05 October 2009

Memory of Mexico

As a Catholic teen I went on a few trips to Mexico on short-term missions. One was a lot of fun, on one we spent a lot of time building dormitories for future short-termers, and the other was much longer. On this third trip, I spent time shadowing a deacon who went to all the ranchitos to have mass, or do a marriage, or be a guest at a quinceanera. When we'd go out, we would be gone all day. I may have sat through a half-dozen mass services each day, and eaten at 6 ranchitos. After the third or fourth mass on the first day, I asked if it was "okay" to have communion each time- or should I sit it out at the back? "No, no," the deacon reassured me. "Catholics believe the more we take the Eucharist, the more grace we recieve."

Tonight was the new members class at my church. I have been attending there for a year, and just began serving in the fourth and fifth grade classroom. So it was time to become a member. A question came up about communion vs transubstantiation (excellent link!). My pastor responded quite eloquently. He mentioned that Thomas Aquinas in the eleventh century began the practice of considering the sacraments as a way to recieve more grace. (In case you needed a refresher, the eleventh century is AD 1000-1100, and Jesus died in roughly AD 33 and the Gospels were written around AD 50-90.

The part I loved the most was when he explained where the breakdown existed: They're calling it "grace" but you need to get more of it... "grace" weighs on the scale in your favor against your sins... penance gives "grace" to weigh in your favor against your sins... for Catholics, the Eucharist is the real flesh and blood of Christ, and it re-enacts his crucifiction again (and again, and again) and the breakdown is, is that what Christ did on the cross isn't enough.

This explains once again why Catholics wear crucifixes and Protestants wear crosses.

"He is risen!" "He is risen indeed!"

Catholic Encyclopedia


mama4x said...

I think I accidentally deleted a comment from my sister that said most religions that fall under Christianity broke away from Catholicism... in response, I'd say that sounds right- they responded to the growing importance placed on a-Biblical tradition. They "PROTEST"ed (hence Protestantism) against the power of the Pope and the inability of the people to understand Mass in Latin and have to trust a sometimes illiterate clergy for Biblical interpretation.