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By Laura Stec

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About this blog: I've been attracted to food for good and bad reasons for many years. From eating disorder to east coast culinary school, food has been my passion, profession & nemesis. I've been a sugar addict, a 17-year vegetarian, a food and en...  (More)

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Holiest Meal and I Can’t Eat?

Uploaded: May 20, 2014

I am back in Michigan this week, visiting family and working an encore performance of my mom's famous garage sales. She has quite the yard sale CV, including 20 years as head honcho of the White Elephant Sale at St. Alphonsus (my Dearborn, Michigan grade school & high school alma mater).

When visiting, I do things I don't do in CA, such as attend Catholic mass. To be clear, Jesus is just alright with me, and the new pope rocks, but when in CA, I tend to find God in many places; Mother Nature being the most prominent. After mass, my mom and I went out to dinner and she took me by surprise with a casual dinner comment, "Laura, why do you attend communion?" I thought for a moment and said, "out of respect to you and the church." (when in Rome, right?) We went on eating with no more discussion about the topic.

After dinner, I met up with my friend Colleen, a high school buddy from St. Als. The topic got onto religion and interestingly she said her mother has asked her the same thing! "Why would someone question that?" I said. Colleen replied, "Because if you don't regularly attend mass, taking communion is a mortal sin, unless you first attend confession."

WHAT?

You're saying the system that covered up rampant abuse of young boys for decades, if not centuries, is going to tell me that I am not good enough to eat the host because I don't sit in one of their buildings but a couple times a year? I'm a truthful person who believes in the Golden Rule, lives a low footprint (and food print), loves kids, and works an honest day for an honest dollar. Sorry, I just can't agree with that decree, or the requirement to come into a building to be close to God. Honestly, I bet God doesn't believe that either. If you come to my house for a visit, you sit at my table.

Hmmmm, have you noticed? These past two weeks share a theme. I inadvertently trespassed last week and I guess in the eyes of the powers that be… oops…I did it again.

Is it just me, or does anyone else see the hypocrisy in all of it?



Next week: my great grandparents prohibition-era speakeasy in Detroit

Comments

Posted by Vickie Wheeler Williams, a resident of another community,
on May 20, 2014 at 5:29 am

I totally agree, Laura! About a year ago, I was back in MI for our collective 50th birthday party and I attended a funeral mass for a friend's aunt. At communion time, the priest informed us that only those who are, in essence, a part of the Catholic community of believers can receive communion. WHAT?! When did this happen?

Granted, I am no longer a practicing Catholic (I'm actually a Baptist minister!). In our services, communion or the Lord's Supper is offered to ALL believers of any faith. So . . . Roman Catholic Church, what's up with this? Smh, heaven is not going to be separated by religion and neither should the celebration of the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Oh well, to each their own.


Posted by John, a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks,
on May 20, 2014 at 8:53 am

It has been the teaching of the Church ever since the very early days (i.e., going back to the Didache) that consuming the body and blood of Christ in an unworthy fashion is to commit a profanity against our Lord. See Corinthians: "Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup" (1 Cor. 11:27–28)

If, as the Church has taught from the very beginning, the Eucharist is actually the body and blood of our Lord, Jesus Christ, one should not approach that lightly.

The link below provides some more teaching on the topic: Web Link


Posted by Aristocarp, a resident of Gemello,
on May 20, 2014 at 9:29 am

Communion wafers are delicious with a little hummus on top.


Posted by Steve, a resident of Shoreline West,
on May 20, 2014 at 2:56 pm

I think you should go by the quote given by John -

"Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup"


Posted by Comfortable, a resident of Bailey Park,
on May 20, 2014 at 3:15 pm

Ya gotta play by the house rules. Even if they were made by primitive, easily fooled men of ancient times, desperate to try and figure out how everything came to be. Now we have science, but some prefer "Faith" because it means never having to say they were wrong. Science can be wrong, but never Faith.


Posted by BroIL, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood,
on May 20, 2014 at 4:18 pm

And obviously, Coleen is a theological expert? Hmmm kinda don't think so. But I agree with the poster stating that the unleavened host is indeed scrumptious with hummus. I like to add garlic. You?


Posted by Laura Stec, a Almanac Online blogger,
on May 20, 2014 at 4:32 pm

Laura Stec is a registered user.

