As I write this blog, I am still in great disbelief over how the overwhelming majority of the lay faithful are still without access to their Blessed Lord in Holy Communion. Yes, many churches and parishes have adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, but very few dioceses in the United States (three as of this writing), have allowed the faithful to once again receive the Most Sacred Body and Most Precious Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.
In the Commonwealth of PA, where the headquarters of The King’s Men is maintained, Governor Tom Wolf has allowed religious institutions, like the Catholic Church, to continue its ministry with full exemption. In fact, TKM, Inc. is enabled as well. Yet with the social distancing guidelines and stay-at-home orders, TKM has not been able to do much ministry outside of blogging, emailing, letter writing, phone banking, zoom meetings and teleconferencing.
However, the church in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia is fully able to offer their services to the people locally. Again, many churches are offering confession, adoration and web streaming of live masses. The faithful are grateful for these offerings, but the glaring element missing with these activities is the most important function of the Catholic Church–the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and reception of the Holy Eucharist.
The Eucharist is the “source and summit” of our faith as declared in the Vatican II documents. The Eucharist is the spiritual nourishment of God’s people and is needed to avoid venial and mortal sin, exercise virtue and discipline in the midst of this crisis and extend the kindness that all are being asked to provide to our neighbors during this pandemic. If people are struggling with such requests, then is it possibly because the people are not being given the strength they need to be obedient and compliant with such regulations? I wonder.
With our fallen human natures, our Lord knew that we would need His grace to assist us in our pursuit of holiness, fight temptation and our many disordered inclinations. In short, the Eucharist, is indeed the life line that all Catholics need to sustain themselves spiritually and live virtuous and altruistic lives. Without the Eucharist, the faithful are spiritually sick and their soul’s are in serious jeopardy. These are not my thoughts by the way, but those of many saints throughout the history of the Church, including the Council Fathers of Trent, St. Francis de Sales, St. Alphonsus Liguori, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Augustine of Hippo, St. Thomas More, and St. John Fisher just to name a select few.
Without the Eucharist, the world is lost. While many Catholics are perplexed like me over this reality, I frustratingly observe and wonder how abortion on demand is still unabated by this pandemic with apparently very little oversight and restrictions from Governor Wolf. Why? Its precisely because abortion is deemed essential for the common good. Abortion has been qualified as an “essential service”, yet gathering for Holy Mass is not. How is this justifiably possible? Babies are dying everyday during this pandemic and commensurately souls without access to the sacrament of Holy Communion. Yet, there has been relative silence on the primordial issue of abortion and the inconsistency of the government as far as their directives to its citizens from the Catholic Church.
The questions still for us remain:
Why are the risks worth taking for abortion service providers while the risk is not the same for Holy Mass?
Isn’t our spiritual well being just as important as our physical and emotional well being?
If it is just as important, then what can the lay faithful do to encourage their bishops and priests to provide them that which is vital for their earthly journeys?
Many lay Catholic people throughout the world have offered responses to encourage a return of the Mass. The country of Austria issued a great response recently. Catholics in the city of Dallas offered their voice too in a great procession around their Cathedral. I believe these efforts are admirable and should be mirrored in other dioceses across the globe. I encourage Catholics, specifically men, to pray about this outrage and their own response. Not only should Catholics be raising awareness to their local and statewide elected officials, but to their local bishop and diocesan wide pro-life efforts. TKM will continue to encourage, challenge and invite others to engage in noble battles like this one.
May God grant us each an extra portion of courage to fulfill our duties to lead, protect and provide for the most innocent and vulnerable–the pre-born child.