The Eucharist

Discussion in 'The Signs of the Times' started by garabandal, Jan 8, 2009.

  1. garabandal

    garabandal Powers

    According to the Catechism, the Eucharist is
    'the source and summit' of our faith yet since Vatican II
    there has been a drastic shift in emphasis away from
    the Eucharistic presence in our churches.

    As a youngboy I remember the kneelers at the front of the
    chapel when people had to kneel to receive the Eucharist
    and only from the hands of a priest.

    We always genuflected on entering and leaving Church as a
    sign of the true presence. We would never have dreamed of
    just bowing as many do today.

    And I was taught that on passing any chapel to
    bless myself because of the real presence [and I still do].

    And the tabernacle was always in the centre and never on the
    side altar as in some churches today.

    At Garabandal the Blessed Sacrament was mentioned in the first
    and second messages:

    First message
    'We must visit the Blessed Sacrament frequently'

    Second message
    'Less and less importance is being given to the Eucharist'.

    At Christmas Mass when the church was packed to overflowing
    [thank God] I stood with dozens of people down the side aisles.
    Upon consecration of the Eucharist only myself and one old
    man kneeled on the hard marble floor to honour our Lord's
    presence upon the priest's blessing. When I was young
    everyone would have kneeled.

    Recently, when I was at Mass I got the impression too that
    the 'Lord's Table' with priest standing facing the congregation
    [and his back to the tabernacle] is a fallacy.

    It is not a table but an 'altar' where the Body and Blood
    of the Lord is consecrated at the hands of the priest and
    he should be facing the tabernacle, which I believe is facing
    East towards Jerusalem.

    I imagined the priest doing so - facing the altar with his
    back to the congregation at the altar of the Lord raising the
    chalice and host and sensed this will happen in my lifetime
    again. The strongfeeling I got that this will happen when the
    Church re-unifies and becomes one with the Orthodox and
    with the Protestant sects and there will be one body and
    one shepherd.
  2. padraig

    padraig New Member

    I liked very much what one theologian said not so long ago, that the death of the mystical means the death of religion. That is I believe what our Protestant brothers and sisters are finding to their cost, that the approach to God by means of intellect alone leads to death of the soul.

    I think there's nothing so mystical the Church can bring to us than the Eucharist, to consume God and be in turn consumed by Him. A hunger endlessly fulfilled and endlessly renewed the very doorway of heaven. Incredible condescension of God to come to us in the form of a piece of Bread.

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  3. Mario

    Mario Powers

    How true!


    Thank you for your beautiful and encouraging reflection. So often the altar is reduced in people's minds to the idea of a communion table, and that is so sad. When I was growing up my parents would refer to Mass as the Holy Sacrifice. I'm afraid that goes over most everyone's head, today!

    On the other hand, it may surprise you to know that the description, Table of the Lord or the Lord's Table, has profound and deeply sacrificial roots in the Bible. In fact, the following verses can be used as good apologetic tools in pointing out the sacrificial aspect of Holy Mass to Protestants!

    In the book of Exodus, mention is made of the altar of burnt offering in 40:29, and the Table of showbread in 40:22-23. Interestingly enough, by the time of the prophets the altar of sacrifice has begun to be known as the Table of the Lord:

    Ez 41:21-22 The doorposts of the nave were squared; and in front of the holy place was something resembling an altar of wood, three cubits high, two cubits long, and two cubits broad; its coners, its base, and its walls were of wood. He said to me, "This is the table which is before the Lord."

    Ez 44:15-16 ...they shall attend on me to offer me the fat and the blood, says the Lord God; they shall enter my sanctuary, and they shall approach my table to minister to me, and they shall keep my charge.

    In Mal 1, the priests of the Lord, "...'How have we despised your name?' By offering polluted food upon my altar. And you say, 'How have we polluted it?' By thinking that the Lord's table may be despised. When you offer blind animals in sacrifice, is that no evil?...

    In the New Testament, when discussing various offerings, St. Paul warns the early Christians that the pagan offerings and the Lord's Supper are incompatible:

    1Cor 10:22 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the Table of the Lord and the table of demons.

    So Paul directly implies the sacrificial nature of Holy Mass by using the OT term, Table of the Lord, in a sacrificial discussion. 8)

    Unfortunately, the lack of Catechesis has caused most Catholics to be oblivious of these facts. :cry:

    Safe in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary!
  4. garabandal

    garabandal Powers

    Thanks Mario for the Scriptural outline of the Mass;

    When I mentioned the 'Lord's table' in my reflection
    I was thinking more of the Protestant position - the
    idea with the table is that it is merely for 'breaking
    of bread'.

    As you have shown the Catholic position contains
    a sacrificial dimension; much of this has been lost in
    the post-Vatican II period of liturgical 'reform' [abuse?].

    I think that Martin Luther would approve of the post-Vatican II

    As I get older I can't help but think that we have somehow been
    'robbed' of a wonderful liturgical heritage [but maybe I am just
    becoming a grumpy 'old man' in my mid-40's??]

  5. padraig

    padraig New Member

    My father and mother used to always have the old Tridentine mass in the house and I grew very fond of it as I find it very prayerful.

    For myself if there was still a Latin mass about I would still enjoy going to it.

    But I am happy with whatever the Church decides, If they turned back the clock to the old mass I would be very happy and if they don't, well I will be very happy too.

    I think the most important thing is to bring a prayerful heart to the mas...if you bring a prayerful heart you have all you need, but without a prayerful heart you have nothing. I simply like to pray and I hate anything at the mass that distracts from this. I go to very early mass each day and every morning and I see people walking around talking and this drives me demented I am always praying to their and my angel guardians to shut them all up. :lol: :lol: :roll: :roll:

    So far without sucess. But what can you do if its the priest himself who is a distraction?

