A Romantic Yearning for Our Eucharistic Lord

The thing which keeps life romantic and full of fiery possibilities is the existence of these great plain limitations~ G.K. Chesterton

Two of my former students are on the road to becoming Catholic, and both recently confided in me their frustration regarding Holy Communion—but it’s not the reason you’d expect.

You’d think they’d be struggling with transubstantiation and the Real Presence, right? That they’d be flummoxed by the Church’s wild assertion that we’re actually feasting on Jesus’ body and blood when we consume the Blessed Sacrament. That’s got to weird them out!

But, no. Like most of my students, they were raised as Bible Christians, so it didn’t take much to convince them that the Church’s teaching on the Eucharist is right out of Sacred Scripture—even according to their own Protestant translations. Sure, the two were incredulous at first—just like the Jews in Jesus’ time: “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”—but the Lord’s biblical rejoinder is so matter-of-fact that my students couldn’t avoid its plain meaning:

Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them.

After considering various alternative interpretations of that passage in John, and after coming to grips with the fact that all ancient Christians firmly espoused Catholic belief about the Eucharist, my students dropped their objections and were convinced: In the course of the Mass, the bread and wine truly and really become Jesus—weird as that sounds.

Once that was settled, other doctrines started to fall into place for them, and both are currently well along the RCIA path that will culminate in their becoming Catholics this coming Easter—praise God! Here’s the problem though: They really, really want to receive Holy Communion now. Not later—now! They’re tired of watching everybody else feast on the Lord while they have to settle for a mere blessing—and not even that if there’s a lay Eucharistic minister at the end of the Communion line.

In an attempt to console them, I’ve suggested that their waiting for full communion is actually quite romantic—at least romantic in the old sense of the word. And when I say “old sense of the word,” I mean Jane Austen of course.

Take Pride and Prejudice, for example—the book, for sure, but even the screen adaptations. In the BBC marathon version, you detect that Darcy and Elizabeth are head over heels for each other by the end of the fourth episode, and all doubt is removed in the fifth when they exchange “The Look”—that subtle, oh so subtle wordless interchange of tenderness and affection. Now, if this were a modern cinematic treatment of romance, The Look would’ve led in short order to The Sack, and those of us with more traditional mores would be reduced to squirms and winces.

Instead, in the BBC version, The Look is followed by another 90 minutes of drama, conflict, and complication, until all is resolved in the final moments with a chaste, nuptial kiss—a preliminary marital consummation long in coming. Yet it’s the delay that makes a mere kiss way more romantic than the typical Hollywood quickie, not to mention so welcome for us viewers who’ve accompanied the protagonists on their tortuous amorous journey.

Folks joining the Church frequently have similar tortuous journeys, with just as many fits and starts and setbacks as Elizabeth and Darcy did. It’s no small thing to become a Catholic these days, and once folks have made it as far as RCIA and everything is clicking, they’re anxious to get on with it—to receive the Sacraments and commence living out that life of grace they’ve come to yearn.

Nonetheless, wait they must—even candidates for full communion who, by virtue of their baptism, are technically Catholics already. Even if I could convince my students that the waiting is terribly romantic, it’s still a hardship, but it’s vitally important for at least three reasons.

(1) It’s honest. As the bishops remind us, “Catholics believe that the celebration of the Eucharist is a sign of the reality of the oneness of faith, life, and worship.” Ordinarily, to admit non-Catholics to the Eucharist is tantamount to a lie—much like extramarital intimacy is a lie, even between the engaged, in that it bespeaks a total life commitment that is not yet present. It’s the same logic that ought to hold back obstinate sinners from the Eucharist as well, for Holy Communion is nothing to be trifled with—something St. Paul clearly spelled out to the Corinthians:

So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup.

(2) It’s healing. Many Protestant groups practice open communion and invite everyone, regardless of church affiliation, to share in their Lord’s Supper rituals. This can lead to misunderstanding and resentment when people from those groups attend Mass and are asked to refrain. Yet there are real and painful divisions in the Body of Christ, and closed communion is a public acknowledgement of that sad fact. Awkward as it might be for us, it’s important to remember, as Cardinal O’Connor once noted, that “Holy Communion is not to be given or received as an act of courtesy.”

