Sunday, June 26, 2011

Some thoughts on Corpus Christi

Catholics are often accused of "idolatry" because we fill our churches with statues and depictions of saints and religious figures and use them in our prayer life. But anyone who knows anything about Catholic devotional practices can tell you that we do not worship these images. They merely provide physical reminders of our faith and serve to heighten our awareness that all of creation gives glory to God. Everything of beauty in the physical world (from a breathtaking sunrise to Michelangelo’s Pieta) points us to the reality of God’s divine glory. Catholics use physical beauty as a reminder of this truth.

However, if ever there was a plausible reason to accuse Catholics of idolatry it would be the Eucharist. According to Catholic teaching, the bread and wine at Mass cease to be bread and wine, and become the body and blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ. In other words, we believe that the bread becomes the incarnate Son of God, the second person of the Blessed Trinity. We really do bow down and worship that little wafer of “bread” and adore Him as God. We do nothing of the sort to our statues, paintings, mosaics, or stained glass. But to the Eucharist we fall down on our knees and worship.

So if Catholics are wrong about this belief – if the bread does not really become God – then what we do is truly idolatrous. We worship a thing that is not God. Go ahead and accuse us of it, and then we can discuss the merits of your argument.

But if Catholics are right – if the bread and wine truly do transform into Jesus – then other Christians should be flocking to the Catholic Church so that they too can be in His presence. If we are right, then other Christians are missing out on Jesus’ physical presence among us.

So…it is either one, or the other: either Catholics are idol-worshipers or the rest of the Christian churches are denying God’s true presence.

Ave verum corpus, natum
de Maria Virgine,
vere passum, immolatum
in cruce pro homine,
cuius latus perforatum
fluxit aqua et sanguine:
esto nobis praegustatum
in mortis examine.
O Iesu dulcis, O Iesu pie, O Iesu, fili Mariae.
Miserere mei. Amen.

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  1. how true and how objective you make this post, i am trying to write a blog on faith, without sounding bigotted, I can learn from you! thank you

  2. Thanks for reading! And let me know how your blog goes. I would enjoy reading it.

    1. you can google my blog on josina-a different life!