"Are we prepared to promote conditions in which the living contact with God can be reestablished? For our lives today have become godless to the point of complete vacuity. God is no longer with us in the conscious sense of the word. He is denied, ignored, excluded from every claim to have a part in our daily life." - Alfred Delp, S.J.

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Is the recent desecration of the Blessed Sacrament in Milan a sign?

The desecration of Holy Cross Church of San Giorgio su Legnano, in Lombardy.

It is unspeakable, unthinkable.  I keep praying.

I don't know why it hasn't shaken the entire Church.

Jesus Christ, Son of God, present in the Blessed Sacrament.

Where is the faith.  The Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith.  In a couple of weeks elaborate processions will take place - on a scheduled feast day, an annual solemnity.  We schedule our celebrations, we time our periods of adoration, and when we are not looking enemies come along and desecrate the sacred species ... with feces. My God!

Is our faith hollow?  Is it empty?  Is this why we can throw the remains of children into septic tanks, or burn the remains of the aborted to power our homes?  Do we only wait for a memorial day or a feast day to recall and remember and make atonement, but in the meantime go on with our lives?  Do we casually walk by the tabernacle without a genuflection?  Do we go by a Catholic church without a prayer, a nod, or a sign of the Cross?

What is wrong with us?  Where is the faith?

It keeps happening.  So what does it mean?

I read some things from Bishop Schneider that I think may shed some light on how and why we can so easily compartmentalize devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, and treat the Eucharist so casually.

The real crisis of the Church is anthropocentrism and the forgetting of Christo-centrism…
Bishop Schneider said the “banal” and casual treatment of the Blessed Sacrament is part of a major crisis in the Church in which some laity and clergy, including some in positions of authority, are siding with secular society. At the heart of the problems, he believes, is the creeping introduction of a man-centred agenda, while in some churches God, in the tabernacle, really is materially put in a corner, while the priest takes centre stage. Bishop Schneider argued that this situation is now coming to a head. “I would say, we are in the fourth great crisis [of the Church], in a tremendous confusion over doctrine and liturgy. We have already been in this for 50 years.”
In the autumn, the synod of bishops will meet in extraordinary session to discuss the family, in the light of the questionnaire which Pope Francis invited the faithful to complete, giving their views on marriage and sexuality. Expectations are growing that rules will be relaxed on a range of sexual matters and in terms of divorced people receiving Communion as a sign of “mercy” from the Church.
Such views, according to Bishop Schneider, reveal the depth of the problem. “I think this issue of the reception of Holy Communion by the remarried will blow up and show the real crisis in the Church. The real crisis of the Church is anthropocentrism and the forgetting of Christo-centrism…
“This is the deepest evil: man, or the clergy, putting themselves in the centre when they are celebrating liturgy and when they change the revealed truth of God, for instance, concerning the Sixth Commandment and human sexuality.” - Source
Holy Communion is not a free for all.

I keep wondering how, why God permits such sacrilege, and I think back to the Sacred Passion of Christ.  What he submitted to, the Lamb without spot, covered in blood, sweat, filth ...  given over into the hands of sinful men.

Like the inhabitants of Sodom, we claim our rights - we want our way with him, to do with him as we please.

Those who desecrate and those of us who should know better, think we have a right to do with Him as we please.

The person who carries the pyx to the sick but stops on the way to eat, or to shop, or has work to do before completing their visitation - before administering the Blessed Sacrament to their charge.

The priest who lays his keys and wallet, along with the sick call set on the kitchen counter with hosts still inside the pyx - to be returned to the tabernacle later - while he has a beer and relaxes.

Then those who receive Holy Communion out of habit or because everyone else is going forward to get something.  Some do not consume the host but slip it into their pocket, hide it in a hymnal.

There are numerous abuses, sacrilege, indifference, indignities, desecration ... things we do not know about, or things so commonplace, we simply ignore.  Dropping the host at the reception of communion - it just happened last week at my parish, an old man fumbled and the host fell to the floor.  He picked it up and consumed it - but were there particles left behind?

I keep praying, asking forgiveness for my own abuses and unworthy, unprepared communions, I keep saying I'm sorry for what happened in Milan.

I need to follow Christ more closely, love him more sincerely - passionately.  I need to draw ever more close to Him in the Blessed Sacrament.  I need to try and make reparation.  I need to try.

Pray, pray, pray.  Pray the Holy Spirit to come.

Come O Holy Spirit, convict me of sin, of righteousness, of judgment.  Teach me and make me entirely teachable, let me remember your presence in my soul, in the Church, in the Blessed Sacrament, and in my neighbor.  Bear witness in and through me, guide me to all truth, grant me the graces you will for me, convincing me concerning sin and righteousness and judgment.  Holy Spirit come and make reparation in and through me - pray in me for I know not how to pray as I ought.  Holy Spirit come and have mercy upon me and the whole world.  Convince the world concerning sin, righteousness and judgment.  Convince the world that Jesus Christ is truly present in the Eucharist, He who is in the Father and the Father in Him in the unity of the Holy Spirit.   O my `Three', my All, my beatitude, infinite solitude, immensity in which I long to be annihilated, I surrender myself to you as your possession. Immerse yourself in me so that I may be immersed in you until, through the merits of the most Precious Blood of Jesus, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I may go to contemplate in your light the abyss of your infinite splendor!  Amen.