On Giants' Shoulders

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Who Are We Communing With?

I was reading a bit of Scott Hahn's book Signs of Life yesterday morning and something struck me in a way it never had before. As Catholics when we receive communion we actually commune with God. We actually enter into a special relationship with the Son of God himself.

As a Protestant communion was an important celebration to me. It engendered all sorts of good feelings. However, Protestants, because they do not in fact receive the Body and Blood of Christ, are not communing with our Lord in the same way that a Catholic is. The communion they have is mostly a remembrance service and they really commune with each other. Now some Protestants have a higher view of the service than that and see themselves communing spiritually with God as they receive the elements. Yet that communion is really no different than any other sort of prayer time for them. For a Catholic there is a distinct difference between a spiritual communion and an actual reception of the Body and Blood of Christ.

On Sunday as I gazed at the Monstrance with the Blessed Sacrament exposed I pondered about the fact that the dear Protestant brothers and sisters I grew up among would be so thrilled if they only could believe that here they were in the actual presence of Jesus himself. Sadly, most of them have never been given a good explanation of either what the Catholic doctrine means, nor the antiquity of the belief. They have been walled off from worshipping in the presence of the Lord by centuries of misinformation and prejudice. Unfortunately, in most cases the prejudice keeps them from ever discovering the misinformation. I've been there. I've felt the fear. I'm just so glad that somehow my desire for truth overcame my fear.

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