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Sunday, October 16, 2011
Book Review: "Dominus Est - It is the Lord" by Bishop Athanasius Schneider

Over the past few days I have been very pleased to read and review His Excellency Bishop Athanasius Schneider's "Dominus Est - It is the Lord."  His Excellency writes on the controversial yet fundamentally urgent issue of Communion-in-the-hand and its departure from the Catholic Tradition. 

As I have written previously in my post on Restoring Eucharistic Reverence, Communion-in-the-hand, so-called "Eucharistic minister," and the elimination of altar rails must end.  As Fr. Peter M. J. Stravinskas writes in the preface, "Indeed, the centuries-old practice of priests placing the Sacred Host directly onto the tongue of recipients came precisely from the Protestant Reformers, who were intent on calling into question both the ministerial priesthood and the doctrine of transubstantiation."  Simply put, Communion-on-the-hand is a protestant, anti-Catholic notion that must be eliminated from the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

In the text, the Secretary for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Malcolm Ranjith, reminds us, "At the same time, speaking of Communion-in-the-hand it is necessary for all to recognize that the practice was as an abuse..."  That's right, Communion-in-the-hand entered the Liturgy as an abuse - it was illicit and in the ensuing years, it has caused countless numbers of atrocities from the Faithful losing Faith in the Real Presence to satanists obtaining our Lord's True Body and Blood for their diabolical rituals.

This short read is a fantastic testament of love for our Lord.  As our Divine Redeemer has said, the greatest of all Commandments is to first love the Lord God with all our hearts, minds, and souls.  If we do not humble ourselves in adoration before our Lord and if we dare to stand before Him and receive Him as mere earthly bread, we incur the wrath of Almighty God.

This book is highly recommended.  Distribute it to your Novus Ordo friends to help them see (especially if they were born after Vatican II) that the modern notion of "living a Catholic life" is not at all what a Catholic life is truly about.  And what is living a Catholic life really about?  It is about placing our Lord first in our lives and I, daresay, that is not possible for those who continue to receive Communion-in-the-hand.


del_button December 15, 2011 at 5:43 PM
Kevin said...

Communion on the tongue is a surely a laudable and reverential way to receive the Eucharist, but I think that recommending it exclusively becomes conflated with ideology and the lack of a historical perspective. Patristic evidence shows a diversity of practices in receiving communion. For instance, Cyril of Jerusalem in his Mystagogical Catecheses advises the newly baptized to "make a throne of your hands in which to receive the King in Holy Communion." Does Schneider factor in the witness of the Fathers?

For this reason, it seems uncharitable to link reception in the hand to a Protestantization of the Church. This creates an "us" vs. "them" mentality, as if this was a zero-sum game if we affirm what Protestants once affirmed. Also, it is unfair to lump together all Protestants as if they were a monolithic group; some did indeed see the Eucharist as a mere symbol or figure, but many believed in the Real Presence while simply disagreeing with having a description of the change locked into the categories of Aristotelian philosophy.

And if this practice is indeed part of the tradition, linked to the early Church, don't you think it unfair to label it Protestant? Again, I find this an unhelpful and unecumenical attitude.

You simply cannot prove that communion in the hand can be blamed for innumerable abuses; a post hoc, ergo propter hoc in my opinion. I am all for restoring a sense of reverence for the Eucharist, but this begins in one's heart and immersion in the Eucharistic mystery and cannot be definitively linked to a manner of reception deemed "more worthy." To make the outrageous claim that one is not placing the Lord first in one's life if one is receiving on the hand betrays a juddgmental attitude that does not befit a follower of the Lord, who alone can judge hearts.

del_button December 16, 2011 at 2:50 PM
Matthew said...

To the above commentor, please read my post that refutes much of what you say above:

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