By Michael Seagriff
There was a time when nearly everyone entering a Catholic Church knew enough to genuflect, to remain silent and to spend time in intimate interior conversation with their Loving Lord locked behind the tabernacle doors. God deserves nothing less today.
CANASTOTA, NY – Back in that day, everyone knew they were there in the Presence of God to adore and worship Him, not to visit with their neighbor. Somehow, they were able to enter, remain and exit the Church in reverent silence and postpone their socialization and greetings until they were out on the sidewalk. God deserves nothing less today.
These same individuals knew enough to refrain from receiving our Lord in Holy Communion unworthily. Our priests reminded them of that obligation, not only out of loving concern for the salvation of their souls but as a bulwark and protector against Eucharistic sacrilege. God deserves nothing less today.
If necessary, these truths were reinforced from the pulpit, posted on the Church walls and printed in Church bulletins. God deserves nothing less today.
Reports suggest that rare is the parish today that mirrors what was commonplace and treasured years ago.
Not enough thought is given to how our Loving Lord suffers today from such irreverent conduct or how many souls risk their eternal salvation.
Perhaps the following tale about Maryknoll missioner Father Robert Greene’s spiritual torture over the probability of Eucharistic sacrilege occurring during his solitary confinement might spur more of us to better appreciate and protect our Lord from the many sacrileges occurring to Him within His Churches today:
“During the days of his ‘house arrest’ Father Robert Greene, [Maryknoll Missioner to China and author of Calvary in China] had managed to say Mass and reserve the Blessed Sacrament. He told us he did so only after prayer and reflection. He thought God had kept him – in that part of China for a purpose – and that purpose in part was that Christ in the Eucharist might have one adorer. But suddenly, without the least warning, he was taken off to ‘solitary confinement’. And he confessed that what most likely saved him his mind during all the torture of ‘brain washing’ was the thing that almost lost him his mind during the endless days and nights in ‘solitary confinement’ – the thought of the Eucharist hidden up in his room – and the possibility, the high probability, of sacrilege when It was found.
In private conversation this ‘unmartyred martyr’ told me how the ordeal was such that often after a whole night of ‘brain washing’ he found himself staring at his fingers trying to realize they belonged to his own hand, trying to count them and being unsuccessful, trying to say his rosary on them and becoming confused. But one prayer he never forgot to make. The ‘Hail Mary’ might elude him; the ‘Our Father’ be as if unknown; but his heart, his whole being cried out in perfect sanity: “0 Mary, take care of the Body of your Son!” – (From God, A Woman and The Way by Father M. Raymond, O.C.S.O.)
This musing is not about personal preference or putting the genie back in the bottle but rather giving God the honor and reverence He deserves!
For the end of Eucharistic sacrileges, let us pray!