The Solemnity of Corpus Christi and the loss of faith in the Real Presence
This week, either today, or in the USA and Canada on Sunday, the Roman Catholic Church celebrates the Solemnity of Corpus Christ (The Body of Christ). This is a time when the Church acknowledges her Eucharistic Lord and Savior in a very clear and particular way. Parishes and dioceses, notably the Diocese of Rome, celebrate this feast with Mass, following with a procession of the Most Blessed Sacrament through the church and out into the city. Jesus Himself, hidden under the Sacrament veil, is brought out to be witnessed by the world. To see what this would look like ideally, click HERE!
On September 8th, 1264, the Holy Father Pope Urban IV instituted this great Feast to celebrate the Lord, truly present in the Sacrament of His Love, after a Bishop came to him, who had been advised by now St. Juliana of Mont Cornillon. She had come to the Bishop, begging him to speak to the Pope and ask for this great feast to be ordered. It was to be for the Church a reminder of who it is we worship in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. It was to remind us of who truly lived behind those golden doors on our altars. Following Pope Urban’s order for this great feast, other Popes including Pope Martin V and Pope Eugene IV attached indulgences for those who gathered in a Eucharistic Procession on this feast. Pope’s declared this feast so important that they proclaimed, by the power and promptings of the Holy Spirit, that it had the ability to destroy the affects of sin on the soul if rightly participated with. The feast contains a lot of power.
Fast forward to the present day. In the dioceses around North America, you would be hard pressed to find a Eucharistic Procession on this feast. You would also be hard pressed to find a parish that on this day, speaks of our Lord truly present in the Blessed Sacrament in a meaningful and profound way. This is a travesty!
I in particular would like to acknowledge the Diocese of London Ontario. This is the Diocese in which I was raised, and so I have an affinity for it, and feel I have a responsibilty to speak concerning it’s current situation. Let it be said, there is always conversion and the grace of redemption, however my diocese is on the path to self-destruction. Canon Law states ” “Wherever in the judgment of the diocesan Bishop it can be done, a procession through the streets is to be held, especially on the solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ, as a public witness of veneration of the Blessed Eucharist. It is for the diocesan Bishop to establish such regulations about processions as will provide participation in them and for their being carried out in a dignified manner.” (Can. 944 §1,2). Let it be said, no other devotion receives as much attention as this does in Canon Law. Bishops are the main protectors of the Blessed Sacrament, but are also the shepherds, in charge of ensuring the flock is cared for. No matter how many ways you try and look at it, many Bishops including my own, are starving the sheep. Across my diocese (which I believe is an example of what many dioceses look like) the Blessed Sacrament is left, hidden away in some obscure location where no reverence is made to Him. Our Lord is received by thousands of Catholics in my diocese every Sunday who remain, and will continue to remain, in a state of Mortal Sin. This is a great Eucharistic Sacrilege! This however continues to go unchecked and unspoken of, by what may be considered “the best priests” in our Diocese. Marriage preparation courses and RCIA classes continue to run without acknowledging this central reality, which is the “Source and Summit of the Christian Life” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1326). Blessed Pope John Paul II acknowledged in numerous encyclicals the reality that the Church needs to regain it’s Eucharistic reverence and devotion. It was he who carried the Blessed Sacrament out of the doors of St. Peter’s and through the streets of Rome.
Why does this widespread neglect continue to happen?
Of course we can surmise the countless reasons for it, however I would like to acknowledge the central fact that sums it all up: Many of our Bishops do not really believe that Jesus Christ is who He says He is. They may believe certain aspects of who He is, but they are not looking at Him in His entirety. They look for His Hands of service, or His “Do unto others…” philosophy. However they miss the entire point. Jesus is not a social justice philosophy, nor is He a nice guy. Jesus is God- The King of the Universe, Redeemer of Humanity, Bread of Eternal Salvation. Jesus calls men to lay down their lives not simply to help others, but to lay down their lives FOR HIM. To sacrifice ALL for the Kingdom. To proclaim the Good News of Salvation, not of the next meal. Our works of justice must flow from the central reality of our Lord, truly present in the Sacrament of the Altar. Without this reality, our works fail miserably and have no lasting fruit. They are a vapour that fades away with no eternal consequence. These “professional Catholics” as spoken about by Pope Benedict XVI, take the person of Jesus, and turn Him into a Saturday morning public service announcement for kids – “Don’t do drugs. Help out at a a soup kitchen”.
With Team Orthodoxy, I lament the death of faith in my diocese. Our vocations will continue to dwindle. Our parishes will continue to dry up, pack up, and lock it’s doors. Even the “best” of it’s parishes are losing faith because their priests refuse to call their parishioners to a life of REAL holiness. The real catholics, sitting in the pews, Sunday after Sunday, run home to youtube, catholic blogs, ewtn, etc to find something that resembles the faith they know and love because they are not finding it in the parishes. Many run to Latin Masses in hopes of finding in it a real sense of the Sacred.
We are fed up and need to speak up! The sexual abuse crisis will never be fixed until the Bishops and priests begin by leading their entrusted flock to the Eucharistic King, and beg Him for forgiveness and to release grace upon us. Our dioceses are going bankrupt and will never see the light of day until a fundamental change is made. If we continue to bring such dishonor to our Blessed Lord in the Sacrament of Sacraments and continue to slam our doors on this storehouse of grace by the allowance of the Eucharistic sacrileges, nothing will change, and things will continue to worsen.
It is time to surround this city of Jericho, and shout the truth to bring down the walls.
Saint Catherine of Sienna said, “We have had enough of exhortations to be silent. Cry out with a thousand tongues. I see that the world is rotten because of silence”
Pray on this Feast of Corpus Christi, that your priest, and Bishop, and clergy everywhere will come to believe what Jesus said and that only those who eat His flesh and drink His blood have life. Speak up for the love of Jesus Eucharistic!
But woe to them of who Saint Paul speaks of who, in receiving communion in a state of such sin, drink only condemnation upon themselves. Don’t be one who by your silence, drinks of that same cup.
ADOREMUS IN AETERNUM SANCTISSIMUM SACRAMENTUM
In the Immaculata,