Monday, May 31, 2010

Not Going to Communion


Whenever I see someone who doesn't go to communion, I find I feel all at the same time both very hopeful for them and also a little bit worried and maybe even sad.

On the one hand, I feel hopeful because I think to myself, here is someone clearly taking the eucharist very seriously. They are clearly on a journey of some kind. And isn't it amazing that they've given themselves to that.

At the same time, I worry about whether they're taking that journey with anyone from the Church, whether they're talking about the things that they feel are holding them back from communion, be it a sin or simply the series of basic steps necessary to enter into the Church. As a priest I would never want to meddle in someone else's spiritual life, but I must say, having been at this whole religious life thing a little while now, I've seen how, left alone, we can get lost and confused and even despair. For most of us it takes conversation or at least a sounding board to help us separate our own human, limited views of God, of the nature of our sinfulness, of our mission from the realities thereof.

Put another way: in my experience, God is often a lot more loving and forgiving than the unconscious images that we respond to/react out of. And if there's not someone out there helping us get in touch with that, well, it could be we never take the steps we need to come to the table of the Lord that we seek -- and that God seeks for us.

God: Reaching Out to Help Us?...


Or ready to throw a lightning bolt and smite us down?


We believe as Catholics that the Eucharist is our ongoing sacrament of reconciliation, the means, along with confession, by which we are continually brought back into right relationship with God and one another.

It's always good to remember that.

4 comments:

M Russell said...

Thank you, well said. When I returned to the Church last year, I really needed to just talk with someone about why I left and what I needed to fully come back (ie, receive communion). Unfortunately, we do not have a consistent priest, quite often we have Communion Service on Sunday and not a Mass. It was a challenging journey for me, made even more difficult without a present, human guide. Luckily (providentially?) I found deMello's book, 'Contact with God', which helped immensely. I am still on this journey, still desiring a "sounding board", but have found my way back to God, back to Eucharist. So I would encourage anyone on such a journey to, yes, find someone to talk with; don't feel that you have to do it "alone" (even though we are never truly alone). Thanks, Michelle

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