Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Real Presence

A passage from The Eucharist in Four Simple Mysteries.

What is Our Lord's value to us in Real Presence-- apart from His other beautiful benefits and graces in the Blessed Eucharist? Well, we now have a place to which we can go, in the presence of which we can say we are, in the direction of which we can bow our heads and fold our hands, to which we can sing our songs, strew our flowers, light our lights, shake our incense; for which we can build our cathedral, top it with a cross, stain-glass it with our windows, give it a center aisle that leads down to the Real Presence, before which we can genuflect. The Real Presence makes our bodies entitled to the prerogatives of adoration.

I can't add to Fr. Feeney's eloquence but here's a memory of mine:

It was Holy Thursday night, 2007. I'd waited for months and was now two days away from being received into the Church. After that day's one Mass the congregation crowded into the smaller church where the priests had exposed the Blessed Sacrament. We knelt on the floor, praying. In the back a group of men were singing Pange lingua gloriosi. Everyone else was completely quiet. And I was deeply struck with the sense that this at last was real worship of God, the actual straightforward thing, as definitely pleasing to Him as a burnt offering sincerely offered in Old Testament days, and just as objective: we were on our knees in His physical presence. I had been a Christian from childhood but had never worshiped like this before.

I'd long since come to the intellectual conviction that Catholicism is true; that night I felt it in my bones.


The Cellarer said...

Hmm. Nice passage quoted, I must admit I have stayed clear of his writing given his whole EENS History though.

Rachel Gray said...

So have I, for the same reason, but now I find he wrote beautifully. He was a widely popular writer and speaker in the 30's and 40's, before that whole thing started. No doubt the devil was very pleased by how the EENS controversy killed Fr. Feeney's effectiveness. Seems like an illustration of one of Ignatius' principles, that when direct temptation to obvious vice won't work, the devil tries to substitute an apparent good for the real good-- Feeney's interpretation of Tradition instead of the Church's.