Monday, October 30, 2006

Eucharistic fast? What's that?

I'm not normally one to go to great lengths to complain about abuses by members of the congregation. Sure, sometimes I'll be in an already cranky mood and grouse when I see short shorts or a halter top making their way up to receive communion, but I recognize that's not entirely something I need to worry myself about at the same time and that I need to further focus myself on why I'm there - the Eucharist. You know, the Source, Center and Summit of Catholic life?

So why is this little norm bugging me like a bad tag under the collar? I mean besides the fact that I have to explain to people about once a month that Vatican II did not make the Eucharistic fast optional. That's par for the course - so many things were changed so fast with so little explanation some people who went through that are still a little dizzy I think. But this one had to take the cake. Have you ever looked up from having your head bowed in prayer to watch someone take a nice big swig of their Dunkin' Donuts coffee? At church? During the homily? I know the current recommended "minimum" is one hour before reception of the Eucharist, but doesn't ten minutes seem to be stretching it a little? Perhaps I'm being petulant - Lord knows I have that habit. But if nothing else, doesn't this seem an ample opportunity for, as the Church likes to call it, a "teachable moment"? Someone, please, anyone, tell me the last time you heard anything at all about the Eucharistic fast. Please, someone tell me we haven't completely abandoned that to the pile of "personal piety" like have so many other things. C'mon, someone out there must have heard a good five second snip about this in the past ten years. Right? Anyone? Bueller?