Monday, May 2, 2011

Day 123: Twinkies Taste Jesus #1

Yes, I know the title of this blog entry lacks the respect and import of the situation, but let me make a point so you understand my distaste for this event.

First communion is a wonderful thing. The entire Eucharist is a wonderful and mind boggling thing. Transubstantiation...don't even get me started there.

However, I feel as if First Communion is pushed on children. While the Holy Mother Church says that there must be sufficient knowledge of Christ in the mind of the person to receive the Body of Christ, there must also be sufficient mental capacity. Not to call my nieces out, but the world over of children that receive the Eucharist at that ripe age; I highly doubt these children have the capacity to truly understand the enormous gift and responsibility with which they're now shouldered.

I too received my first taste of the Lord in second grade, and let me tell you this: I only did it because it was expected. I really had no concept of the Lord at that time. Likely I prayed, but more out of mechanical habit and emulation of close family than out of a real sense of faith. Just like every other child at that stage, I received my first communion in my nice clothes, parents and grandparents looking on, and no real individual consideration to what I was doing. There was no fear of beating either, this was just something you did as a Catholic.

Indoctrination of the young in the ways of faith is tantamount to forcing an addiction of smoking
on a child. By the time they grow up, they just know it's the way things are. Thank God that we have all these smoking bans now, but I'll save that diatribe for another day.

My brother-in-law came into the Church at the approximate age of 35. Remembering his baptism, first communion, and confirmation as a member of the Catholic faith, I saw it as a beautiful thing. I saw it as a choice too. He was not raised to believe; he made the conscience choice to profess love of Christ and enter the church.

Watching him, and countless others since, I've come to the conclusion that this is the way it ideally should be. Would it lead to a breakdown and abandoning of culture? Not forcing it I mean, would that be detrimental to the continuation of faith's role?

Serious thoughts to be sure, but I haven't had my coffee yet this morning. Time to remedy that situation.

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