Saturday, May 27, 2006

A May Crowning in Hawaii

May Crowning
May Crowning 2
(Photos by Joey Gefroh)

Today at our parish church, our family, along with many other people, attended one of the loveliest May Crownings we have had the privilege of attending.

Thanks to the Legion of Mary, we were able to honor our Blessed Mother during the month dedicated to her, in a beautiful and heartwarming way.

Our blessed Mother must have been quite pleased with the beautiful music, songs as well as the Holy Rosary in which five decades were led by different groups of adults and children. The ceremony ended with a closing prayer by the Rev. Edwin J. Duffy, who has a great devotion to the Blessed Mother.

The top photo is the procession into the church with the statue of Our Lady.

The bottom photo is the statue of Our Lady after she was crowned with flowers and leis by all the people present.

Friday, May 26, 2006


Shared by Sue of Catholic Community

"The Church is very clear in Her documents that she desires that we would
receive Holy Communion on the tongue and not in the hand."

Monday September 10, 2001 Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time
Reading (Colossians 1:24-2:3) Gospel (St. Luke 6:6-11)


In the first reading today Saint Paul, in his Letter to the Colossians, talks
about how, in Christ, is hidden all treasures of wisdom and knowledge. This is
because He is almighty God; He is the Creator of the universe; He is the Savior
of the world; He is God, absolute and perfect. Saint Paul says at the beginning
of the reading that he makes up in his flesh for what is lacking in the
suffering of Christ, for the sake of Christ's body, the Church.

In Christ, now, there is no suffering, but only in the Mystical Body. But there
is one place, which I would like to address this morning, where I believe that
Our Lord is truly grieved. I want to challenge you in that area: That is, the
manner by which we receive Holy Communion.

The Church is very clear in Her documents that she desires that we would receive
Holy Communion on the tongue and not in the hand.

The bishops of America, as well as a few other countries in the world, have
allowed Communion in the hand as a dispensation. But the Church is very, very
clear that She does not want us receiving Communion in the hand.

Let me explain a little as to why. First of all, to receive is something that is
passive. The priest takes Holy Communion because the priest is the one who
offers the Victim in sacrifice. Therefore, the one who offers the Victim must
also take part in that Victim. But the people of God are to receive Holy
Communion. To take the Host from your hand and put It into your own mouth is to
take Communion, not to receive Communion; and so it is an active thing, not a
passive thing. The Lord desires to give Himself to you as a gift, not to be
taken by you. We need to be very careful that we do not lose the symbolism of
what is happening in the Blessed Sacrament.

Also, if you will notice, during Mass after the Consecration, my fingers remain
together because of the particles of the Host that are there. When we take Holy
Communion in the hand, there are particles of Our Lord that are on our hands and
on our fingers. That is why, after Communion, the priest will purify his fingers
- because of the particles of the Host. But how often the people of God, after
receiving Holy Communion, simply brush the particles onto the ground and walk on
Our Lord. Or they put their hands in their pockets, and Our Lord is right there
on their clothing. The abuses that this opens them up to are very grave. Not
that anyone is intentionally doing that, but I think it is something that we
need to consider exceedingly carefully.

What I always tell people is that you can look forward to the Day of Judgment
and ask yourself how you intend to approach Our Lord, because He is your Judge.
The same Lord you approach in Holy Communion is the same One you will approach
on the Day of Judgment. Do you assume that you will put your hand out to Our
Blessed Lord on the Day of Judgment?

Is your view of judgment that you will shake Our Lord's hand and tell Him how
wonderful it is to see Him? Or is your view that you will do great reverence to
Our Blessed Lord? My view is that I will be flat on my face - not shaking His

We do not put out our hand to God. Scripture says that God holds us in the palm
of His hand. We should not be holding God in the palm of ours. He created us; He
made us in His image and likeness. He is the Creator; we are the creature. We
must approach Him with the greatest reverence, the greatest respect.

If we simply look at the fruit that has been borne by Holy Communion being taken
in the hand, it is not good: the loss of reverence for the Blessed Sacrament,
the familiarity.

Thankfully it is not happening here, but go to most churches and ask yourself if
you see people praying before Mass or if they are chatting, goofing around, and

We have lost the reverence for the Real Presence because Jesus is just "our
buddy" when we put our hand out to Him; He is not our God when we do that. So we
need to be very careful.

But beyond that, we can look also at what has happened spiritually to the people
of God. Since we have been receiving Communion in the hand, we have lost sight
of the idea of going to Confession, of our own sinfulness, of the reverence we
must have for Our Lord. We have made Communion so easy a thing and so nonchalant
a thing that people have lost that sense of reverence, of awe, and of respect in
the Presence of Our Lord.

I challenge you to think very seriously about this issue. The bishops, like I
say, have allowed it; it is not a sin if you receive Holy Communion in the hand.
In some places in the early Church they did that; Saint Justin talks about it.
But the Church stopped it because of the abuses against the Blessed Sacrament
that were occurring. I ask you to really pray about that.

Look at Jesus in the Eucharist and ask yourself, "Do I really, truly believe
that this is God? That this is my Creator and my Redeemer? How, then, do I
desire to approach Him?" I really believe, if you pray that through, that there
is only one conclusion to which you can come.

Then, I beg you, do not remain silent about it. Tell your friends. Tell your
family. Bring that word to others because all those good people out there, I do
not think that they are willfully trying to do anything that would grieve Our
Lord; they are doing what they have been told to do.

But again, look at what has happened in the last forty years of this particular
practice and ask yourself if the fruit it has borne has been good. Obviously,
you love Our Lord: You are here at daily Mass; you are here every morning. The
love of Our Lord is evident in you. Bring that love of Jesus out from here. The
love that is in your heart, proclaim it to others and ask them in the same way
to consider their actions toward Our Lord.

Let us bring the reverence to Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament back so that we
can give Him fitting worship and praise because He is God, in whom all the
treasures of wisdom and knowledge are contained.

* This text was transcribed from the audio recording with minimal editing.
Desert Voice