As many faithful Catholics have long observed, reception of the Holy Eucharist has become little more than an ongoing scandal. Leaving aside for the moment the practice so-called pro-abort Catholic politicians, many church-going Catholics are not prepared to receive Our Lord in His flesh and blood either. We know this because the Confession lines are not too long on Saturdays while on Sundays the church is packed. Sin is certainly no less today than it was yesterday. Ergo, people are receiving unworthily and adding sacrilege to their sin to boot. I guess the culture of entitlement has extended itself into the Holy of Holies as well.
The annual Christmas celebrations, of course, only compound this scandal as the “Christmas and Easter” Catholics show up en masse to fulfill their two holy days of obligations for the year. A cousin of mine told me a long time ago that you had to go to Mass at Christmas and Easter to consider yourself Catholic. I am not sure how this particular erroneous teaching started to spread, but spread it did, despite it having absolutely no basis in Catholic moral and sacramental teaching. (Catholics are required, on pain of mortal sin, to attend Mass every single Sunday along with the OTHER holy days of obligation which do not happen to fall on a Sunday.)
Anyhow, this past Advent I was treated to a special surprise when I attended Mass a few weeks ago with my family. What To My Wondrous Eyes Should Appear, you ask?! Check it out:
I could hardly believe my eyes. After initially reading it and quelling my euphoria, I read it again and reflected on just how brilliant it was. Factual, Polite, Firm, Simple, Effective. No doubt the Cumbaya Crowd would have a problem with it, but, really, it’s about bloody time the Church started to get serious about its respect for the Holy Eucharist — otherwise, how could She expect the general public to do so? And since it would be rather onerous to keep mentioning the obvious at Mass every Sunday, this was a great way of keeping the message right in front of our faces. Oh, yes, I forgot to mention that point. This card (printed on cardboard stock paper) is placed hanging on the back of every pew in full view of each parishioner. It actually hangs on that metal hook where the ladies normally hang their purses! (You’ll notice the little hole at the top of the card where the metal hook is placed through). Apart from the actual text of the card, the placement of it is the really ingenious thing: on every hook on every pew in the entire church!
This is a St. Maurice parish initiative. But I hope it starts to appear in parishes across the English speaking world. If you think it’s worthwhile, approach your priest and ask him to consider using it.
Needless to say, this Christmas St. Maurice received the best gift of all: a message to respect the Holy Eucharist.