I am writing concerning the recent Pew statistics (CNY, Oct. 24) regarding the belief in the true presence of Christ in the Eucharist. If anyone in our Church is wondering why Mass attendance is at an all-time low, they need look no further than the lack of belief in our Eucharistic Lord.
While the Baltimore Catechism is now viewed as obsolete and not allowed in most formation settings, we who grew up with this book are the believers. Many of the new series of books make it difficult to find the Church’s teachings on important theological issues, and many of the good lay people who have replaced the religious sisters in the classrooms lacked the knowledge of Church teachings.
Children making their First Holy Communion on Saturday in May don’t go to Sunday Mass the very next day! Many young people who make Confirmation don’t see a church again until they get married.
I’m sure some will remember seeing men tipping their hats as they passed the Church and people making the Sign of the Cross. These pious practices along with Benediction and 40 Hours all contributed to our belief and love of our Eucharistic Lord.
It is my strong belief that it is this lack of faith in Christ’s Eucharistic presence that has led to the spiritual demise. As Flannery O’Connor said, “If it’s just a symbol, to hell with it.”