I’m agnostic and have never been Christian. I attended a regular Sunday Mass several months ago. Everyone that went forward to receive seemed very reverent and solemn. I wasn’t the only one in the church that stayed in my pew and I even had to ask here why some young men approached with their arms crossed (yes, I now know).
I was impressed with how many people were there, how relatively quiet everyone was…even children of which there were quite a few and how many were smiling after the Mass was over!
I live in an average size city in Colorado in a somewhat conservative area compared to some areas of Colorado and never realized how many Catholics our city held. I went to the middle of three Mass times on Sunday and I know there was a Saturday evening service as well.
I don’t think any generalization can be made from one area to the next on how much respect and reverence Catholics will show. It probably varies but my random sample of 1 service led me to believe it is taken very seriously!
Post 64: “I appreciate your candid honesty, and yet it delivers a conviction to me as well. I often fall short.”
Oh, Dear Wannano! So do we! We fall short over and over, despite our best intentions and sincere efforts to become holier. Blessedly, the sacrament of Reconciliation cleanses us and prepares us to receive Our Lord in sustenance. It gives us hope that while our slate is clean, we can be worthy of Him, as the pinnacle of our Holy Mass is reception of the Holy Eucharist, and His nurturing will help us follow His path.
I’ve often thought that our official name should be The Catholic Church of Sinners. If you “often fall short,” perhaps you’re almost one of us! I’ll keep praying for you.
I’ve spoken to a lot of Protestants in the past 20 years and the answers are many and varied.
First, some think it is sacrilege. Like stepping on Jesus.
Second, some consider it idolatry. Claiming that God is a piece of bread. Some of these disparage the Eucharist, calling it a cookie.
Third, others consider it killing Jesus again.
All that I’ve spoken to, consider it a contradiction of Scripture.
Well, not all. There are some who agree that the Eucharist is the Real Presence of Jesus Christ. But they consider it a “spiritual” presence and deny that God turns the bread into Flesh and the wine into Blood.
There are some who used to call it “consubstantiation”. You can talk to former Lutherans who will admit this because that is what they were taught. But, the new trend is to deny that term. I don’t remember what they now use to replace it.
Not one of them from a Lutheran theologian. The term and meaning are outright rejected.
The charge that the Lutheran Church holds this monstrous doctrine has been repeated times without number. In the face of her solemn protestations the falsehood is still circulated. It would be easy to fill many pages with the declarations of the Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, and of her great theologians, who, without a dissenting voice, repudiate this doctrine, the name and the thing, in whole and in every one of its parts. In the “Wittenberg Concord,” (1536,) prepared and signed by Luther and the other great leaders in the Church, it is said: “We deny the doctrine of transubstantiation, as we do also deny that the body and blood of Christ are locally included in the bread.” …The manduction is not a thing of the senses or of reason, but supernatural, mysterious, and incomprehensible. The presence of Christ in the supper is not of a physical nature, nor earthly, nor Capernaitish, and yet it is most true.” Charles Porterfield Krauth
Krauth also states:
Nothing is more difficult, than for a thinker or believer of one school, fairly to represent the opinions and faith of thinkers and believers of another school.
How does one answer that question? Catechesis is composed of multiple components. The biggest variables are:
The ability of the Catechist.
The motivation of the Catechumen.
If the Catechist doesn’t know his catechism, how can he pass it on?
If the Catechumen isn’t interested in being catechized, how can they learn?
(Actually, a motivated Catechumen can learn regardless of the ability of the Catechist).
You can have the best material in the world, but if those two aren’t right or aren’t right for each other, nothing will be learned.
As for the catechetical material, I’ve had no problem with the ones’ I’ve seen. But, some horror stories are out there about the removal of the Ten Commandments and other issues. However, those are extremely rare and frequently, the problems reported are merely a matter of personal preference. There’s a whole group of Catholics who call themselves traditionalists who consider anything except the Baltimore Catechism, a failure.
Why wouldn’t a Protestant want to receive the eucharist?
If someone doesn’t believe it is the body and blood of Christ, why would someone care?
Then it is just a piece of bread to him.
Wanting to receive the body and blood of Christ in the eucharist would like wishing to be on Mars. It would be nice, maybe, but not something to spend time thinking about.
(This is simply to put myself into the mind of a non-Catholic—not that I endorse such an attitude)
I have seen folks posting on the decline in the quality/adequacy of catechisis, for whatever reason, (say, post VII) as responsible for problems in the current state of belief in the Church. Assuming there is such. I’m guessing that you would not agree.