Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

My Photo
Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Happy Are Those Who Are Called to His Supper

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops put together a *quiz* to help the faithful learn more about the Eucharist. In a time when it is estimated that 2/3 of Catholics no longer believe in the "Real Presence" of Christ in the Eucharist, this is sorely needed to challenge and get many Catholics back to the basics of their faith.

I left the Church not realizing that I was not only leaving the Church but leaving the physical presence of Jesus as well. My contention now is that if I had known and truly believed Jesus was there physically at each and every Mass and residing in the tabernacle of every Catholic Church, I never would have left to find "solid teaching" and "warm fellowship." If Jesus was at the altar of your Church every Sunday and you had the chance to actually receive him physically, why would you go anywhere else? I found Jesus spiritually through a conversion experience outside his Church, but sadly left the bride groom at the Altar in His Church!

I still wish someone could have grabbed me and said: "Hey kid, it's great that you have finally accepted Jesus as your Savior, since you were ignoring him daily, including every Sunday at Mass. Now you can return to Mass and receive Him personally- spiritually and physically too just like the early Christians did! " Sadly, I was sold a bill of goods by my young mis-guided bible teachers and was told that Jesus wasn't in the Catholic Church. I was too spiritually blind at the time to see Him in the Church. Or perhaps my conscious decision to sin and imbibe the spirit of the age blocked any chance of His Holy Spirit getting through. (Well, thank God it took 30 years to get me back, better late than never)

At any rate, here's the quiz. You better put on your Eucharistic Thinking Caps! For most of my readers, it will be a breeze but I stumbled on #2 already.

‘Happy Are Those Who Are Called to His Supper: On Preparing to Receive Christ Worthily in the Eucharist’

1. What do we believe about holy Communion?

2. In what three ways are we united to Christ in Communion?

3. Who may receive holy Communion?

4. Should we ever refrain from receiving holy Communion?

5. How can we prepare to receive holy Communion more worthily?

6. May those who are not Catholic receive holy Communion in the Catholic Church?

7. May Catholics receive holy Communion in other Christian Churches?

Corpus Christi Quiz Answers

1. “Holy Communion is a sharing in the Eucharist in which Christ is truly present,” begins the document’s answer.

2. Quoting the Catechism and Pope Benedict, the bishops explain these three ways: participating in the one sacrifice of Christ, communion with each other in the body of Christ, and sharing in Jesus’ resurrection and divinity.

3. “With few exceptions (see answer No. 6), only those who are members of the Catholic Church may receive holy Communion at a Catholic Eucharistic liturgy.”

4. The bishops’ document encourages frequent Communion, but cites three impediments: first, lack of sanctifying grace due to mortal sin (the bishops list 10 common areas of mortal sin); second, lack of adherence to Church teaching; third, giving public scandal.

5. The bishops suggest practices for our day-to-day life, before Mass and at Mass. Day to day: regular prayer and Scripture reading, fulfillment of the duties of your state in life, daily repentance of sin and regular confession. Before Mass: prayerful recollection, one-hour Eucharistic fast, appropriate dress. At Mass: active participation.

6. Citing canon law, the bishops write: “Because of the close communion that still exists between the Catholic Church and certain Churches that are not in full communion with her — such as the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches, the Assyrian Church of the East, and the Polish National Catholic Church — properly disposed members of those Churches, who request it on their own, may be permitted to receive holy Communion. Other Christians may receive holy Communion if they are in danger of death or if they are in a situation of other grave necessity as determined by the diocesan bishop or the bishops’ conference. In such instances, Church authority must see that the following four conditions are present: 1. The person is not able to approach a minister of his or her own community. 2. The individual has asked for the sacrament on his or her own. 3. The individual manifests Catholic faith in the Eucharist. 4. The person is properly disposed.” Members of non-Christian religions are not permitted to receive holy Communion.

7. “It may happen that a Catholic, for a legitimate and serious reason, finds himself or herself unable to attend a Catholic Mass. In such instances, provided that the danger of error or indifferentism is avoided, and that a true necessity or spiritual advantage exists, he or she may receive the Eucharist from a non-Catholic minister in whose Church the sacrament is valid or from one who is validly ordained according to Catholic teaching. In practice, this means the Eastern and Orthodox Churches, the Assyrian Church of the East, and the Polish National Catholic Church.” Catholics should be mindful of those Churches’ restrictions, however.


Anonymous Nancy said...

When we were having First Communion at our parish this year, Father said from the pulpit, like a proud papa, that all of the young communicants knew that Jesus was present in the Eucharist. Looks like some good catachesis happening here.

And when I went through RCIA, Father gave the lecture on the Eucharist himself and it was really thorough.

June 17, 2007 3:00 PM  
Anonymous ukok said...

You might (or might not) be interested in reading a recent blog post I wrote about The Eucharist. the best words aren't necessariy found in the post, but in the comments box :-)

As a convert to Catholicism myself, I am awed by the Eucharist and can't get my head arouns how anyone else can't be, though I do appreciate that ignorance, denial etc factor in that.

June 25, 2007 7:04 AM  

Post a Comment