Thursday, June 12, 2008

Mary Quite Contrary: Monster Monstrance Promotes Mariolatry and Wafer Madness

“Father forgive them, they know not what they do.” These words from Golgotha, among the last that scripture attributes to the earthly Jesus, are all too apt for the object pictured above.

Take a close look at it. Never seen anything like it? You’re right. There’s never been anything like it. It’s a statue of Mary, the mother of Jesus, that’s nine feet tall and 700 pounds. But it’s not just the height and weight that make it special. It’s that round niche cut into most of the torso between the heart and the uterus. The niche is meant for displaying a 12-inch consecrated communion wafer. That technically makes the statue a
monstrance, and it’s said to be the biggest in the world.


For a better appreciation of the sheer size of the piece, the picture below shows how it dwarfs Deacon Michael McCloskey of Holy Name Cathedral as he places a consecrated host in it on May 31st.




That was the day the curtains parted in the sanctuary of St. Stanislaus Kostka Church in Chicago to reveal the monstrance of Our Lady of the Sign, Ark of Mercy.

The archdiocesan newspaper and the Catholic News Service reported that Cardinal Francis George (an Oblate of Mary Immaculate) “was on hand to celebrate Mass and bless the new nine-foot, hand-carved and painted monstrance featuring Mary atop a gold-leaf decorated ark flanked by two kneeling angels, also in gold leaf, whose wings extend to shelter her.”

The desire to glorify Mary for her unique role in salvation history is biblically sound, especially her cooperation with God in bearing Jesus, bringing him into the world, keeping faith with him through his ministry and death, and being among the earliest to bear witness to his resurrection.

However, what is very dubious theologically is for the Catholic Church to procure and promote a physical image of Mary that in its monstrous size so towers over human beings that it could easily be confused for a pagan idol or an Asian Buddha. It leaves the church open to charges of Mariolatry, a term used in the past by Protestant critics who believed Catholics tended to denigrate worship of Jesus and his Father by idolizing Jesus’ mother.

And it muddies the theological waters all the more to turn this overwrought likeness of Mary into a monstrance, which misconstrues Mary’s relationship to the eucharist and promotes misunderstanding of the eucharist itself.

It was no accident that eucharistic devotions like exposition of the blessed sacrament (in a monstrance), 40 hours devotion before the exposed eucharist (in a monstrance), benediction with the exposed eucharist (in a monstrance) and Corpus Christi processions of the consecrated host (in a monstrance) became less frequent after the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965).

The Council took seriously the concern of modern liturgists that with the emergence of large medieval cathedrals the original Lord’s Supper had become distorted from a shared meal to a mammoth exercise of visual adoration. A cult of sharing and eating the eucharistic bread and wine, “in memory of me” as Jesus asked, was replaced with a cult of looking at the consecrated bread and venerating it. As Catholic professors of sacramental theology told their students in the 1970s, in the decades before the Council the challenge wasn’t believing that the bread was really Jesus: the challenge was to believe it was bread!

The eucharistic devotions were never officially revoked. But they were officially downplayed in favor of reformed eucharistic liturgies that put greater emphasis on the altar as a table and the eucharist as a shared meal, Jesus’ transformation of the Passover seder into a celebration of his own deliverance, and ours.

Still, the conservative reaction against Vatican II included a renewed preference for the old eucharistic devotions. Pope John Paul II did not discourage them, and as recently as May 22, 2008,
Pope Benedict XVI could be found kneeling before a monstrance driven through the streets of Rome on a canopied flatbed truck, on the way to a benediction service and eucharistic devotions.

But as with other issues discussed here, just because the pope thinks something and does something does not make it theologically correct or in this case sacramentally wise. And that is especially true of allowing one of his U.S. cardinals to help commission and encourage veneration of the largest monstrance in the world.

