Good morning, Friends!
The discussion on Father MacDonald's blog, with yours truly somewhat involved, continues....the question has to do with 'how much' care is needed to avoid dropping the Holy Fragments of the Eucharist on the floor or wherever...........(feel free to give me or Father a piece of your mind!)
Kneeling Catholic said...
I'm afraid we have been doing the marvelous compromise for 50 years....allowing hand Communion to anyone, and most people prefer it, not out of theological concerns, but as 'a preference'. People vehemently opposed to hand Communion, like yours truly, oppose it on theological grounds--as you know! So what we have is some people's personal preference trumping other people's theological grounds. You see how this is bound to cause aggravation and grief?
I think there is a thing called 'cognitive dissonance' where someone is required to believe something and disbelieve it simultaneously, and it's not a good thing! Father, why do priests cleanse their fingers after touching the Blessed Sacrament? Is it only a symbolic gesture, or is it to assure that the Holy Fragments are not allowed to be casually rubbed off and to fall to the floor....more or less like someone might do with their own dried-up-boogers?
Either, Father, the priest is just doing a symbolic gesture or he is not....(maybe the Church needs to explain that the Fragments should not be given any special care or that maybe Fragments are not the Eucharist?!!....otherwise people like me are going to want special care given!) I'm sure you see where I am going....but I must 'go there' nonetheless......
Why are people allowed to touch the Blessed Sacrament, but not then told that they need to examine and cleanse their hands in the same way conscientious priests and EMHCs do? If you can answer that question, then I'll sign onto your 'marvelous compromise'!!!
Not all priests hold a purificator to their lower lips when they consume the Precious Blood because not all priests dribble when they drink the sacred species.
A gesture may be both symbolic and functional. It does not have to be one OR the other.
A valid point, Father! but tangential to my question. Your examples lead us right back to my original question, untouched and unanswered...i.e. why do priests make such a fuss about Holy Fragments on their own fingers, and yet teach the rest of us to be supremely indifferent?
Actually, it's not my question! My daughter asked me, and her 6th grade religion teacher this very question a few years back....neither of us could give her an satisfactory answer...
perhaps another example?... back in 2010 I was discussing this topic with a Chaldean Catholic, and she got downright fired-up and told me that she didn't think lay people should be handling the Eucharist in the first place..then she went on to relate how once she saw a priest rescue a dropped Host by getting down on his hands and knees and licking It off the floor!
of course, Eastern Rite Catholics do NOT have our 'marvelous compromise'...maybe you feel they are overly scrupulous? At least they do have an answer........
Father, P I !
I already am coming out for ‘finger inspection’, what would be wrong with teaching us to be more careful in handling the Blessed Sacrament?
Regarding you and the Chaldean priest [[who rescued a Host by licking it off the floor]] sharing the same belief about the Eucharist, Father, I take you at your word. But wouldn’t you say your attitude towards the Sacred Species differs? A lot? And wouldn’t you say the Eucharistic attitude of Eastern Rite laity [and the Eastern Orthodox for that matter]– horrified at the thought of the Eucharist being handed out like spare change at the local 7-11 —differs from that of your Latin-rite parishioners?