Revet Elizabeth wrote:

I grew up Catholic, left off practice of my faith, then wandered around several churches before coming back.  It just seemed like the preaching I was hearing treated the Bible like Ann Landers, and people wanted to be soothed rather than challenged.  There would be preaching and singing but no Eucharist.  It’s like foreplay without consummation.  

The one time I was handed a tray of cut-up Wonder Bread and shot glasses of grape juice, I asked the person sitting next to me, “What is this?”  They answered, “Bread and grape juice.”  I passed the tray without taking any. 

At that time, I didn’t even really explicitly, consciously know the doctrine of the Real Presence but I knew it in my bones, and I knew that was a pale imitation.  I thought, I don’t care if there is a world-class university professor organist here, a shot glass of grape juice just shattered my illusions.  These people can’t even share a communion cup, what can they teach me about loving my neighbor?

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My Dad had taught me years ago about shadow and substance.  I felt like I was in the land of shadows — pale imitations.  Only Catholicism and Orthodoxy have substance — the Real thing.

 If it’s not the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of God’s dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, then…to hell with it  (paraphrasing Flannery O’Connor).

What did Flannery O’Connor say about the bread and grape juice? Here it is:

“Well, toward morning the conversation turned on the Eucharist, which I, being the Catholic, was obviously supposed to defend. Mrs. Broadwater said when she was a child and received the Host, she thought of it as the Holy Ghost, He being the ‘most portable’ person of the Trinity; now she thought of it as a symbol and implied that it was a pretty good one. I then said, in a very shaky voice, ‘Well, if it’s a symbol, to hell with it.’ That was all the defense I was capable of but I realize now that this is all I will ever be able to say about it, outside of a story, except that it is the center of existence for me; all the rest of life is expendable.”


This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Julie

    Imagine replacing Jesus with Wonder bread. I talked to a friend who joined an uber liberal protestant church, who said their communion was a Goldfish cracker. Welcome back Elizabeth.

  2. Adrian,

    No substitute to – Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity, of the God’s only beloved Son, Jesus Christ.

  3. Tom

    Way to go on this post man. Really interesting stuff. I'll be back to read your other posts.

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