Two fans of the new monstrance described some of the devotions that accompanied its unveiling. They help explain the theological misgivings I raise:

“After Mass, many remained in Adoration. Some got out of their pews to walk close to the altar so they could get a better view of the monstrance, while others were prostrate on the ground, kneeling on the floor, or just standing in awe before the Eucharist. Many walked out of the church with tears in their eyes.

”Many families attended despite temperatures in the 90s. The ceremonies began at 6 p.m. eastern time. Long after Mass, people lingered. In fact, at 11 p.m., the church was still packed. People crowded near the front entrance to St. Stanislaus Church, talking about their personal experiences they had in the unveiling, Mass, and Adoration.

“‘It was almost as if you were away from the world,’ shared one pilgrim, ‘and Noble Drive [the location of the church in Chicago] had become a piece of heaven on earth.’”

If so, this particular heaven on earth is an ersatz one. These kind of devotions are not how Jesus asked his followers remember him. They detract from what he did request, that we share bread and wine in a ritual meal. By claiming to experience Jesus as more intensely present in these devotions than in the ritual meal, they misconstrue the meaning of the eucharist and trivialize Jesus’ presence in the eucharistic liturgy.

And by transforming Mary into a monstrance, they trivialize her actual role in salvation history and turn her into some kind of mystical ark of a mystical new covenant centered on veneration of consecrated hosts.

I know of nothing that will convince Cardinal George and Benedict XVI to stop pushing these devotions. But those who are truly devoted to the eucharist need to challenge them and affirm that nothing in Christianity should ever be given greater prominence than the eucharistic meal.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

I found this article when searching for pictures on Google of a monstrance and this picture delighted me in particular. I clicked on it to gaze at it more. The angels with their huge extravagant wings protecting the Eucharist. A lovely Mary - I am always looking for lovelier Marys. Best of all about Mary was the Eucharist in her center. It shows in this unique new image exactly what I imagine! Sometimes when I am before Jesus in the Eucharist I feel compelled to pray a Hail Mary. I think: what am I doing? This is Jesus. But that's my old Protestant protesting. Then I realize Mary is always there too, with her Jesus, surrounding Him, loving Him, pointing Him to us, worshipping Him. So I imagine Mary there surrounding Jesus. And here is the image I imagined.

When I read your first words, the Bible quote, "Forgive them; they know not what they do", I thought: "Here it is, an outraged and righteous Protestant protesting." But its not. Its you, one of those protesting heady intellectual Catholics who know how the Church should be run "instead". We simple believers who love and worship God the "old": way are "behind the times", and not with it. We're the simpletons. But remember God uses the simple to confound the wise.

I'm one of those converts who thinks its silly for so many Catholics to strive to be more creatively Protestant. I was Protestant, and I will tell you that you can NEVER be Protestant like a genuine Protestant. You will always come up short to the real thing. Catholics being Protestant look ridiculous in comparison. Fake. Catholics can only be Catholic. When they are genuinely themselves they are beautiful. Like those lovely worshippers you quoted in this article. You think they were ridiculous; I think they are beautiful. They are Catholic and I know just how they feel. I feel the same. Thank you to St. Stanislaus for the gift of a lovely image that shows in a new way what we Catholics believe. (This is an example of TRUE development of doctrine, and evidence there is ample room for endless creativity of expression of the ever-same everlasting Catholic beliefs).

So what if it makes the Protestants mad? Let them get mad. The true believers in Jesus will see our true faith and wonder at it. And someday, like me, they will try to put together the puzzle of why Catholics can have such outrageous beliefs and practices that are so "sacreligous" and inexplicably somehow at the same hold a genuine abiding faith in our Lord. And they will start digging to resolve that mystery. And horror of horrors, they will find out that that backward so-called "man-made" religion is the One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church founded by Jesus. And they will do the unthinkable, and become Catholic themselves. And they will look at you, wondering how you can be swimming in such riches (Catholicism) and yet think they way you do.

Peace to you. Karen00Elizabeth@yahoo.com

Gerald T Floyd said...

It's always nice when a post from over a year ago gets someone's attention.

