Was listening to EWTN a couple of days ago and the priest was talking about the Real Presence and several other topics. He made the point that the tabernacle is the heart of every parish in the world.
Because it contains the Real Presence of Christ, body, blood, soul and divinity in the Most Blessed Sacrament.
Now, let me ask you some questions…
1. How much reverence does your parish seem to have concerning the Eucharist?
2. Does your parish promote adoration of the Eucharist?
3. Where is the tabernacle located in your parish?
4. Is it still in the center of the Sanctuary?
5. Has it been moved to a side chapel or even the back room?
At my local parish the tabernacle is on the right side of the church, but the free-standing baptismal font is in front of it so that no more than half of the people in the pews can see it at Mass. That’s better than no tabernacle in the main part I guess.
But I have been in many parishes where you cannot even find the tabernacle, despite the directive that it be plainly visible or located somewhere easily accessible and findable and suited for public adoration. Even our Cathedral has no tabernacle in the Sanctuary! No wonder they stand throughout the consecration there (granted, it’s the norm for the US, but it still seems wrong to me).
My point here is that if you take the heart of a body, don’t you kill it? Can anything live without a heart?
And that includes the Catholic Church. Reverence for the Eucharist is down almost everywhere in the US if the overwhelming annecdotal evidence is to be believed. I believe it’s because we have allowed them to take the tabernacle containing our Lord away from the Sanctuary and out of the main Church.
Without the heart, the body dies.
The Mystical Body of Christ. That’s who.
Though the Mystical Body cannot truly die since the gates of Hell shall not prevail against the Church, it can certainly whither and shrivel in places.
We must begin re-promoting the proper respect and reverence for the Blessed Sacrament. It’s a scandal that things have gotten out of hand as it is.