Instead, it’s better to think of closed communion itself as courtesy, for it both demonstrates respect for differences in belief and lays bare the wound of disunion to the required cure: Jesus himself. Here’s how the bishops put it:

We welcome our fellow Christians to this celebration of the Eucharist as our brothers and sisters. We pray that our common baptism and the action of the Holy Spirit in this Eucharist will draw us closer to one another and begin to dispel the sad divisions which separate us. We pray that these will lessen and finally disappear, in keeping with Christ’s prayer for us “that they may all be one” (Jn 17:21).

(3) It’s penitential. The time between coming to belief in the Eucharist and then finally receiving it at Easter is an extended fast of sorts, and a lot like Advent—another example of romantic expectation and longing. Though not penitential in the same degree as Lent, Advent is supposed to be a time of moderated deprivation—of staying hungry while awaiting the greatest birthday surprise the world has ever known. Christmas is a feast, after all, and we don’t want to spoil our appetites, spiritual or otherwise.

Our kids complain mightily about having to wait for Christmas—we did the same at their age—but we all know that the suspense is what makes it all so magical. It’s why we wrap presents and hide treats, and it’s also why we remove the baby Jesus from our nativity scenes until Christmas Eve: The visibly empty manger becomes a focal point of our eager longing for the Lord’s grand entrance into our lives and our world.

And that longing is deepened by the curious presence throughout Advent of all those other Nativity figurines: Mary and Joseph and the shepherds—even the cattle and sheep!—gazing placidly on the empty trough, a month-long Waiting for Godot that is spectacularly resolved when the ceramic child is enthroned on December 24.

That’s what it’s like to have to wait for Holy Communionand not only for converts, but likewise for converting sinners, and children as well. It’s also the idea behind the one-hour fast we’re all supposed to observe before Communion. We become like pre-Christmas Nativity scenes, and our souls are empty cribs awaiting the arrival of our Eucharistic Lord. Our trust and our hope are deepened, our faith strengthened, and our love made more pervasive and profound. “All who are not receiving Holy Communion,” say the bishops, “are encouraged to express in their hearts a prayerful desire for unity with the Lord Jesus and with one another.” It’s a true maranatha moment—a true cry of the soul, “Come, Lord Jesus.”

Yes, Lord, come quickly. We can hardly wait.

Richard Becker


Richard Becker is a husband, father of seven, nursing instructor, and religious educator. He blogs regularly at God-Haunted Lunatic.

  • ForChristAlone

    Tell this to our bishops. Many of them don’t seem to understand the finer points about the Eucharist. We could begin with the Bishop of Rome.

    • s;vbkr0boc,klos;

      Neither are yours receiving them.

  • jacobhalo

    I don’t understand how extraordinary ministers can distribute Holy Communion. There hands are not consecrated.

    • Scott W.

      While it can hardly be denied that the use of EMHC’s is highly abused in many parishes, canon law does permit distribution by the laity when in situations of need. Quite frankly, I wouldn’t object to a moratorium on the practice and only revive it after the pseudo-ministry character of it goes away.

      • Mark Duch

        Let’s be honest. It’s virtually all parishes.

        • Scott W.

          If we limit ourselves to American parishes, sure. Worldwide like Africa and Asia? I don’t know.

          • R. K. Ich

            An extraordinary minister of holy communion should only occur in the event of an authentic emergency wherein nobody else will do.

            Anyone, even a layperson, can validly administer baptism, but we’d be crazy to encourage that practice. Consecration and distribution of Holy Communion is the domain of the ordained. Rome should amend the canon to explicitly denounce the practice as a norm.

            • Scott W.

              I certainly agree that it should be denounced as a norm. And perhaps the rules governing EMHC’s should be modified only for emergencies, but just FYI, Redemptionis Sacramentum does not require an emergency:

              ‘Indeed the extraordinary minister of Holy Communion may adminster Communion only when the Priest or Deacon are lacking, when the priest is prevented by weakness or advanced age or some other genuine reason, or when the number of faithful coming to Communion is so great that the very celebration of Mass would be unduly prolonged.’ (RS, 158)

              Granted, it seems apparent that abusers of EMHC’s are taking advantage of the “unduly prolonged”. Sigh. Give an inch, they take a mile.

              • R. K. Ich

                RS,158 has all the language of emergency (i.e., that which emerges unexpectedly that requires a deviation from the norm). You are right, though, liberals will always abuse the exception as an excuse to overturn the rule.