I appreciate your attachment to the visual grandiosity that characterized Marian and eucharistic devotions, but if you will research church history accurately, you cannot blame the Protestants for my theology.

You will find that the theme that the eucharist is for sharing and eating is much earlier than treating it as an object for visual veneration--and therefore much more authentically Catholic than the aberrations introduced during the Middle Ages.

Evidently, though, it's going to take more than a Reformation and a Second Vatican Council to end such abuses.

Gerald T Floyd said...

This comment was actually submitted by Cricket [http://cricketandporcupine.blogspot.com/]. I deleted it inadvertantly while moderating comments and trying to decide how to reply. I received the version below in an email notification. I have added some items in brackets to indicate items that were in italics, since I am unable to do italics in this commenting format.

I will post some additional comments here and add a new post on this subject in the next few days.

And now, two years later, another comment. ;-)

I found your post while searching for monstrance pictures for a potential post of my own. I've read through some of your archives, and you have many thoughtful, well-written posts. Perhaps I am a more "traditional" Catholic, but I am sympathetic to, if not always in full agreement with, many of your positions.

I wonder, though, at your take on Eucharistic Adoration. Though I don't find the monstrance in this post particularly appealing, it seems you dislike the practice in itself. Even if the practice did develop in the Middle Ages, could it not be a case of "creativity?"

[You wrote:] A cult of sharing and eating the eucharistic bread and wine, “in memory of me” as Jesus asked, was replaced with a cult of looking at the consecrated bread and venerating it. As Catholic professors of sacramental theology told their students in the 1970s, in the decades before the Council the challenge wasn’t believing that the bread was really Jesus: the challenge was to believe it was bread!

But The Eucharist is not bread. It is the Body of Christ, under the appearance of bread. It is Christ himself: body, blood, soul, and divinity. Unless, of course, you don't believe that, in which case we are not talking about the same thing at all.

Eucharistic Adoration did not replace the Mass. Mass is required. Eucharistic or Marian devotions are not.

[You wrote:] These kind of devotions are not how Jesus asked his followers remember him.

Perhaps not, but he did ask Peter, James and John to stay awake, watch, and pray with him for an hour.

[You wrote:] They detract from what he did request, that we share bread and wine in a ritual meal. By claiming to experience Jesus as more intensely present in these devotions than in the ritual meal, they misconstrue the meaning of the eucharist and trivialize Jesus’ presence in the eucharistic liturgy.

How does Eucharistic Adoration detract from the Mass? No one quoted here has said they experienced Jesus as more intensely present in Adoration than in the Mass.

What is the meaning of the Eucharist? Is the Eucharist truly the Body of Christ, or not? If it is not, then both the Mass and Eucharistic devotions are equally foolish. But if it is, then certainly it is proper to pray to, with, and before him.

[You wrote about:] ...a mystical new covenant centered on veneration of consecrated hosts.

As before, Eucharistic Adoration is not required of anyone. It is just another avenue of prayer. The center of our faith is still the Mass, the ritual meal.

But what are "consecrated hosts?" The question is not new: Who do you say that I am? If the consecrated host is mere bread, then the charge of "wafer madness" is fair enough. If it is truly Christ himself, then optional Adoration is quite reasonable, I think, even if it were not a practice of the early Church: a "creative advance," perhaps. It is required of no one, and brings those of us who practice it closer to Christ, literally: not in place of Communion, in addition to Communion.

If the Eucharist is Christ himself, then I see nothing wrong with treating it as Christ himself.

Respectfully, and seriously, who do you say that he is?

Gerald T Floyd said...

Cricket, I appreciate your comments. You grasp that how we treat consecrated hosts in eucharistic adoration, benediction and similar paraliturgical practices is directly related to how we conceive the Risen Lord to be present in the eucharistic liturgy.

How the Risen Lord is present in the eucharistic liturgy is a topic that theologians have re-considered several times over the last 2,000 years. For a pretty good synopsis of those efforts, I’d ask you to click on one of the two links to my doctoral dissertation (below the archive list on my blog) and read the section on “Real Presence in the Eucharist” in Part II, Chapter 2.

