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A Leaven In The World . . . Receiving Communion Means Obedience To Fullness Of Faith

August 26, 2020 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK

The faith which Christ proposes offers true freedom. “For freedom Christ has set us free,” as St. Paul teaches.
The Church continues the preaching of the good news about this new life which the Lord offers, and without which no human person is freed from the bondage of unbelief or enslavement to idols.
Almighty God created us in the freedom of His loving initiative. He created us in His image and thus endowed us with free will.
The initiative of salvation is a free encounter with God Incarnate in Jesus Christ. Faith in Him is a continuing choice to conform our lives to His incarnate Revelation of the truth about love.
Of course there are false prophets. The Lord teaches this unfortunate fact as well. “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves.” Many counterfeits claim to come in His name and to offer what He only can give.
“But he answering them, said: Every plant which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. Let them alone: They are blind, and leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into the pit” (Matt. 15:13-14).
The Lord, as we know and believe, founded the Church as “the place of faith,” as taught by Benedict XVI. The universal Church is the locus of privileged encounter with Christ and with His gift of salvation only in and through Him.
“I am the Way and the Truth and the Life,” He teaches. “No one can come to the Father except through me.”
The flow of grace continues in the Church, which the Apostle Paul teaches is “the Body of Christ” in the world today. The seven sacraments are the privileged encounters with Christ who gives grace here and now.
Among the seven sacraments is one which is Most Blessed: The Eucharist is a source of grace as the true and Real Presence in an abiding way of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.
The Church rightly protects the sacredness of the Lord Himself in all the sacraments, but above all in the Eucharist.
At the same time, we always protect the freedom of the human person called to believe and to receive Him in the freedom of faith, not out of conformity or for spurious or superficial reasons which instrumentalize the Catholic faith for unworthy or underhanded motives.
In an election year, such as this, many candidates dress themselves up as religious persons. They love to attend church services, shake hands, and receive Communion.
In some cases, it may be possible that this campaigning does not amount to hypocrisy. Candidates need votes and voters go to church. Some politicians are always campaigning and not shy about using every opportunity to drum up support.
Some may remember Bill Clinton receiving Communion at a Catholic Mass in Africa. The priest himself offered Communion to the president in order to, as he claimed, avoid embarrassing him. But Clinton started the whole thing by placing himself in the Communion procession to begin with.
One finds it hard to believe that the leader of the free world would not have someone on his staff capable of briefing him on Catholic practices to prepare him for such an occasion.
Showing respect for the beliefs of others is also a good way to garner political support.
Far worse is the scandal of a baptized Catholic such as Joe Biden publicly and frequently receiving Communion when he at the same time publicly advocates abortion, infanticide, and marital simulation between same-sex couples.
I don’t know that there’s ever been an occasion when Biden has opposed the Democratic Party for the sake of Catholic faith and morals.
He compounded sin by officiating at a public mockery of marriage between two men at his naval observatory residence while vice president.
Any priest who becomes aware that Joe Biden is attending a Holy Mass offered anywhere is free to offer the Mass without public Communion, so as to avoid a nearly certain occasion of sacrilege and profanation.
The Church is always free to offer Communion privately outside of Mass to those who wish to remain afterward for that purpose. If we wish to avoid an awkward encounter with a prominent non-Catholic guest at Mass, such an option should always be considered.
At one time the Church omitted to give Holy Communion at weddings and funerals because the likelihood that non-Catholics would be present is always increased.
The wisdom of the tradition is revealed in the negative, as sacrilege and profanation of the Eucharist have been compounded since these wise practices were jettisoned during the postconciliar period.
Faith is not conformity. Physical imitation without intentional adherence to all the Church teaches is not free.
How many Catholics understand that we are not prepared to receive our Lord in the Holy Eucharist without full and free assent of the intellect and will to all that He teaches in matters of faith and morals through the Church?
Such bears repeating at weddings, funerals, and other public events. This is preaching the Gospel and calling unbelievers to the salvation of faith as well as protecting the integrity of the sacraments.
We are called always to the witness of love in the sharing of truth unselfishly with all whom we encounter.
Many imitate Catholic practices such as receiving Communion for simple reasons of fellow feeling, to congratulate a new married couple as guests of the wedding, or to show sympathy at a funeral.
It is only in placing barriers to outwardly conforming unbelief that human freedom can be truly engaged.
The questioning process triggered by denying the Eucharist to unbelievers or those in public mortal sin is a kindness that can lead to belief born of inquiry.
The process of investigating the reasons for believing is one of encounter with Christ in whom we believe. Encouraging and enabling such an encounter shows respect for the human freedom He desires of every human person, without which love is impossible.
“As the Father hath loved me, I also have loved you. Abide in my love” (John 15:19).
Christ truly abides with us in the Holy Eucharist.
We abide with Him unto eternal life as we love and adore Him thus present, receive Him in the free gift of His love and do nothing less than live always in His love.
Thank you for reading and praised be Jesus Christ now and forever.
Join me on Parler to continue the conversation @FatherKevinMCusick.

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