The widespread practice of Catholics receiving communion in the hand while standing up is part of Satan’s attack on the Church, the head of the Vatican department dealing with liturgy has said.
In the preface to a book on the subject, Cardinal Robert Sarah lamented the lack of reverence for the Blessed Sacrament, saying this leads to belief in “errors” on the matter.
“The most insidious diabolical attack consists in trying to extinguish faith in the Eucharist, sowing errors and favouring an unsuitable manner of receiving it,” the cardinal wrote.
“Truly the war between Michael and his Angels on one side, and Lucifer on the other, continues in the heart of the faithful: Satan’s target is the Sacrifice of the Mass and the Real Presence of Jesus in the consecrated host.
“Why do we insist on communicating standing in the hand? Why this attitude of lack of submission to the signs of God?
“[Receiving kneeling and on the tongue] is much more suited to the sacrament itself. I hope there can be a rediscovery and promotion of the beauty and pastoral value of this manner. In my opinion and judgment, this is an important question on which the church today must reflect. This is a further act of adoration and love that each of us can offer to Jesus Christ.”
The cardinal’s preface appears in the new book ‘The distribution of Communion on the hand: a historical, juridical and pastoral survey’ by Don Federico Bortoli. It was reproduced on the Italian website La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana.
Communion in the hand, he points out, “involves a great dispersion of fragments” of the Host, which, although small, are still the body of the Lord. Failure to respect this can cause people to lose their belief in the Real Presence, leading Catholics to think: “If even the parish priest does not pay attention to the fragments, if he administers the Communion so that the fragments can be dispersed, then it means that Jesus is not in them, or only ‘up to a certain point'”.
Cardinal Sarah also criticises “outrages” against the Blessed Sacrament. These include not only satanic ‘Black Masses’, but also sacrilegious communions (received while in a state of mortal sin) and ‘intercommunion’ (received by non-Catholics).
We should not receive Communion like any other food, he adds, saying Catholics must retain a sense of the sacred.
“Why are we so proud and insensitive to the signs that God himself offers us for our spiritual growth and our intimate relationship with Him?” the cardinal asks. “Why do we not kneel down to receive Holy Communion on the example of the saints? Is it really too humiliating to bow down and kneel before the Lord Jesus Christ?”