In reading it over myself, I was reminded that I do treat the various eucharistic venerations that grew up apart from the liturgy as an instance of Whitehead’s creativity. The context, of course, is that every moment in the history of church teaching is an instance of creativity in some sense. However, I try to point out that creativity can lead to detours in the creative advance, as well as to authentic developments that should be fostered and preserved. You are correct in understanding that I regard eucharistic adoration as a very bad detour in Catholic theology.

The reason I think eucharistic adoration is ultimately a cul de sac theologically is that treating the eucharist as an object rather than an action is also misplaced—and that insisting that consecrated bread and wine = “Christ himself: body, blood, soul and divinity” is (a) much more than Jesus claimed them to be and (b) a claim that cannot be defended successfully by any philosophy (including the philosophy of Thomas Aquinas, which was more or less adopted officially by the Council of Trent). I will address those points shortly in a new posting on my blog.

By way of preview, I would give most weight to Jesus’ instruction that we EAT the bread and DRINK the wine, and to his request that we DO both in memory of Him. I believe this means that the Risen Lord is uniquely present in the eucharistic liturgy by the ACTIONS of blessing, breaking and sharing the bread (and wine).

What Jesus did NOT say was WORSHIP this in memory of me (or to commemorate his memory by encasing a consecrated host in a gold monstrance and spending time before it, or by giving people extra-special blessings with it in benediction, by genuflecting before it in Corpus Christi processions). Regarding consecrated hosts in this way collapses into an overly physical, even corporeal understanding of real presence, which is not what even the most ardent advocates of transubstantiation intend. And that’s why I contend that it detracts from the eucharistic meal and proposes a mode of Christ’s presence which is in fact unreal.

Joseph said...

I see that Mr. Floyd has a doctorate from the GTU in Berkeley. Well, that explains a lot!

I have no idea whether or not Mr. Floyd is a Catholic Christian in communion with the See of Rome. If not, he may suffer from simple ignorance based on his comments. But if Mr. Floyd is a Catholic Christian, making comments like "wafer madness" is blasphemy.

Any Christian knows that the Church is an evolving entity. The foundation of faith remains the same, but the expressions of faith often changes with the times, i.e., Latin Mass to the vernacular, etc. Eucharistic devotion is on the increase and more Perpetual Adoration parishes and sites and springing up everyday. So, if ones follows the "sense of the faithful," it is the faithful that is demanding Eucharistic Adoration and thus it is happening.

I must admit that from a purely artistic point of view, I find the Ark to be somewhat imposing. However, theologically, Mary being the living tabernacle is absolutely correct. Christ-God dwelt in Mary's womb just as the "Glory of God" rested on the tabernacle of the Temple. The hirmos from the ancient Liturgy of St. Basil says,

"...For He has made your womb his throne, making it more spacious than the heavens..."

Mary is the Living Ark of the covenant.

Jesus said, "My flesh is true food and my blood is true drink." He also said, "This is my body." "This is my blood." What part of all of this does one NOT understand? The Eucharist isn't a sign or symbol, but JESUS himself.

And, as for Protestants, they contribute to the confusion of 40,000 some-odd Christian denominations around the world. Even Protestants can't agree among themselves and are thus separated denominationally and doctrinally. Sorry, but I don't the Eucharistic theology of a bunch of Protestants that can't even agree on some basic tenants of faith such as grace, salvation, sin, nature of ministry, etc. and are divided times and times over among their own "Protestant" denomination. Too bad that the common denominator among many Protestant sects is their dislike for Catholicism, the faith that has been in the world for over 2000 years. We have no Luther(an) or Wesley(an) or Calvin(ism) in our name for our Founder is the Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ who took bread and said, "This is MY BODY" and "This is MY BLOOD." I believe it.

Gerald T Floyd said...

