Sunday, 27 November 2011

Holy Communion: a means to unity or a celebration of it?

This relates to something said elsewhere in relation to Vassula and TLIG. First of all, according to Vatican 11 (see the document Lumen Gentium) the Eucharist is both a celebration of our unity in Christ AND a means to furthering that unity. Vatican 11 describes the Eucharist as "the source and summit" of the Christian life. The word "source" is important. As long as we live in these present times our unity will be imperfect. It is above all through the Eucharist that this unity in peace and love will be perfected. It is therefore legitimate to emphasise this aspect of the Eucharistic celebration. It is not a matter of one thing or the other, but BOTH. As far as the Orthodox view is concerned, I have heard one Orthodox bishop say that there can be no unity without the Eucharist. This is good Orthodox theology. How we then decide to celebrate the Eucharist in the context of TLIG pilgrimages depends very much on the agreement and assent of the bishops present. However, it has to be said, that nothing is done which deliberately goes against the regulations of each Church community. But to argue that an emphasis, legitimately expressed is out of step with the Church's teaching (Orthodox or Catholic) is mistaken. Vassula herself is certainly aware that the Eucharist is BOTH a celebration of unity AND a means to that unity prayed for by Christ - how could it not be?

Another point that needs to be made is that the writings known as "True Life in God" are not meant to be a theological treatise; they are "prophetic" and mystical writings. If someone looks there to try and find all the "t" s crossed and the "i"s dotted in relation to Christian theology he or she will be disappointed, but neither will such things be found in the Diary of Sr. Faustina or the writings of St. Theresa of Avila - they are not meant to be catechetical instructions. To argue that because something is not mentioned in Vassula's writings means that she does not believe in it is simply wrong and is a misreading of the "messages". Further, to impugn heresy, disobedience or anything else to someone you may not know - or know badly -still more to make accusations based on writings which you do not understand or have not read properly (if at all) is unjust.

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