    But as I say if the heart is praying nothing else matters. a praying heart kneels before the throne of God and delighted its gaze never moves from there, the mass is the start of heaven......

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  6. CRW

    CRW New Member

    I was taught that the priest never had his back to the people; he was facing East, leading his people, his flock, to Christ.

  7. garabandal

    garabandal Powers

    I only know the post-Vatican II liturgy
    but I love the Mass and like you Padraig love praying before,
    during and after.

    As I have told my boys if I had to walk 20 miles to get Mass
    on Sunday I would gladly do it - it is the most vital part of my
    life and I can't imagine life without it.

    I am not advocating a return to the Tridentine Mass - I've never been
    to one. But what I am trying to say is that recently I have become
    more aware of the defeciencies in the modern liturgy and hope that
    Pope Benedict would make it a priority to reform the reformed liturgy
    with the view to making the service more 'beautiful and dignified'.

    I agree with Cecil with regard to the priest that the tradition is that
    'he was facing East, leading his people, his flock, to Christ'.
    Somehow in recent times we have lost sight of these simple gestures
    that mean so much.
  8. padraig

    padraig New Member

    Many years ago in Saint George's Church in Walthamstow, East London I used to watch a little old black man going up to receive Holy Communion. After he got it I used to watch him 'freeze' on the way down from the communion rails, some times nearer, some times further and looking at him he was like an angel, in my opinion going straight into ecstasy, lost in the Lord, a very high state of prayer.
    But perhaps that which was most remarkable no one besides myself seemed to notice, goodness knows why for I should have gone to Mass every day simply to see him it delighted me so much to watch the effects of the sacrament in a soul truly ready to open the door of his heart to the coming of the Lord.

    It reminds me of the piece in Saint Therese's 'Story of a Soul' were she recieved her first Holy Communion. I think I have never seen in literature a more perfect reception of the Sacrament. Perhaps it is only a child like heart that can accept in faith the coming of the good God in the form of a piece of bread.

    'In The Story of A Soul, Saint Theresa of the Child Jesus writes about May 8, 1884, when she made
    her First Communion at the age of eleven. The communion was preceded by a three-month
    preparation and two confessions. “The smallest details of this heavenly day made an everlasting
    impression on my soul, but I do not want to go into the details. Some things lose their fragrance as
    soon as they are brought out into the open, and there are some aspirations of the soul that cannot be
    translated into human language without losing their intimate and heavenly meaning... Oh! How
    sweet was the first kiss of Jesus upon my soul!... It was a kiss of love, I felt loved, and I said ‘I love
    you, and I give myself to you for ever.’ There have been no demands, no struggles, no sacrifices for
    a long time. Jesus and poor little Theresa had looked one another, and they understood one another...
    On that day, it was no longer a gaze, but a fusion of hearts, they were no longer two, Theresa had
    disappeared like the drop of water in the ocean. Only Jesus remained, he was Master and King. Her
    joy was too great, too deep for her to contain it, tears of happiness flooded her face, to the great
    surprise of her companions... ‘I was the one who read the act of dedication to the Blessed Virgin, that
    afternoon. I put all my heart into talking to her, dedicating myself to her like a child who runs into
    its mother’s arms and asks her protection.’
    Sweet Memories
    The day after my First Communion was another beautiful day, but there was a tinge of sadness. The
    beautiful dress Marie had bought for me, and all the gifts I had received, did not fill my heart. Only
    Jesus could satisfy me, and I yearned for the day I would receive him the second time. About a
    month after my First Communion I went to confession for Ascension day and I asked permission to
    receive holy communion. Against all hope Father gave me permission and I had the joy of kneeling
    at the holy table between Papa and Marie. I have kept such a beautiful memory of this second visit
    of Jesus to me! My tears could not be contained, and I kept repeating to myself the words of Saint
    Paul: ‘I live but not I, it is Jesus living in me’.”

    The famous English actor, Sir Alec Guiness used to go to mass each morning at 7am in Westminister Cathedral before travelling on by train from Victoria Station right next door to Pinewood Studio's for filming.

    After mass on morning he went to catch the 7.45 train as usual but found a notice saying the 7.45 train had crashed with several deaths and many casualties. Relieved but baffled as to how he had missed his usual train he checked the station clocks and found it was 9am!!!

    Mystified he returned to the Cathedral and found people still streaming out of 7am mass!!!

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  9. Mario

    Mario Powers

    What is time?


    Where the time went only God knows! :shock: :D

    The timing of your post could not have been more perfect. I'm just finishing up instructing my Therese on Holy Mass and the Eucharist. She read your post as a sort of grand finale and was so pleased to hear from her namesake. Her eyes really popped open, however, when she absorbed the blurb on Sir Eric Guiness! As the Scriptures says: "One day is as a thousand years and a thousand years is as a day."

    Simply put, the world cannot contain Him who chooses to dwell in our hearts. Thank you Jesus!

    And speaking of timely and holy coincidences, I smiled when noticing that the day of my Dad's death occurred exactly 100 years after Therese's first Holy Communion. My family cannot escaped her loving grasp!

    Safe in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary!
  10. padraig

    padraig New Member

    Its nice to know Obe Ben Kenobi of Stars Wars fame was a devout CaTHOLIC, MAY THE FORCE BE WITH HIM!!! :D
  11. garabandal

    garabandal Powers

  12. padraig

    padraig New Member

    ''If I have one regret (leaving aside a thousand failings as a person, husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend -- and my lazy, slapdash, selfish attitude as an actor), it would be that I didn't take the decision to become a Catholic in my early 20's. That would have sorted out a lot of my life and sweetened it.''

    Sir Alec Guiness

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