Typically I do not post ad hominem comments, such as “Mr. Floyd has a doctorate from the GTU in Berkeley. Well, that explains at lot.” Actually, that explains nothing, except that “Joseph” dismisses anything said by anyone with a GTU degree as “simple ignorance.” In this case, however, I think the comments so typify what passes for thought among advocates of “eucharistic adoration” that I should allow the attack to see the light of day.

I still plan to do a new post that articulates in detail why eucharistic adoration is a cul-de-sac down which Christianity should never have turned. For now, let me just reiterate that when Jesus said “Do this in memory of me,” he was not saying “put consecrated bread in a monstrance and worship it.” His instruction was to bless, share and eat bread and wine—and thus to enjoy a new and unique mode of his presence among us.

He did not equate bread and wine with himself. He did not condition his presence on us looking at the bread rapturously. He did not say he would be more present if we worshipped it. And to turn it into sacred visual object before which we should swoon is not just “wafer madness.” It is, in fact, idolatry.

Yes, there is a resurgence of interest in the practice, cheered along by reactionary clerics who fancy themselves sole custodians of God. But it is merely yet another symptom of church officials' attempts to deny and to thwart what the Spirit taught the church at Vatican II.

Anonymous said...

So long as the faithful attend the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass each week with supreme reverence, what does it matter that they might also affirm their belief in the Body and Blood during visits to adoration of the Blessed Sacrament?
People who seek adoration are by and large, very devout. What are they saying by kneeling in adoration, other than, quite simply, "I believe you are there, My Lord." We say this in Mass, and we do this in adoration. In Mass we receive the double gift; we also receive Him. In adoration, we do not touch the Savior. We merely adore that which we may receive by Mass attendance. I have seen such reverence in a small Chapel near where I work; individuals who crawl before the monstrance and weep, or beg forgivness. I recall being a little nervous about such demonstrations when I first encountered them, but I found shortly thereafter that the penetrating belief in the Lord that these simple believers demonstrated consistantly put the average "laissez-faire, run of the mill" Catholics one meets in many a suburban parish-- who likely never visit an adoration chapel or any other "extra" devotion-- to shame. We must remember the Lord as he commanded. Very good... but I do not believe that this means we cannot remember Him in the bread outside of Mass. As for the "Mother of all Monstrances" that was the subject of the blog, despite a certain understanding of a statue of that size, ultimately I have to say there is no such thing as a veneration of Our Lady that is "overboard". Any devotion we show The Mother of God is based entirely on that very label. She is associated, uniquely and magnificently, to the Father, Son and the Holy Ghost. Period. Any attention paid Mary, in her simple maternity or in any of her famous titles, is a also a praising of the Trinity. Her fiat is the flashpoint in human history that connected us to our God. At once, the Incarnation took place. Long months before the heavens broke into song over Bethlehem. She deserves our veneration. I'm glad that there are serious conversations in Protestant theological circles that are revisiting the standard by which they view and deal with Mary's role in salvation history, and the everyday practice of faith. I don't suspect we'll be seeing Fatima processions eminating from the churches of our Protestant brothers anytime soon, but I beieve we will soon be seeing more attention being paid Our Lady, in word and in "liturgical deed".

Gerald T Floyd said...

Ah, where to begin? I guess I could observe, perhaps not for the first time, how intrigued I am that this posting has attracted more comment than anything else I have written over the years. I suppose that's because the devotees of eucharistic devotion are, well, very devoted to it!

At the very least, I must repeat that the Church has never taught a simple equivalence like bread-wine = body-blood = Jesus himself. The real presence of Jesus in the eucharist is tied intimately and exclusively to the ACTIONS that take place during the eucharistic prayer and the communal sharing of bread and wine. The real presence of Jesus is NOT tied to physical objects, and it is treasonous to Jesus' request "DO this in memory of me" to venerate the physical objects as somehow divine or Jesus himself. The main reason I believe eucharistic adoration is a mistake is that it reinforces this erroneous understanding of the eucharist.