          • orientstar

            I live in Japan

            • Scott W.

              Ok, is abuse of EMHC’s a problem in Japan?

              Frankly, I’m surprised I’m getting so much pushback on a peripheral issue when so many of us are in agreement on the fundamental issue.

              • orientstar

                Hello Scott W. I didn’t intend it to be “pushback” just that you specifically asked about Africa and Asia – hence my comment on Japan. I am sure that we are in agreement on the fundamental issue and also in agreement that abuse of the function of extraordinary ministers has become the norm in many parishes.
                All the Blessings of Christmas!

    • Michael Paterson-Seymour

      Neither are a deacon’s hands consecrated,, but deacons have always distributed the elements and exposed the Blessed Sacrament at Benediction.

      • Mary

        That’s a true, but misleading observation, Michael. Yes, deacons have something in common with the laity: they cannot confect the Holy Eucharist (I think that’s what you mean by their hands not being consecrated, right?).

        But that’s not nearly as important as the fact that deacons *aren’t* laity. They have received the sacrament of Holy Orders, imprinting on their soul forever the mark that sets them apart as sacred ministers. Deacons are thus “ordinary” ministers of Holy Communion, not “extraordinary.”

        By virtue of Holy Orders, deacons are also ordinary ministers of baptism (a layperson who baptizes in an emergency is acting as an “extraordinary” minister of baptism), and can confer blessings. Among other things.

        • Michael Paterson-Seymour

          Oh! I agree with that.

          I took Jacobhalo to be referring to the anointing of the priest’s hands, that is all.

  • orientstar

    Surely an “extra” ordinary minister if they are required at all – which I doubt – is just that. I have never received Holy Communion from an “extraordinary minister” and never will. With an average congregation of less than 100 at my church why do we need them? Why does anyone?

    • HisWillIs

      I understand your feelings however in normal situations an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion is a person selected and prepared for their special role to assist in the distribution of the Eucharist. Mainly because the number and time to distribute would be unreasonable. In many dioceses each candidate attends a diocese day of training, not on how to distribute but about the real presence, transubstantiation and their role as Extra Ordinary ministers.

      They are not mini priests and are not to give blessings. Their hands are not consecrated because they are NOT priests who were ordained. The purpose for the consecration of the hands is so the ordained acting in ‘Persona Christi’ during the mass has the power to have Christ become REAL, PRESENT and LASTING (i.e., the transubstantiation) in the Eucharist (i.e., hosts) at the consecration in mass. Once Christ is present … He is present and does not disappear after a period of time, that’s why any remaining hosts are reserved in the tabernacle. Christ is still present!!!

      Extra Ordinary Ministers are not Ordinary Ministers like the Priest and Deacon but are delegated to assist in distribution. They are not authorized to give blessings. Their hands do not need to be consecrated because they DO NOT consecrate or make Christ present….Christ is already present in the Eucharist at the moment of consecration.

      One must understand that ‘Jesus’ is present Body, Blood, soul and divinity at the moment the Bread and Wine are consecrated. The consecrated host DOES NOT become unconsecrated because it is not distributed by an ordinary minister. Think about it…are you telling everyone who chooses to receive in the hand, that Christ is somehow no longer present in the Eucharist? Tell me why would you believe this but say Christ is present when one receives on the tongue? The tongue is not consecrated!!! The fact remains that Jesus is still present once consecrated!!! The person distributing the Eucharist does not change a consecrated host into an unconsecrated host!

      There is no difference except in a persons mind. Which makes one wonder if that person coming to receive the Eucharist really believes in the REAL presence of Christ in the Eucharist! Why do I say that? If one believed Christ was truly present in the Eucharist their total focus would be on our Lord and Savior and how one prepared oneself to receive Christ. But if all the focus is on who the minister distributing Christ is…how can one truly say “I believe Christ is truly present”?

      • orientstar

        You have raised good points: does a congregation of 80 or so constitute a problem of number and time to distribute Holy Communion? I don’t think so. The problem is not with the recipient’s belief in the REAL presence but in the indications of the belief of the extraordinary minister. I would not presume to judge what they are but then again I shouldn’t have to. The current practise where I am is an abuse and I believe that this case is not unique. It is the priest who offers the sacrifice of the mass and he should distribute its fruits.

