Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Bishop Athanasius Schneider on the Most Holy Eucharist

Catholic is the quarterly newspaper published under the patronage of Our Mother of Perpetual Succour by the Desert Will Flower Press, organ of the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer.

It is produced and distributed by the Fathers and Brothers of this missionary congregation from its Motherhouse on the island of Papa Stronsay in Orkney, Scotland.

They have published an excerpt from an interview with Zenit in June this year in their latest quarterly newspaper, with His Lordship Bishop Athanasius Schneider, Auxillary of Karaganda, Kazakhstan. The Bishop, who has become well known for his book Dominus Est (concerning reverence towards the Blessed Sacrament). He sounds very inspiring and refreshing in this age when true reverence towards the Blessed Sacrament is an issue taken up by only a minority of Priests and Bishops. This is Bishop Athanasius Schneider talking about the Holy Eucharist...

"For me it's not a new understanding. I, all my life, lived this because I received the Holy Communion in such circumstances of persecution, and this reverence, it was so natural for me as a child to receive. I was told, this is God here present really, and it was so natural to kneel: "This is the Most Holy" as we say, "The Most Holy - Sanctissimum."

Even my mother who lived during these times of persecution, once she saved a priest from the police in the Urals where she was deported. And then her mother, my grandmother was very ill. And when the priest was departing, my grandmother asked my mother to ask the priest prior to his departure to please ask the priest to leave a Holy Host - a consecrated Host in case she (grandmother) died, so that she could receive the Holy Communion. And my mother told the priest this request. And the priest said, "Yes, I will leave you one consecrated Host on the condition that you administer this Holy Communion with the most reverence possible.

My mother gave her (mother) the Holy Communion and to do this my mother took a pair of new white gloves, to give, to administer the host so that she would not touch the host with her bare hands. She would not dare touch the Holy Sacrament with her bare hands, and she took a spoon to administer it.
And this was so profound and so natural for us, and therefore, when we came and saw this in the Western Churches, I was so astonished, but we felt so much sorrow in our soul. I do not judge the person receiving Communion with their hands, this is another question because they can still receive it with reverence and love, but the objective situation of distributing the Holy Communion; you cannot deny this, that it has turned so banal, so less reverent, like distributing cakes.

This is the Lord; when the Risen Lord appeared to the three women and they saw him, they knelt down [...] They fell on their knees on his feet and adored him. And even the Apostles did the same when the Lord went to Heaven. Why should we not do the same? Here is the Lord, real, present as it was for a thousands years in the Catholic Church. Why should we change this?"

Why indeed? Apparently, the Holy Father stopped giving Communion to the Faithful in the hand after having read Bishop Schneider's book. Now that is what I call kudos! How much we need holy Bishops who say this!

All the liturgical innovations in the World will never satiate the hunger of the human heart for the Heart of Jesus! If a Church had been stripped bare, if all a Church had was a Priest, an Altar, Font and a Tabernacle, then that Church would serve God and man better than a thousand Churches with the finest, gilded interiors in the World, if those thousand Churches did not revere and hold in awe the Most Holy, Blessed Sacrament and that one stripped bare Church did!


Catholic historian said...

Strange you think only consecrated hands should touch the host, Jesus didn't insist on ordinary folk needing to wear gloves to touch him when he was alive. In fact didn't he take the opposite view?

Anonymous said...

In response to "Catholic historian":
You still don't get it, do you?

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