I was told the act of going to Communion is as important if not more important than acknowledging the Eucharist as the body, blood, soul and divinity of our Lord. When we go up to receive we are doing as the Apostles did at the Last Supper; pledging ourselves to Christ and the Church. Does one of these aspects of receiving the Eucharist have to be more important than the other?
I think this mode of thought–what is more important–can be destructive to our faith. It can lead to thinking that there are “essentials”. It’s true that there are some things that are “basic,” (I believe in God the Father, maker of heaven and earth…) but we should never think that there are “essentials” to the faith in the way that minimizes the “wholeness” of the faith. We should keep in mind that there is One Lord, One Faith and One Baptism. As the body needs each part, we should keep in mind that there is nothing in the Faith that is dispensable. That’s how I see it.
Thanks for replying. This was said during a homily and when I left the Church after Mass I was feeling pretty confused. You explained it just the way I felt after thinking about it for awhile. I just wanted to check with others on what their thoughts were on the subject just in case I had missed some essential teaching.
I think the point is
a) unnecessarily nitpicky and
b) not true.
After all, why would Christ make the point of saying ‘This is my body’, ‘This is my blood’ - not to mention the Bread of Life discourse in John 6 - unless belief in the Real Presence were important? He could just as well have commanded the bread and wine to be offered in His memory without saying so.
On the other hand, while He says ‘take and eat’, ‘take and drink’, he certainly doesn’t offer too many specifics about the physical method by which this is to be done.
And where does the line of thinking about ‘the act of going to Communion’ leave those who are bedridden or infirm and have to stay put while the Eucharist is physically brought to them?
I think you have to understand these remarks in the context of who said them and what they were trying to get across. As such, the person you need to ask is the priest who gave the homily. It could be that he was trying to get across the point that simply believing in the Real Presence does you little good if you don’t participate in the Sacrament and receive the grace it bestows. Maybe that’s all he was trying to say, but you won’t know until you ask him for clarification.
Also, consider all of your brothers and sisters who listened to the same homily and might also wonder about it. By letting the priest know you weren’t clear on the message, it gives him the opportunity to consider how he delivered it, and maybe that he needs to do a little clarifying for others too.
I feel all are equally important.
But, never to put one practice above the other. Because then, in a time starved atmosphere. Lent, Advent some things would be ‘skipped’ because we had deemed they were optional so to speak.
When I returned to the Church 5 years ago (I left in my late early 20’s and wandered around the Protestant/non-denominational crowd on & off), one of my biggest reasons for coming back was the belief in the Real Presence, although at the time, my understanding was superficial at best.:o
My biggest issue involved the idea of “adoration”. I had an aquaintance who practiced Eucharistic adoration, yet never, (or very rarly, only at Easter) received communion. I found this very odd. For 2 hours a day they sat in a chapel, staring at a piece of bread, but would never participate in the “communion” that I had come to believe that Eucharist was. To be honest, I actually thought this was kind of creepy and almost idolitrous.
However, my ideas of Eucharist changed forever in ways that I can only say where graces from God. I began to see more of the ***“both/and” ***and a lot less of the "either/or".:angel1:
In a homily (I believe it may have been Corpus Christi Sunday), our Deacon at the time quoted St. Theresa of Avila- (my paraphrase :p)
Christ has no body now but yours,
He sees with your eyes
works with your hands,
loves with your heart…
I cannot tell you the profound effect this had on my understanding of the transformation that I was participating in every time I received, and the awesome responsibility that comes along with this awesome privilege! I was to be Christ to others! Could I? Would I?:ouch:
And with this understanding, along with much intense study, spiritual growth, and wonderful advise from spiritual directors, priests, religious sisters & laity that I know, have come to see “adoration”, as an important part of my spirituality.
If when I receive it is Jesus, then so also when He is at rest in the tabernacle.
I can, at any time, stop by and tell Him about my day, ask for guidance, or just sit there in loving presence with Him, as I would any one of my loved ones.:console:
Sorry this was so long, I just wanted to share my expereince,
thought it might help somebody!
I do not think that anyone one is more imprtant than the other,
as they are different aspects of the same prayer. I do not want to presume what your priest actually meant, so I agree with the suggestion to talk with him.
I have to agree that one begets the other and neither can be done away with - all of it is important. You cannot worthily receive the Eucharist without assenting to everything the Church teaches about it, not can you assent to Church teaching and not want to receive the Eucharist to begin with. The two go hand-in-glove.