Saturday, April 7, 2012

Holy Saturday

The Body of Jesus is laid in the Tomb and the Tabernacles are empty of the Presence, even in some of the Anglican variants of the Mystical Body of Christ, militant here on earth.

Bishop Guest, the 16th century author of Article XXVIII on the Lord's Supper, had this to say about the sacrament of the Altar. The communicant does "take Christ's Body in his hand, receive it in his mouth, and that corporally, naturally, really, substantially and carnally..." but does not "see it, feel it, smell it or taste it." As Dom Gregory Dix reminds us, "It would be hard for anyone to be more explicit than that in asserting the Catholic doctrine of the Sacrament." (The Question of Anglican Orders)

Despite this, more than a few Anglicans sit light to sacramental reality, taking their cue from the late medieval skeptics of the Reformation. For them, the Eucharist is at best a reality because we think it so and at worst an empty symbol of self-referencing belief.

smash it up
Perhaps it's no accident that the Northern European write-off of sacramental givenness was followed by a near total subjectivization of all spiritual value.

Lord, forgive us for the many blasphemies committed against your holy Sacrament.