Sunday, October 05, 2008

The Day I Was Denied Communion

(Your prayers for my friend Rachel and her family would be greatly esteemed. Please.)

I just stumbled across this article on BeliefNet; "The Day I Was Denied Communion." Whatever you feel politically, the message behind the story is powerful.

"From the back of the Communion line someone shouted out, 'Are you judging this man, Father?' I was grateful for the intervention. Will the Last Day be like this? One friend making an appeal for another?"

One friend making an appeal for another. I wonder if our friends will defend us? Will the ones we have hurt condemn us? Will we all see each other's brokenness? Will the barrier between friends and enemies shatter? I wonder.

5 comments:

Gail said...

Hello Eric-
This a tragic telling of "mis-use of power". I was deeply impacted.
I recall, being told by a priest once that he was making an exception in allowing me to
receive'. My shame was intense.
We, believes in Jesus, are the body and blood of Christ. He only asks that we be "broken and poured out" so others can have hope. There are no conditions on what truth we pour out only that is is our truth.

Gail
peace.....

Padre Rob+ said...

These kinds of stories just make me cry. I do not understand them either- the Jesus I see in the Gospels received everyone and loved them and invited them into the kingdom of God...

As for the last part..."One friend making an appeal for another. I wonder if our friends will defend us? Will the ones we have hurt condemn us? Will we all see each other's brokenness? Will the barrier between friends and enemies shatter? I wonder." ... I really believe the words from 1 John also used as part of the Comfortable Words in Rite One:

"If any [man] sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the perfect offering for our sins, and not for our only, but for the sins of the whole world."

At least I can count on one friend to defend me on that Day.

JN1034 said...

Many years ago, when I was 24, I worked as the dorm supervisor at an orphanage with Greek children. Each Sunday I'd take the kids to liturgy. Being lil'ones, most had to eat breakfast, even on days they'd receive Communion. Try taking 44 boys (ages 8-17) to a 2-hour-long Orthodox service on empty stomachs! But each Sunday, I'd fast in the morning and receive the Eucharist. The priest, now asleep in the Lord and so far from us he's harmless, never liked children. Though married (and childless), he was the typical grumpy ol' arrogant miserable f@*ker. One Sunday I went to receive from him, and he had the audacity to look me in the yes and say aloud: "Not for you! You eat like a Catholic!" I've no clue what that really means, but I do recall leaving the church, leaving the kids behind, and went out to cry. I didn't eat that morning. But he assumed since I was with the kids that I chowed down. But the Catholic remark? Totally uncalled for. Did I mention I was also the Sunday School teacher? That week's lesson was on Holy Communion ... and how all people have earned it through Christ. And I was in charge of the alter boys. One day I'll tell you about how I had the boys line the sleeves of his suit jacket with caterpillars during liturgy so that when he took off his vestments and put on his jacket to go out of the altar and greet folks he did a spasmodic, epileptic dance as the creepy-crawlies infested him. Yeah, he knew I was behind it. So so worth it. Now that's how Byzantines do the Tradition!

eric said...

Oh my gosh...that's hilarious, in retrospect I mean. What a horrible priest!

We're always lurking behind-the-scenes though, ready to get our just revenge...muahaha ;)

JN1034 said...

Helping others with their theosis is a tough tough job for guys like us. muahaha ;)