BroIl - Colleen googled this and even my mom agrees. It is a mortal sin! And Vickie Wheeler - Baptist minister? You go girl! Don't get me started about the women's role in the Catholic church. Besides, nothing to do with food it's off limits on this blog for me. But the next one.....


Posted by Casa de Cerveza, a resident of another community,
on May 20, 2014 at 5:00 pm

I totally agree with you Laura. The Catholic Church is filled with contradictions. The first is the issue of married priests. Why was it OK for priests to marry for the Church's first 1,000 years? It wasn't until the Second Lateran Council held in 1123 when it ruled that priests could not marry. And today...why is it OK for a Catholic priest, who converts from being a married priest in another Christian denomination, to be a married Catholic priest? Today almost 100 American Catholic priests are married! Furthermore, there have always been married priests in the non-Latin rites, like Ukrainian Catholicism or Maronite Catholicism. These churches are fully Catholic, obedient to the pope, but they ordain married men.


Posted by USA, a resident of Old Mountain View,
on May 20, 2014 at 8:09 pm

People are sinners. Priests are people. Ergo, priests are sinners. The arguments that priest are sinners therefore are hypocrites, the Church is evil, and God doesn't exist, etc. are a silly arguments.

Personally, I like wine and real bread for communion like Jesus had, not wafers and grape juice.


Posted by USA, a resident of Old Mountain View,
on May 20, 2014 at 8:14 pm

When I was a child (late 60s) the government decreed that students should eat liver as it had a lot of nutritional value, so every week we were served liver. Needless to say, it all ended up in the trash. It was a waste of tax payer money, left students hungry, and by today's standards was a bad choice nutritionally.

Now, the government is again at it with predictability the same results. What is needed is education, not the heavy hand of those that think they know better.

Hey, here's an idea for student education: Web Link


Posted by Jay Park, a resident of Mountain View,
on May 20, 2014 at 9:06 pm

@USA:

Are you implying that the Catholic Church is chopped liver?

I like chicken liver paté!

(in moderation, of course)


Posted by writingsevice, a resident of Bailey Park,
on May 21, 2014 at 3:16 am

Awesome post friend.


Posted by Alan, a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven,
on May 21, 2014 at 11:02 am

This is a more delicate topic than it may appear. The moral rules people live by have developed over centuries. Sometimes, there are good reasons for old rules that are not immediately apparent. There is something to be said for a mindset that says, "I'm going to try to live up to this set of rules, and see how it makes me a better person," rather than "I'm going to figure it out for myself." Someone who points out the Catholic rules concerning communion may see it in a light of maintaining the standard.

That said - I'm not a Catholic - from my point of view, your taking Communion is a positive thing, in as much as provides you an opportunity to reflect on spiritual things - I'm completely pragmatic about it. But - my point is - be slow to take offense when people say, "you need to go through confession before taking communion". It may be less of a matter of them saying, "you're not part of the club," and more of a matter of them asking, "do you think it's okay to break the established rules?" Sometimes, the answer is "yes", but it requires reflection.


Posted by Laura Stec, a Almanac Online blogger,
on May 21, 2014 at 11:11 am

Laura Stec is a registered user.

Love the introspection on this - thank you everyone. I have been sharing all your comments with my mother and it has broadened our conversation on the matter. Casa de Cerveza, I never there were married priests - but mom did!


Posted by Rupert of henzau, a resident of Midtown,
on May 21, 2014 at 6:41 pm

Laura-- come back to California and return to being the happy, lapsed catholic that you were before. The church is morally and sprirtually bankrupt. There may be a new pope, but it is the same old, same old with the boys in their cassocks.


Posted by USA, a resident of Old Mountain View,
on May 22, 2014 at 12:07 am

Rupert, let go of the hate. It only hurts you.


Posted by Sparty, a resident of another community,
on May 25, 2014 at 8:39 am

By your logic, since not every driver gets a ticket for speeding, no one should get a ticket for DUI either.


Posted by Laura Stec, a Almanac Online blogger,
on May 25, 2014 at 12:04 pm

Laura Stec is a registered user.

Thank you Sparty. But I see the logic more as just because you don't jump into the ocean in Half Moon Bay, doesn't mean you can't celebrate it's glory when traveling to Hawaii.


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