        • susan d

          We have a priest with bad knees. He is in agony when he is standing. We use Extraordinary Ministers. (We are also much larger than your church, and one person distributing would take half an hour on a Sunday, I think.)

          • orientstar

            Hello Susan D,

            Obviously it varies with the parish, mass attendance, and the physical health of the priest. Use of extraordinary ministers is not in itself an abuse – but its practice can be. In my case, I believe that it is. In your case it isn’t. In fact it falls squarely under the provisions of Redemptionis Scarmentum from the Congregation for Divine Worship [158] as noted in other parts of this correspondence. Extraordinary ministers may administer communion “when the priest is prevented by weakness or advanced age or some other genuine reason, or when the number of faithful coming to Communion is so great that the very celebration of Mass would be unduly prolonged”. Your parish mass obviously qualifies on both counts, mine does not.

            • susan d


  • Vinny

    This full understanding of the Eucharist is part of the overall new understanding (because it was lost purposefully and wrongly post Vatican II) of the Mass. What it really is – worship, mercy and sacrifice led by the priest along with choirs of angels unseen. The congregation fully participating by listening, praying, responding, singing, contemplating, focusing both inside and outside of yourself and, simply, being part of the worship.

  • Aaron

    Thank you Mr. Becker, your words were truly a blessing to read during the Golden Nights. Come, Divine Messiah!

  • s;vbkr0boc,klos;

    After all these years I am still shocked at the reality of transubstantiation. The Holy Audacity of it. After all these years I still have the urge to flee with the voice at my back “You are leaving too?” Knowing yet again – where else could I go for MY salvation? Not ‘salvation’ as some theological concept but MY salvation.

  • melanie statom

    New born infants hunger for the purest milk and are offered it, no lengthy preparation needed for these little ones. A good mother will not refuse to feed the newborn, dependent on her for his very life. Maturing will come in due course. For some of us, Eucharistic feeding is the starting point from which a life of grace can unfold.

    • Marie

      No preparation needed? What about nine months gestation? 🙂

      Kidding aside, even cradle Catholics do not receive Holy Communion without preparation. They’re baptized as infants but then they have to wait until, typically, second or third grade before they may receive. This is so that they can be prepared to understand and appreciate what they are receiving. When you think about it, converts who go through RCIA only have to go through 6-9 months of preparation before First Communion, but cradle Catholics have to go through 8-9 years. In that sense, the converts are lucky!

      • melanie statom

        Whom did St. Paul receive on the road to Damascus? Seems to me his real spiritual preparation began AFTER his encounter with the Risen Christ, who clearly reveals that inadequate catechetical formation and preparation is not an ultimate obstacle to encountering him. Some infants require the bread of angels to survive. We ought to have more faith in the Eucharistic presence of Jesus to meet us where we are and bring us through to true conversion, repentance and transformation.

        • susan d

          By our DESIRE to receive Him, but being obedient to Him in His Church (for He is present in His Church), we receive all the graces of the Eucharist. BECAUSE Jesus is present in the Eucharist, we should not give strong meat to infants. Check Hebrews 5:14. Milk first.

          • melanie statom

            Jesus is surely quite capable of adapting his Real Presence ( ” strong meat” ) to the correct, develpmental dosage we creatures need. A bit of the Logos is still the whole Logos.

            • susan d

              Right. And the choice of what age members of the Church need to be to receive Communion is a discipline, not a dogma. Come to think of it, I have been told that Catholics in other rites than the Latin rite receive the Wine at Baptism (as well as the chrism of Confirmation).

  • teo

    Richard, very well written. So …. can a catholic attend a protestant church say while visiting on Christmas eve and partake of their communion?

    • Thanks for your kind words, Teo, as well as your excellent question. By all means, do attend Protestant worship, especially in the context of visiting family during the holidays. It’s exactly the kind of informal ecumenism that Vatican II called for.

      Unfortunately, however, you’ll have to stop short of partaking in Protestant communion. Our practice of closed communion goes both ways: We forgo participating in the Lord’s Supper rituals of our separated brethren just as we ask them to forgo receiving Holy Communion at Mass. The Code of Canon Law puts it very succinctly: “Catholic ministers administer the
      sacraments licitly to Catholic members of the Christian faithful alone, who
      likewise receive them licitly from Catholic ministers alone…” (844).