The Mary Monster Monstrance also perpetuates a misunderstanding of Mary, particularly in her title theotokos or 'mother of God.' Mary is the mother of Jesus, who became the Christ under a succession of Christologies, the last of which was incarnation Christology. How Mary is the 'mother of God' is different in the earlier Christologies than in the Johannine version. The Mary Monstrance prescinds from the other New Testament Christologies, not to mention all those proposed in the centuries since. Those who are really interested should read the extensive Christology chapter of my dissertation.

From The Pews said...

As with other Comments...

Mine as well surges from a Google Image Search.

I, Mr. Ford, am a Cradle Catholic.

Thus, my knowledge is not as great as someone who has devoted him/herself to Theology.

Simple Fact.

Your arguments are very strong. I even found myself agreeing with most.

But as with most things, from the Average Person, Catholic Christian or not, strike me the wrong way and I re-think everything.

When you put forth points such as this one:
"The real presence of Jesus in the eucharist is tied intimately and exclusively to the ACTIONS that take place during the eucharistic prayer and the communal sharing of bread and wine. The real presence of Jesus is NOT tied to physical objects, and it is treasonous to Jesus' request "DO this in memory of me" to venerate the physical objects as somehow divine or Jesus himself. The main reason I believe eucharistic adoration is a mistake is that it reinforces this erroneous understanding of the eucharist."

It is so clear. It is descriptive. You are providing Scripture, Logic, Understanding...
I get it!

However, when you offer this:

"The Mary Monster Monstrance also perpetuates a misunderstanding of Mary, particularly in her title theotokos or 'mother of God.' Mary is the mother of Jesus, who became the Christ under a succession of Christologies, the last of which was incarnation Christology. How Mary is the 'mother of God' is different in the earlier Christologies than in the Johannine version. The Mary Monstrance prescinds from the other New Testament Christologies, not to mention all those proposed in the centuries since. Those who are really interested should read the extensive Christology chapter of my dissertation."

Yes, you have piqued my interest, but you have also written such a redundant argument. It seems convoluted, that what it has evoked is for one to focus on the first couple of sentences:

"The Mary Monster Monstrance also perpetuates a misunderstanding of Mary, particularly in her title theotokos or 'mother of God.' Mary is the mother of Jesus, who became the Christ under a succession of Christologies"

All I read into this is that you are saying that Mary is the Mother of Jesus, not of God.

Scary interpretation. I know!
I am the first to admit it.

That is why I must go and read the Christologies...Someday...you see, here in lies the error...Day to day life interferes with the "I have to look into that..."
It's not right, I know.
But it is an excuse many Cradle, Cafeteria, Christmas and Easter Catholics use....

Had you just Spelled out, as you did before, what you are saying, this would not have been misconstrued...Assuming I am doing just this...

But as for now, in my Head all I have is that you have a Problem with the Title of Mary as the Mother of God.

Which she was.

Jesus, the Second Person of the Trinity was 100% Man. 100% God.

Thus, Mary was the Mother of Jesus. God Incarnate. God who could have done what He wanted, as He wanted...and Chose to Humble Himself...Enslave himself to our Human Form...all the while still being God.

Thus, Mr. Ford, I do not understand the hiccup with the
"misunderstanding of Mary, particularly in her title theotokos or 'mother of God.'"

Thank you and I do apologize that this is going on a post that is 3 years old.

But I did come across it today 12-20-11. THANK YOU GOOGLE!

God Love You, Mr. Ford ♥

Gerald T Floyd said...

Alas, I am Mr. Floyd (or Dr. Floyd if you count my Ph.D.)--not Mr. FORD. Although I have encountered that confusion off and on since Gerald R. Ford was President of the U.S. Fortunately, Gerald Ford is not much in the consciousness of younger readers.

The nice things about reactions to this posting three years after its initial publication is that I get to revisit my logic and language from time to time. Re-reading my original post and my subsequent comments, I remain pretty satisfied with what I've tried to articulate.

