I am an aged man, who became a Catholic in 1925. The habitual grace of God has enabled me to keep the faith so far; and my personal discipline (suggested long ago, by Clement Tigar SJ and my friend Sean Egan, a layman) has been sustained since then — namely, to receive the body of Christ once a week — sporadic extraordinary piety has been consistently avoided. This has been the mainspring of my life's little activities — bringing up the family, that's all. We all keep the Faith.
Yet I have grieved these many years about the fact that the clergy had built a fence around the Blessed Sacrament. A fence against the laity. St Pius X was the first of them to begin to breach the fence. He allowed children to eat the Body of Jesus. His successors have tried to widen the breach. In my lifetime I have seen frequent cornmunion becoming a habit amongst my fellow Catholics. After the Second Vatican Council (which attempted to throw down the fence) I began to experience the wonderful and unasked grace of having the Chalice of the Precious Blood of Jesus handed to me, by some adventurous young priests. They seemed to me to be inviting me to believe without reserve. They seemed to say: He loved you first. It is for you to respond to him." He said: "Take all of you and drink. This is my blood." We his young adventurous priests have thrown down the fence at last. We are beginning to do again what was done in the earlier Church.
But: latterly, some of the clergy in the Church of Jesus have reasserted themselves and now there are only a few (in England anyway), great and good priests, like Adrian Hastings who will hand to me the cup of the Blood of Jesus Christ.
May I ask the others "Why not?" W. E. Jacob Ascot, Berkshire.
Fr Adrian Hastings (April 29) puts so clearly the desire that so many of us have to communicate as
Our Lord wished — bread and wine. I am fortunate in belonging to a parish where the cup is offered at all Masses, and I miss it when at Mass elsewhere.
This makes it all the more sad that at the Catholic Women's League Golden Jubilee Mass at Westminster Cathedral we were not permitted the cup. It seemed such a suitable occasion when more than 500 women were together at Mass and with about 25 priests concelebrating, there were no practical difficulties.
I pray that the Holy Spirit will open the minds of the bishops and clergy to this legitimate desire of the laity. (Mrs) Mary Fisch London, NI4.
One must draw the conclusion from the contribution from Fr Hastings (April 29) who refuses to celebrate Mass for the laity unless the people are given communion under both kinds, that he also must refuse to preside at Benediction or Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament when the Cup is not also exposed. In spite of his passing reference to the validity under one kind, only his action goes against the teaching of the Church that the whole of Christ is contained under each species and under every part of each species when separated. There is no general call from the laity for communion under both kinds. Far from bindingpeople together, its general introduction would cause further division amongst the faithful.
Gerald B. Lyons Leeds.
Possibly because 1 am a horn Catholic, brought up in a very Catholic home, because I am a teacher and had had the privilege of preparing maybe hundreds of children for First Communion, much of what Fr Adrian Hastings has to say April 22 on sharing the "cup" simply jars on me. The'very word "cup" does that. As a Catholic, one who was lucky to be well prepared for his First Communion, I have never felt the
need of receiving the Precious Blood, though I am glad now to have the occasion of doing so sometimes.
My reason is very simple: when Christ used the words Take and eat all of you... " was he not speaking to his Apostles, and were they not priests? True, Christ did say: "Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood you will not have life in you".
But I was taught that when I was a child, I learnt that when I was in college, I studied that when I took my four year course in Sacred Studies, that Christ is really and truly present in the Sacred Host. When I receive the Sacred Host I am not receiving a dead Body (much less a simple memorial of his Passion). I receive the whole Christ, a living Person, "Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity,"
Hundreds of saints have received Holy Communion and met Christ in the Sacred Host. Has Fr Hastings read the writings of St Catherine of Sienna? Possibly not. He may not belong to any association connected with the Dominicans. She had a passionate love for the Precious Blood of Christ.
Fr Hastings seems to me a second Lefebvre. Will he end up like hira,.a pathetic old man. believing he knows better than the Church of Christ?
Wimborne, H. Jones Dorset.