    • ForChristAlone

      Rick is correct that Catholics do NOT take communion in a protestant service because we are not in communion with them. And point of fact, even if you did, you would simply be taking mere bread and wine and not the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.

      On the other hand, Catholics may receive communion in an Orthodox Church because we believe their priests to have valid sacramental Orders necessary for the bread and wine to become the Body and Blood of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

      • Very true, FCA, although it would be prudent and polite to request permission from the Orthodox pastor/priest first. Also, it’s important to remember that an Orthodox Divine Liturgy does not replace Catholic Mass with regards to ones Sunday obligation.

        In any case, while the Catholic Church does affirm the validity of Orthodox orders and Sacraments, we shouldn’t avail ourselves of Orthodox Sacraments unless there’s a good reason to do so–in an emergency, for instance, or if one resides in a region lacking Catholic ministers and Sacraments.

        • Mary

          I was taught that Catholics may only receive the sacraments from schismatic clergy (such as the Orthodox) if it’s some sort of extreme circumstance where it is not possible to receive them from Catholic clergy (danger of death, etc). Has this changed?

          • Thanks for your question, Mary, and merry Christmas!

            I’m not sure when it might’ve changed, but the current Code of Canon Law indicates that receiving the Sacraments from Orthodox clergy may be appropriate ‘when true spiritual advantage suggests it’ (see full quote above). So, yes, certainly in an extreme situation, but possibly even under less dire circumstances as well.

            Of course, ‘true spiritual advantage’ can be understood in any number of different ways, but therein lies the job security for those who take up canon law.

            Here’s a link to the Code: http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/__P2T.HTM

  • St JD George

    God bless you Richard for the important work you do. If it is any consolation to them it was not quite 2 years for me after I took the first step and I longed for the day to come. Waiting wasn’t torture though as I knew it was God’s plan and it was just much sweeter when this past Easter finally came to be. Merry Christmas.

  • hombre111

    Nicely done. For most Catholics, that moment of Communion is the heart of their faith experience.

  • David Sullivan

    I was confirmed in April this year. I had been an Evangelical for 35 years before that. I had that same intense longing to receive the Eucharist while I was in RCIA and had no issues at all in recognizing the real presence. (I was always very disappointed with how communion was done in Evangelical churches.) I and the other candidates were confirmed the week after Easter (Divine Mercy Sunday) while the catechumins were baptized and received first communion at Easter vigil. So, my waiting was even more acute. In the end, I was very happy to have received the Eucharist for the first time at the proper time with all my fellow candidates. The strangest thing about converting to Catholicism is that I found that I was a Catholic all along trapped in the body of an Evangelical. Once I got past the irrational prejudice that comes with being an Evangelical, I met every doctrine and tradition of the Church with, “Well, of course.”

    • Ruth Rocker

      Great article! I had a similar experience when I joined the church nearly 30 years ago. The longing to be caught up in the experience of the Eucharist was great, indeed. I didn’t come from a particularly “churchy” background, so I was, in a way, a blank slate. The teachings of the church did not have to overwrite incorrect information already stored.

      As far as the eucharistic ministers, we left a parish partly because of this practice. Not only were they HEAVILY used, but nearly anyone could do it. There were kids in shorts and halter tops in the summer distributing the Body of Christ!! I refused to accept the Host except from the hands of the priest. And once I understood why reception in the hand was allowed, I stopped doing that as well. Being able to “feed myself” with the Host is no different from the Protestant concept that communion is just a recreation of the Last Supper so feeding yourself is appropriate. That is NOT what Catholics are doing. I, personally, think it is improper to receive the Body of Christ from any but consecrated hands. YMMV.

    • susan d

      Welcome home! My experience with the Biblical background to the Catholic Church was the same. I just kept saying, “But that’s what the Bible says!” Mary is my Mother? Yes! Jesus told me so from the cross, when He said to His beloved disciple (and that’s me!) “Behold your mother.”

  • M.J .

    While the general theme of yearning for the closeness to The Lord is a very worthy topic, think we need to be very careful and almost refrain from using the word ‘ romantic’ in that connection , esp. considering the times of confusion in our midst .

