy Sacrament.


#14

[quote=chrisb]In nomine Jesu I offer you peace jmm08,

Thank you for your advice. I will look into our posts and I will get back with you. I understand this is a big deal and its one of the reasons I’m bringing it up. I know I can’t continue with my reconcilation if this is not resolved.

I’m going to RCIA Class soon do you think I should tell anyone there about my feelings on this?

Peace, Love and Blessings,
[/quote]

Yes. Talk briefly with your sponsor and ask your sponsor to pray for you. But if they are argumentative, resist arguing. Just say you aren’t sure.

I look forward to hearing back from you. Especially regarding my posts #20 and #21 under Non-Catholic Religions / “Jack T. Chick: Anti Catholicism at it’s worst”

I am aware that the best non-Catholic Christians spend time with Jesus each day. This is often called a “Quiet Time” among evangelicals. To me, Eucharistic Adoration is really great. And I find it easier for me to have a more proper frame of mind in the beautiful setting of the National Shrine. I can’t get there too often, because going and coming back makes it an all day thing.


#15

I know I can’t continue with my reconcilation if this is not resolved.

I’m going to RCIA Class soon do you think I should tell anyone there about my feelings on this?

Yes. My wife had the same problems. Her questions during RCIA seemed to suck all the air right out of the room, but they have to be asked just the same. She attempted RCIA twice, and eventually took a leap of faith, which is what being Christian is all about.


#16

I also recommend Scott Hahn’s book, The Lamb’s Supper: The Mass as Heaven on Earth .


#17

[quote=jmm08]… Instead, I would suggest that you should follow your conscience and find the Protestant Church that seems best to you.
[/quote]

I wouldn’t agree with that…

As itsjustdave1988 alluded to in his post (regarding his wife), you can skip reconciliation, communion and confirmation this season and continue your journey to the Catholic Church by going through RCIA again. In the meantime, pray and study in the Church you are being called to - that would be the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church, yes?

If, however, you understand and believe the True Presence, I agree with Tmaque. As a convert, I felt uncomfortable with Adoration, the Rosary, and praying for a Saint’s intercession. I understood and believed in the validity of the doctrine, but was uncomfortable with them. We all grow in our devotions.

I started praying the Rosary and spending time in Eucharistic Adoration as a matter of Faith initially. It has had a profound effect on my life.

God bless you in your journey,

Robert.


#18

It was merely bread – a wafer of baked flour and water – before it was consecrated, or as St. Justin Martyr wrote in 155 A.D., before it was “eucharistized.”

But the Eucharist is not a “wafer” – it is the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ. Therefore, we worship Christ in his Eucharistic Presence – we don’t kneel in adoration before a hunk of bread.

Saint John Vianney had a parishoner who spent hours before the Eucharistic Christ. When asked what he did all that time, the parishoner answered: I look at Him and He looks at me.

If you look at the Eucharist and think “bread,” you cannot profess the Catholic faith. Do not – I urge you – do not receive the Eucharist until you look at it and see Christ – and not just think Christ, but until you know it is Christ with your whole mind, heart, and soul.

Many of the early Christians were tortured and killed. One of; the charges against them was cannibalism. Why would they be so accused? Obviously, because of their belief in the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist. They suffered died for the belief. I like to think I would also.

gospelcom.net/chi/earlychurch/lyons.shtml

gospelcom.net/chi/GLIMPSEF/Glimpses/glmps051.shtml

Here’s Cardinal O’Conner’s story of his faith crisis that you might find interesting. Even cardinals have their “Dark Night of the Soul.” So don’t despair. Be patient with yourself. Let Christ reveal Himself to you. Spend some time in His Presence.

geocities.com/frjimlloyd/temptedfaith.htm

JMJ Jay


#19

Chris,

I’m sorry, it looks like I’ve gotten here after you’ve left for RCIA. I will pray for you tonight, that things go well in your class, that you speak up with your questions, that they are adequately answered and that the Holy Spirit moves you to understand the fullness of Christ’s presence in the Eucharist.

The post from ItsJustDave referencing St. Thomas and Christ’s admonition reminds me of the term “Don’t be a doubting Thomas” refering to our common need to see something to believe it. We don’t necessarily “see” Christ in the Eucharist in a way that speaks “Divinity Present”, and yet if we open our hearts to hear Him, even those who don’t have the Charism of discerning Spirits frequently feel Him with them.

You commented on how it feels to you like Idoloty. Considering the fact that you began your journey from outside the Church, I can understand your concerns. However, isn’t Idoloty all about worshipping other gods? Certainly if you were to go into the Chapel or Church where they were offering Eucharistic Adoration, your intent would not be to worship any God other than the One True God, in the form of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior! The Father, Son and Holy Spirit desire our worship and none other than God, the Most Holy Trinity.

You certainly wouldn’t sit there with any intention of worshipping a piece of bread. Your intent is to worship Christ. You spend your time, energy and Love focused on Christ. How can this be idolotry? You place no other gods before Him.

When you are able to accept that the Eucharist is, as has been said here before now, the True, Substantial Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, you will have trouble stepping forward to receive communion, because suddenly it will dawn on you that “Lord I am NOT worthy to receive you” and you will be glad that it all started with a Word, and the Word was made Flesh and He dwelt among us. Because at that moment of realization, you will need His Word to be sufficiently healed to allow yourself to step up and receive the Eucharist into your humble body.

God Bless you on your journey. And may the Lord be with you,

CARose


#20

[quote=mercygate] A familiar syndrome. And as Todd said, it takes time.
[/quote]

Chrisb,

Mercygate’s comment is so true.

When I joined the Church in 2003, I trusted the Church with all my heart and loved her with all my heart. But that in no way meant that I could completely get my mind around the huge mystery of the Eucharist. My faith has grown to become knowing.

Dr. Ray Guarendi (EWTN Radio-- see Catholic Answers homepage) has a great analogy for explaining the Real Presence: picture a quarter:

See this quarter? Do your senses tell you everything about this quarter? Do you know everything about this quarter?
[the details are true enough for example purposes, not technical exactitude]

Is this quarter still (non-moving)? (it looks like it is)
–It is not. The atoms in the quarter are moving faster than the speed of light.
Is this quarter solid? (it feels like it is)
–It is not. It’s density is only about 25%. It is 75% air!!!

(Dr. Ray does a great job)

Anyway, there is a lot we don’t know about a simple quarter,
but our senses fool us into thinking we know everything about it.

Our senses say it is bread and wine. Our intellect, our heart, and our faith can know it is bread, wine, and the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Just saying those words-- those Words-- and I know the Word becomes Flesh.

Someone (who??? J. Akin?) on EWTN Radio made the logical statement that if we can grasp the Word made Flesh-- “That’s Huge!!!” Is Transubstantiation such a huge leap after we’ve already made the leap that allows us to grasp the Incarnation?
(my bad paraphrasing)

Peace, Prayers, and Blessings for your continuing journey.


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