Today, in the Holy Catholic Church, it is the feast of Corpus Christi, also known as the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. And honestly, I’m struggling with it. I’m struggling big time.
I know, that’s probably not what you expected me to say today. But you should know: this new page (the Militia of Mary) is no holds barred. I’m not going to beat around the bush here. I’m not going to tip toe around issues or sugar coat anything. (That’s a cue for the softies to unfollow.)Today is that happy occasion where we joyfully and thankfully celebrate the Eucharist, which church doctrine says is the real presence (Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity) of Jesus Christ. But I’m not happy. I’m not happy because, in my heart, I’m questioning: is that “really” what the church teaches? Church doctrine says it’s so, but what about our actions? What does the manner in which we receive the Eucharist, treat the Eucharist, and celebrate the Eucharist “teach” the people of God about the Eucharist?
If Jesus Christ - who is God Almighty, Lord of Lords, King of Kings - is truly present in the communion host, then our actions in the church should show that. Our behaviors, mannerisms, words, dress, and demeanor should signify “this moment is big, huge, DIVINE.” But that’s not the case anymore.
Over the years, Churches everywhere have started moving the Lord (in His tabernacle) from the center, high altar where He rightly belongs, to the side of the altar. Some churches removed the tabernacle all together and put Jesus in a “special room” (aka “out of the way”). And yet Catholics still robotically enter those churches and genuflect before entering their pew. What are they bowing to if Jesus is down the hall? And what is this teaching us?
Some churches have eliminated kneeling during the Eucharistic prayer and after communion. The priest elevates the Eucharist, and the congregation just stands there. Yet scripture doesn’t mince words. The Word of God clearly says that “at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth." [Ps. 95:6; Is. 45:23; Rom. 14:11; Phil. 2:10]
If at the NAME of Jesus every knee should bend, then what ought we do at the coming of His Real Presence... when He not only comes into our Church but then also comes into our hearts? The priest says, “behold the lamb of God!” All the saints and angels in Heaven - and the Holy Mother of God Herself - are all kneeling at that moment.
Even the demons in Hell, who are under the earth, are kneeling. Yet pockets of souls on earth just stand there... some snapping their gum, some with arms crossed, some talking, others day-dreaming. They say the purpose of standing is to be more “in communion” with each other, but friends, we only have true communion with each other if it is first communion with Him. And frankly, STANDING before Him separates us from Him, because it was God Himself who told to the prophet Isaiah, “To me, every knee shall bow.” (Is. 45:23) Doing the opposite of His Word is not being in communion with Him.
So what is this teaching us?
Nowadays, the communion veil is an oddity. “Sunday best” dress has been replaced with sweat pants, leggings, and other forms of indecent exposure. The sacrament of reconciliation before communion is often neglected, and so is the one-hour fast before Mass. What is this teaching us?
It is now commonplace to receive communion in the hand instead of on the tongue, even though studies show that particles fall to the floor when receiving in the hand. Some receive Him with coat on and purse in toe, so as to bolt for the door after communion like a drive-through Eucharist. Some do not even bother to try to receive Him, if they have something else planned or are on vacation.
What is all of this teaching us?
It is teaching the church that Jesus is no longer considered worthy of a high altar, a bended knee, a pair of dress pants, or even a few minutes of silence back in the pew. Subtly, it is teaching the church that either God does not need to be elevated above the human race, or it was never God to begin with. Not surprisingly, after decades of this kind of lax “teaching,” the Church’s fire and fervor for the Eucharist has become watered down. The truth of the Real Presence has been deduced to mere symbolism. Over the decades, the church has become a bunch of sitting ducks.
Then enters Covid-19. A pandemic strikes an already struggling church. The result? They say it’s too “risky” to receive the Lord of Lords, the King of Kings, the Divine Physician...He who healed lepers, restored sight to the blind, cured paralytics, cast out demons, and raised the dead. So we closed churches. We willingly handed over the source of our power, the summit of our faith, the real presence of our Savior. We gave up our Church to the state.
Now here we are today: the feast of Corpus Christi, the SOLEMNITY of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. Some churches are still under the thumb of the state. So they will “celebrate” today’s feast day at 1/3 capacity or maybe 1/2 capacity. They will “celebrate,” but they will turn people away who try to come to the celebration (even though there are many empty pews). They will turn them away because a government agency advises social distancing - a government agency who does not understand or believe that it is the Healer of Nations who is coming to us.
They will “celebrate” with face masks, making it almost impossible to not drop particles on the floor. So, as they “celebrate,” God Almighty will be trampled underfoot. They will “celebrate” the source and summit of our faith in the most pitiful fashion the church has ever seen in its entire 2,000 year history. But, because it has been so watered down, they won’t even know how pitiful it is. Instead, they will call it the “new normal” or “phase 2” or a “reopening.” They will be happy to “at least” have this. They will settle. The ducks will sit and the future will bring another disaster that will deliver a fatal blow to the church.
Unless... Unless a militia begins to stand up for the Faith, a remnant begins to rekindle their love of the Eucharist... and truly celebrate Corpus Christi.