How do you respond when someone begins mockin Catholic belief if the Real Presence? It is a hard thing to refute for me, because it takes much faith.
Case-in-point: from the show It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, one character says, “so you’re telling me Jesus comes back to life every Sunday in the form of a bowl of crackers, and then you just proceed to eat the man?” How would you answerve this with logic and charity?
‘My belief in miracles cannot be considered a mystical belief: it is founded on human evidence, as is my belief in the discovery of America. It is, indeed, a simple logical fact that hardly needs to be recognized or interpreted. The extraordinary idea going around is that those who deny the miracle know how to consider the facts coolly and directly, while those who accept the miracle always relate the facts with the dogma previously accepted. In fact, the opposite is the case: the believers accept the miracle (with or without reason) because the evidence compels them to do so. The unbelievers deny it (with or without reason) because the doctrine they profess tells them to do so.’
G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy
Sacred Heart of Jesus - (St Margaret-Mary Alacoque)
"Behold the Heart which has so loved men that it has spared nothing, even to exhausting (Crucifixion) and consuming Itself (Last Supper, Eucharist), in order to testify Its love; and in return, I receive from the greater part only ingratitude, by their irreverence and sacrilege, and by the coldness and contempt they have for Me in this Sacrament of Love. But what I feel most keenly is that it is hearts which are consecrated to Me, that treat Me thus. Therefore, I ask of you that the Friday after the Octave of Corpus Christi be set apart for a special Feast to honor My Heart, by communicating on that day, and making reparation to It by a solemn act, in order to make amends for the indignities which It has received during the time It has been exposed on the altars. I promise you that My Heart shall expand Itself to shed in abundance the influence of Its Divine Love upon those who shall thus honor It, and cause It to be honored."
The characters in Its Always Sunny are already supposed to be horrible people and colossal morons. Still, that doesn’t excuse or take away from the fact that this is blasphemous. And I don’t think any letters will be listened to. I will just pray for reparation tonight at Holy Hour.
Write ot the producers of the show and ask why they single out Catholic beliefs?
You wonder why people don’t mick the Jews? Because they don’t stand for it.
Catholics need to make their voices heard.
People who are this flip about it are not going to go read the Bible, as much as they realy ought to.
I wouldn’t watch a show that shows such utter contempt and disrespect for the Blessed Sacrament as I would vote for a politician who would say something like, “When I drink my little wine – which is about the only wine I drink – and have my little cracker,…”
A quick, pithy response is to say “just because something sounds silly or crazy doesn’t make it false.”
It’s easy to simplify and mock what you don’t understand. Some folks do that with evolution. “So you’re telling me humans used to be monkeys, but then some just randomly decided to walk and shed their fur while the the rest stayed monkeys?” Sounds stupid when you put it that way. But of course that’s NOT an accurate picture of the theory of evolution. There’s more to it than that.
And likewise, there’s more to the Eucharist than what that person on the show said. The Church has a rich Eucharistic theology going back two-thousand years. It’s more complicated than “he comes back to life every Sunday and then you proceed to eat him.” So before dismissing it as ridiculous, maybe they should try reading what theologians have said on the subject and understanding why the Church has always taught it. That would be the intellectually honest thing to do at least.
But at the same time, I want to emphasize, this reaction is literally what Jesus himself got when he first taught it at the synagogue in Capernaum. So we shouldn’t be too surprised. The Eucharist IS a crazy belief, not gonna deny that. It’s not stupid or illogical, but it is counter-intuitive. And I think sometimes we can take it for granted and not realize just how shocking it is. So shocking that Jesus lost dozens if not hundreds of devout followers over this teaching.
All we can do in the end is say what Peter said. “To whom shall we go?” The doctrine of the Eucharist follows naturally from belief in Jesus. If he’s not the Son of God and didn’t rise, then yes, it’s a stupid teaching. But if he is, how can we not believe it?
As a priest, I would not answer it. I live a very full life, even in retirement. I certainly do not waste my time watching television – least of all programmes that are going to offend me. Nor do I take up letter writing campaigns against the behaviour of others.
I use the opportunities the Lord gives me to make a positive difference and I do not fret about the affairs of the television, the theatre, the cinema, museums, exhibitions, and such other things which wish to make a statement against the Church or any various religion or even faith in general.
You could pray for the souls of those inflicting wounds upon the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Offer up resisting your next temptation for the illumining of their conscience and the softening of their hearts. Do some kind of act of reparation on their behalf. Pray for them the next time you receive Agnus Dei in Holy Communion.
I smile. And then I reply, “it’s pretty easy to lampoon something, and make fun of a caricature. It’s easy because it misrepresents things and turns them into a joke. If you want to talk about what Catholics really believe, I’d love to have that conversation! But, if you just want an easy target, then I get it … and it’s ok. It just means that you don’t have the time or inclination to listen to what Catholics really believe.”