You are correct that I am quite dissatisfied with the concept of Mary as theotokos, the Mother of God--at least as the concept has been unpacked officially over the centuries. The problem is that, like all assertions, it can be true only within certain limits, and I'm afraid those limits have been exceeded several times as theologians and other believers struggle to make sense of the claim.

Obviously there are senses in which Mary cannot be the Mother of God. In Trinitarian terms, Mary cannot be the mother of God the Father, the living God who created and sustains the universe. And only in a highly tortured way could Mary be construed as the Mother of the Holy Spirit (who, at least in the Nicene construction of events, proceeds from the Father and the Son).

So the claim rests mainly on Mary's status as the Mother of Jesus and the multiple ways we try to account for Jesus as the Son of God. My point was that the only Christology in which it makes sense to say Mary is the Mother of God is the Christology of the Fourth Gospel, in which we claim "the Word became flesh." The claim makes sense in that context, but it begins to do the work of a falsehood when we try to make it in the context of the other New Testament and Patristic Christologies.

So ultimately my plea is that we keep the assertion of Mary as theotokos within logical, rational limits. And in regard to Eucharistic Adoration and the Mary Monstrance, I believe those limits are being violated--to the detriment of the actions by which Jesus asked us to remember him and re-experience his presence.

TAR said...

I find significance in the fact Mary is placed ON the Mercy seat..the seat from Which God judged ..poor theology IMHO

Anonymous said...

I appreciate the arguments but, many times, the correct answer is the simplest. Occam's Razor if you will.

I will again re-read the argument in more detail but at least two erroneous assumptions jump out to me:

1. That worship of the Eucharist is, in some way, idolatrous. I think this assumes an improper definition of an idol. An idol, by definition, is a thing that represents something else...a substitute...or even a falsity entirely.

IF you truly believe that the Eucharist is Jesus himself...100%...then worshiping the Eucharist, by definition, cannot be idolatry. There is no "substitute" to worship. In addition, there is no falsity.

2. I run across this as an attorney very often...people try make a logical argument about a negative or something that wasnt said.

Just because Jesus didn't say something specifically on each and every topic does not mean that he forbade something.

For example, just because Jesus didn't instruct his Apostles to "worship" him as the Eucharist, does not mean that it is improper.

In fact, I posit that again it all goes back to the core belief of whether you believe the Eucharist is Jesus.

IF you do, and if it is, then Adoration is not only proper and recommended, but is mandatory.

If that consecrated host is truly 100% a person of the Trinity then you MUST bow in homage.

If it was good enough for the wisemen to bow in the manger and good enough for the angels to bow in Heaven, then it is good enough for us to do this today.

Connie Costello said...

I am a returning Catholic who wants very much to reverence my Lord. I have come to understand the importance of the Eucharistic celebration from people like Scott Hahn, but I am a very simple and ignorant worshiper and want only to please Him. My worship is for Jesus Christ. I understand the concept of Eucharistic adoration, and I understand the honor bestowed upon Mary as Theotokos, the God Bearer, but I must admit I am truly offended by this particular monstrance. When a believer is in adoration before the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist, it would seem that he should not have to be accosted continually by something that looks like goddess worship. In our culture this goddess worship is becoming a real problem. We are constantly told such things as that we are bigoted if we do not agree with the ordination of women and that the Holy Spirit is the truly feminine side of the Godhead. Excuse me He is never referred to as anything but He! Then, in our face, we are presented with this enormous pagan looking idol and told that because Mary was the tabernacle of God during the gestation of his physical form, that we are to bow before it. Frankly, that is a little more than a worshiper of Jesus Christ should have to swallow. I have also seen other Mary Monstrances that were much more aesthetically pleasing, but I still felt that I was bowing to an idol in times of adoration. If Jesus Christ is truly present in the Eucharist, his body, blood, soul, and divinity, then a simple, cross exalting holder is sufficient to portray his glory. I feel that at times we give ourselves over to artistic folly.