on 6 February 2011
As someone who has tended to take the view that since receiving in the hand is in the Catechetical lectures of St. Cyril, there is ancient warrant for allowing this practice, I have to say that the Bishop has made me think hard about this issue. He makes an excellent case, clear and compelling, for the old Latin Rite practice of receiving on the tongue. He reminds us, beautifully, of the holiness of the moment and of the need for reverence. If you want the case for more reverence in our worship made in an irenic but firm fashion, you won't find a better book than this. Like another Athanasius, this one may be 'contra' much of the modern 'mundum', but it strikes me he's right.
on 4 August 2010
This book by a holy Bishop is easy to read but contain a rich source of information on the Holy Eucharist and how one should approach this Sacrament - in a spirit of profound adoration of body and soul. The Bishop briefly describes how the tradition of receiving Holy Communion on the tongue whilst kneeling came about, and also describes how Protestants used Communion in the hand to undermine the remnants of Catholic faith that remained of the new converts to the Protestant religion. He also examines the witness of the Church Fathers on the matter. We can see how this practice of Communion in the hand in the Catholic Church has indeed undermined belief and reverence for the Blessed Sacrament in our Church. I'm convinced that the only way to a revival of the Catholic Church in the West is a return to reverence and sacredness in how we treat the Blessed Eucharist - in how we receive it but also how our priests offer Holy Mass - according to the mind of the Church in its prescribed books and in a truly Catholic spirit. The Bishop describes also how the Church survived in times of persecution, when priests were few and far between, but Eucharistic Adoration could continue and preserve the Eucharistic Faith of the people. I highly recommend this book to all Catholics, and it would be ideal to present to your parish priest because they need to hear this message which is coming from the Holy Father via his own example at his Papal Masses and in his writings. I understand that the Holy Father, Benedict XVI, read this book, and instructed the Vatican printing press to publish it. The book was apparently instrumental in Benedict's decision to only give Holy Communion to those kneeling at his Masses.
on 11 February 2009
This is a wonderful book, explaining in clear and concise language the meaning of the Eucharist. It is excellent for the layman like me, because it is non-specialist; but it is clear after reading it how special Holy Communion is and how much we seem to miss in not regarding it as it should be.
on 10 January 2012
I have this book and have recommended it to several friends. In my opinion it should be available as catechetical material in every Catholic parish. The sloppiness and lack of reverence with which the Host is received by some people is tantamount to being a grave sin. Ambling, strolling up to the priest in a queue, looking bored! This would never have come about if we still had altar rails and if Communion in the hand had never crept in. Pope Benedict XVI always administers on the tongue now. How I wish he would make some pronouncement about it! But he knows what he's doing: he is teaching by example. The trouble is that the majority of Catholics haven't seen a Papal Mass even on television and think that those of us who watch EWTN are laughable.
I urge all Catholics to buy and read this beautiful book. Christ is truly present in the Eucharist. If we don't believe this then we are not Catholic and should depart to a protestant church; not believing it and yet still receiving Communion is a grave sin. We should wish to make sure that our friends do not fall into this pit.