I read the New York Times online. A subscription I acquired during the last presidential election and then failed to finish. An article from last week about communion in the Catholic Church: “Beyond the Politics of Communion, a 2,000-Year-Old Holy Mystery”. Affecting.
(And I want to make that clear right away, speaking of my “Christianity” that I’ve shed myself about before, that I myself haven’t taken communion since I confirmed myself. An education that left me completely unmoved.)
“A young woman stepped into the utter stillness and knelt low. Hannah Hembree, 23, has been coming to eucharistic adoration, the practice of revering the presence of Jesus in the eucharist, almost daily since she quit her job two weeks ago. She came to adore Jesus, just to talk with him, she said afterward.
“People can get wrapped up in the political stuff, but it all comes back to prayer,” she said of the eucharist. “Prayer is about relationship. It’s about spending time with our Lord. “
“The sacrament is a holy mystery. It is the most personal and intimate way Catholics connect with God and one another, part of the weekly or even daily routine.”
“The church has seven sacraments, but the eucharist is the ‘sacrament of sacraments,”” said the Very Rev. Aquinas Guilbeau, a Dominican suits…”
But then there’s a lot about the view of what the bread and wine is all about as well. And, free from memory: Protestants believe it is symbolic, the blood and body of Christ. While Catholics claim that this is actually what you get during communion? “Transubstantiation”?
Either way, this mysterious, “concrete” notion seems to have weak support even among contemporary Catholics:
“Only about 30 percent of U.S. Catholics believe the core church teaching that the bread and wine become the literal body and blood of Christ; About 70 percent believe they are mere symbols, according to a Pew poll from 2019.
The sacrament is more than a set of theological beliefs. It wraps the divine and the human all into one, connecting the church and God across time and space.”
I am thinking about new and old spirituality. The interest in myths and symbolism that so many cultivate. Ceremonies, or routines, such as daily meditation or yoga, etc. But how new age spirituality and such so often expresses itself in the knowledge of what the older spirituality is doing.
Crystals, mandalas, Tibetan singing bowls. Why not an old-fashioned oblat?