How much longer can the faithful see all the abuse taking place and remain silent? If we do not speak up now, many more will continue to fall into the grave errors that are present in our Church.
Christ gave us Seven Sacraments, of those seven, the supreme sacrament is the Most Holy Eucharist, the very Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Our Lord, Jesus Christ. One must only take a brief look into the Gospel of Saint John and see that Christ gives us His flesh to eat. I must quote the Scripture in full here:
Talking to His disciples and others that had come to hear him speak, he said, “For the bread of God is that which cometh down from heaven. They said therefore unto him: Lord, give us always this bread. And Jesus said to them: I am the bread of life.” (St. John 6:33-35). And a few moments later Jesus continues, saying: “I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever; and the bread that I will give, is my flesh, for the world. The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying: How can this man give us his flesh to eat? Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen I say unto you: Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed: and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, abideth in me, and I in him. This is the bread that came down from heaven (St. John 6:51-57, 59).
It will be on the night of his betrayal by Judas that Our Lord institutes the Most Blessed Sacrament at the Last Supper. It is from this very moment that the Church has understood the meaning of such sacrament as the very Body and Blood of Jesus Christ under the accidents of bread and wine. This belief was not formed years after the Apostles, but rather was spread by them. We hear from many of the early Church Fathers, as early as 90 A.D. (when St. John was still alive), speak on the necessity of offering the “sacrifice” and the importance for Christians to believe in “the Eucharist [as] the Flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ (Ignatius of Antioch, 110 A.D.).
To the one who does not understand how or why the accidents used for the Sacrifice do not change into actual flesh, listen to the words of Thomas Aquinas: ““It is evident to sense that all the accidents of the bread and wine remain after the consecration. And this is reasonably done by Divine providence. First of all, because it is not customary, but horrible, for men to eat human flesh, and to drink blood. And therefore Christ’s flesh and blood are set before us to be partaken of under the species of those things which are the more commonly used by men, namely, bread and wine.”
(Summa Theologiae, Pt. III, Q. 75 A. 5)
No Catholic can profess that Christ is not physically present in the Eucharist, as the Council of Trent ruled that “If any one denieth, that, in the sacrament of the most holy Eucharist, are contained truly, really, and substantially, the body and blood together with the soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, and consequently the whole Christ; but saith that He is only therein as in a sign, or in figure, or virtue; let him be anathema.” (Thirteenth Session, Canon 1). This is the very truth and the reality we must face when we come to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
And in the words of Francis of Assisi: “…all those are damned who see the Sacrament of the Body of Christ which is consecrated on the altar in the form of bread and wine by the words of our Lord in the hands of the priest, and do not see or believe in spirit and in God that this is really the most holy Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
So, what is lacking at the Sacrifice of the Mass today in many places around the world? Reverence. Reverence is that very act in which one gives adoration and worship to Jesus Christ, present in the Most Blessed Sacrament. Too often there are conversations, wayward and displeasing fashions, inappropriate music, unfitting mannerisms, and presentations of oneself before the priest in poor posture. Again, the Council of Trent states “If any one saith, that, in the holy sacrament of the Eucharist, Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, is not to be adored with the worship…neither to be venerated with a special festive solemnity, nor to be solemnly borne about in processions…or, is not to be proposed publicly to the people to be adored, and that the adorers thereof are idolators; let him be anathema.” (Thirteenth Session, Canon VI).
No matter if one seeks to present themselves to receive the Blessed Sacrament or just attending the Sacrifice of the Mass, reverence is required and key to a firm faith in Jesus Christ and in His Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. When presenting oneself for communion, one should be in the state of grace, dressed modestly, approach the rail, kneel, and receive on the tongue. Again, each of these things aid to one’s worthy reception of the Blessed Sacrament. These small actions taken on our own part, in addition to genuflecting upon enter the church, keeping a sacred silence, and entering into a state of prayer before the Mass begins, will not only direct ourselves in a reverent state before Our Lord, Jesus Christ, present in the Eucharist, but will also make an example to those around us on why reverence is necessary when attending Holy Mass and receiving Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.
To the one who seeks to be irreverent, to be uneducated, and to not believe, may he, as the Council of Trent makes clear, “be an anathema.”
"Do you realize that Jesus is there in the tabernacle expressly for you - for you alone? He burns with the desire to come into your heart...don't listen to the demon, laugh at him, and go without fear to receive the Jesus of peace and love...
- Saint Therese of Lisieux