Wednesday, March 26, 2014

What part of communion do you not get?

Every now and then I page through stuff on my desk.  Today it was a catalog by, of all things, a Roman Catholic church supply house.  They were offering up special products they thought might help with the observance of Lent.

They had two forms of a Personal Devotion Communion Set available.  Basically it is a box of hermetically sealed containers with a crumb of bread or cracker and a sippy cup of grape juice all in one.  It is an individual wafer and Concord grape juice set packaged with a devotional booklet so that people can use it at home, having communion just Jesus and one person.  You can get it with 30 days worth of devotions and celebration cups or a 40 day supply.  They begin at a very reasonable $21 bucks.  You can be assured that  with its patented push up and pull back tab and 12 month shelf life, this is the most hygienic product available. Of course, it is FDA approved.

So the point is this.  You pop the top at home, read the devotion, and much on a piece of cracker and a few drops of Welches and you and Jesus have your special moment.  Dare I call it "communion"?  I don't think the word applies since nobody here believes that you are getting Jesus, just a sign and symbol of Jesus to jog your memory or your heart strings.  So the communion is not in the body and blood but in the feeling and the thought.  It cannot be communion since you are not with another person but doing this all by yourself (makes the part about if your brother has anything against you a bit easier to deal with). 

Sadly, some liturgical Christian (poorly catechized or simply choosing to ignore what he knows) will buy this with a copy of Warren's 40 (Forty) Days of Purpose and figure they got a real winner here.  Or, perhaps it will be some well meaning Pastor who thinks "why not?" and goes with it before he thinks or talks himself out of it.  My point is why exchange an empty sham of a devotion for the rich liturgical and sacramental life around the Word and Table of the Lord?  Really!  Why?  I can only think of one answer.  It means I don't have to go to Church, don't have to interact with a pesky preacher and problematic people, and can satisfy my religious needs in the shallowest and most "me-centered" manner possible.

Truth is always stranger than fiction... but the tears of God must be flowing at the foolishness we do with His holy gifts... truly. . .


Unknown said...

This is so quite bothering to learn...that the greatest act
of our Lord Jesus Christ which cost Him His own body and blood beyond any redeem mankind would only be reduced to sort of an "instant communion act" right in the of comfort of when and where you feel doing it...this is throwing away the greatest miracle and great dishonor and disrespect to the greatest miracle of God's love for us. We need to go beyond commercialism but truly have to go in the truest sense of being communion in God in word, deed and spirit...deep and contemplative prayer in the house of God, the church in the main altar where the tabernacle of our Lord resides.

God's peace be upon us all!
Christie Gregor
Say It With God’sWord

Anonymous said...

Please supply the "Catholic" website that you said is selling this package.

The Catholic Church would Never allow consecrated hosts to be sold in packets.