Like a nursing child
Thursday February 07th 2008, 3:09 am
Filed under: Patristics

Remember, that stuff about the Church Fathers and breastfeeding — you read it here first (here and here). But now go ahead and read it at CNS.

The reverence and awe of Catholics who truly believe they are receiving Jesus in the Eucharist should lead them to kneel and receive Communion on their tongues, said a bishop writing in the Vatican newspaper.

“If some nonbeliever arrived and observed such an act of adoration perhaps he, too, would fall down and worship God, declaring ‘God is really in your midst,’”  wrote Auxiliary Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Karaganda, Kazakhstan, quoting from the First Letter to the Corinthians.

In a Jan. 8 article labeled a “historical-liiturgical note,” Bishop Schneider reviewed the writings of early church theologians about Eucharistic reception and said the practice of laypeople receiving Communion on the tongue was the predominant custom by the sixth century.

The article in L’Osservatore Romano appeared under the headline, “Like a nursing child in the arms of the one who nourishes him.”

Bishop Schneider said that just as a baby opens his mouth to receive nourishment from his mother, so should Catholics open their mouths to receive nourishment from Jesus.

“Christ truly nourishes us with his body and blood in holy Communion and, in the patristic era, it was compared to maternal breastfeeding,” he said.


3 Comments so far
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And yet, has either the bishop of the archbishop have any rebuttal to the examples of the *Gospel accounts*? If, for the Lord, it was good enough for His original Apostles, then why not us? Aren’t we supposed to be officially/”technically” “apostles”?
Are we no less Adopted Children of the Father/Adopted Siblings of the Son than *they*?

I dunno, man. Perhaps they might have a point; there does seem to have been overall reverence atrophy over the past several years. But this might be taking things too far–seems *almost* to smack of some sort of Pharasaism.

Well, that’s my opinion, anyway. If I’m wrong to feel this way, well, then I’ll stand corrected.

(And what about St. Paul and his analogizing of… um, never mind–let’s focus on *this* first…)

Comment by Jayson 02.08.08 @ 1:01 am

[...] Mike Aquilina links to Catholic News Service article that makes mention of breastfeeding imagery associated with Holy Communion. (The article has apparently since been revised; I can’t find the specific wording immediately below in the article Mike links.) With respect to the custom of receiving the host on the tongue—as opposed to in the hand, we read: Bishop Schneider said that just as a baby opens his mouth to receive nourishment from his mother, so should Catholics open their mouths to receive nourishment from Jesus. [...]

Pingback by Dr. Platypus » Blog Archive » The Motherhood of Christ 02.08.08 @ 1:25 pm

yes- by receiving on the tongue, I have to look UP to Christ. It is like pulling teeth for my pastor to get people to commit, then keep, one hour in Adoration. Why should we get up at 2 o clock in the morning to sit in front of a piece of bread? I can’t help but think there is a connection.

Comment by Kasandra 02.11.08 @ 3:26 pm



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