    The Lord came to reveal to us The Father ; ‘ show us The Father ‘ was the pleading of the Apostles James and Phillip ; our souls that have been often wounded through the ‘ root sin ‘ of rejection ( as per mention in book Freedom through Deliverance ,
    by Rev.Fr.Carl Schmidt ) and often fall into various idolatrous attachments to make up for same , is healed through the outpouring of the Father love, in The Spirit , at so great a price , that at every moment , we can say gratefully , ‘Lord , I trust in You …in Your love for me ……and the other…… and in the power of what that love can do for me and the other .. ..’
    Thus , He becomes The Bread of Life – life that can have its shares of dealing with and living with the enemy afflicted natures in and around us, the related debt of sin …what The Lord came to take upon and deal with, so that His children do not fall into or stay , in pits of hatred , un forgiveness and all that comes with same !
    The article hopefully would also be an incentive for Eucharistic Adoration ..even when not exposed, sitting near the tabernacle, reading the Scriptures or other good material , in itself can be a good experience for those who are waiting !
    Thank you for the reminder of what The Eucharist is about …and anyone who finds it difficult to forgive another for any rejection or disrespect ..can always look to oneself , to see how little we ourselves are able to give to The Lord, when He comes , in The Eucharist ..to be thankful for His mercy , …to wipe out all roots of bitterness , esp. any in The Father realm and in the long family lines in that connection !

  • ve6

    The RC Church should have other times to be converted into the Church other than Easter.

    • susan d

      Actually, if an individual is deemed by a parish priest to be able to be received into the Church, this can be done at any time. At least, so I have seen.

  • Montjoie

    David Sullivan said my piece, although I’m just generic Protestant not really Evangelical. Currently in RCIA.

  • Martha

    Loooooove the parallel to P&P’s romance. You’re spot on.

    And a man who knows about Darcy and Elizabeth’s ‘look?’ What a man. 😉

  • Nick_Palmer3

    Richard, a very good article on many levels. Lessons for us all!

    A nit to pick, however with the atrocious biblical translation you’ve used.

    * “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.” No, “I will raise HIM up on the last day.”

    * “Everyone ought to examine themselves…” No, “EveryONE” ought to examine “HIMself.”

    And so on. The inimitable Peter Kreeft, in “Socratic Logic” nailed it: (page 36)

    “The use of the traditional inclusive generic pronoun ‘he’ is a decision of
    language, not of gender justice. There are only six alternatives. (1) We could
    use the grammatically misleading and numerically incorrect ‘they.’ But when we
    say ‘one baby was healthier than the others because they didn’t drink that
    milk,’ we do not know whether the antecedent of “they” is ‘one or
    ‘others,’ so we don’t know whether to give or take away the milk. Such language
    codes could be dangerous to baby’s health. (2) Another alternative is the
    politically inclusive ‘in-your-face’ generic ‘she,’ which I would probably use
    if I were an angry, politically intrusive, in-your-face woman, but I am not any
    of those things. (3) Changing “he” to “he or she” refutes itself
    in such comically clumsy and ugly revisions as the following: ‘What does it
    profit a man or woman if he or she gains the whole world but loses his or her
    own soul? Or what shall a man or woman give in exchange for his or her soul?’
    The answer is: he or she will give up his or her linguistic sanity. (4) We
    could also be both intrusive and clumsy by saying ‘she or he.’ (5) or we
    could use the neuter ‘it,’ which is both dehumanizing and inaccurate. (6) Or we
    could combine all the linguistic garbage together and use ‘she or he or it,’
    which, abbreviated would sound like ‘sh…it.’

    “I believe in the equal intelligence and value of women, but not in the
    intelligence or value of ‘political correctness,’ linguistic ugliness,
    grammatical inaccuracy, conceptual confusion, or dehumanizing pronouns.”

    • Nick, thanks for your response and kind words.

      With regards to the translation, all points well taken! It’s the New International Version–a translation popular with Evangelicals. I prefer the old RSV myself, but I deliberately chose to quote from the NIV in case this article finds its way to Protestant readers.

      • Nick_Palmer3

        Rick, I really enjoy your writing and take on things Catholic. You do a great job connecting big theological ideas to human experience. Seven children might do that to one!

        Forgive my pedantic evil side. Along with Kreeft I’m on a mini-pogrom about these issues…

        Oh, and my youngest daughter, too, likes your writing. She’s president of the Life Society at University of Edinburgh and an aggressive evangelizer.

  • profling

    The text says, “Accipite et bibite ex eo OMNES.” Christ’s invitation is not limited to the just alone.