Fr. Eduard Perrone, "A Pastor's Descant" (Assumption Grotto News, March 19, 2017):
Sometimes I think of all the troubles in the Church and in the world and wonder why they are and what is to be done about them. Then I recall that God is here among us, in the Blessed Sacrament, and that there He's largely ignored. I think then I have my answer.
Where to begin to speak of this? Priests who no longer believe as they once did in the Real Presence? The careless, cavalier manner in which Christ is distributed and received in the hand? Precious particles of the Holy Sacrament scattered on church floors, carpets, altar tops? (Every particle of the host, every drop of the Precious Blood, is Christ whole and entire.) The indiscriminate distribution of Communion to those ill-disposed through mortal sin, to non-Catholics, or to those who have no supernatural faith? Passing before the Divine Presence in the tabernacle without genuflection or even a head bow? Talking to others in church, rudely ignoring the Divine Presence? Catholics believing Communion a mere symbolic presence and symbolic reception of Christ? Communion received with the requisite dispositions but without adoration, reverence, or further prayers? And what can be said of someone approaching Communion while chewing gum? (is it unspeakable ignorance or is it malice?) Spillage of the Precious Blood on clothing, altars, or pouring out the consecrated excess into the sacrarium or sink after Mass? All these done not by Christ's enemies but by His members! I recall words fromt he Gospel "to His own He came, but His own received Him not"; and "they seized Jesus and bound Him" (Jn 1:11; 18:12). While much is said in our time of heightened sensitivity about the abuse of persons through insulting words or assault, little or nothing is said of the horrible and widespread abuse of the Person of the Son of God in the Blessed Sacrament who, in a manner of speaking, suffers the ill-treatment and contempt of willful neglect, sacrilege, or abuse of the Holy Eucharist.
Here you have it, in your Grotto News, the greatest reason why so much is wrong in the Church and in the world. The naivety of your foolish pastor leads him to such an embarrassingly simplistic account for so many problems we have. I anticipate the reaction: "This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?" (Jn 6:60). I don't much care about dismissive and derisive reactions to my conjectures, but I do care a great deal that our Lord be rightly honored, adored, and treated with all due respect in the Holy Eucharist as holy Church prescribes and as the piety of God's people dictates.
How's your Lent going? About now there's a temptation to fall from one's Lenten pledges, having become weary of self-denial and of crowding up one's time with those religious extras that need not be done by obligation. Next Sunday will be Laetare Sunday, the liturgical half-way marker of Lent. Have you already become weary of the holy season? Every morning of Lent the Church makes me say the psalm Miserere in the traditional Divine Office. She will not let me forget I am a sinner whose sin is "always before me," giving me ample reason to trudge through the day penitent and determined to keep Lent.
March 19 ordinarily marks the feast day of Saint Joseph but on a Sunday in Lent this is transferred to the following day. Nevertheless we take the celebration into the gym today after the noon Mass for the traditional St. Joseph dinner. The great man may not get a lot of respect nowadays. Once he was highly honored, much invoked for a variety of benefits he was known to confer. We should not fail, in our alleged preference for a more Christ-centered piety, to invoke the saints who bestow and even greater honor to God through our patronage of them than we can give God by force of our own feeble prayers alone.
Next Saturday, March 25, the feast of Annunciation will be observed on its assigned day. The event commemorated is in a sense greater even than Christmas day since it began the time God first came to live in the humanity of Jesus Christ, that humanity which came 'into the open' on His birthday.