Fasting From the Eucharist

Here’s a completely different take on the current communion debate that’s all the
rage these days.

in the Pew at Communion Time

I’ve come to believe that part of the problem has to do with the unremitting insistence
on frequent Communion. I will pause for a moment as 90% of my readers emit gasps
of horror at what I’ve just written. I think we’ve hammered frequent Communion (a
wonderful thing, in itself) into the people’s heads so hard and have at the same
time failed so miserably to catechize them on the full richness of this Sacrament’s
meaning, that now we find Communion time resembling (as one of my scandalized Mexican
parishioners described the English-language Masses) a stampede of cattle, leaving
behind empty pew after empty pew as everyone surges forward to get a Host. And if
they can’t have a Host, you damn sure better give them a nice blessing because it’s
Communion time and, you know, everybody has to get something. I’ve had people go
to confession for not having gone to Communion even though they were present for
an entire Mass. It is not a sin not to go to Communion. But people have been led
to believe that it is. Together with the misunderstood insistence on frequent Communion,
a poor understanding of “active participation in the Liturgy” must shoulder
a fair share of the blame.