Tongue or hand?
What a topic in our Catholic world.
It seems that both sides have strong reasons from the Early Church about why their way is the correct way. Judgement and pride seep through as both defend their way, all the while, hearts deep down coming from a place of love for Our Lord in the Eucharist.
The tongue v. hand debate will go on and the question always remains- what is the disposition of the heart? With the Church allowing both ways of receiving, this question is where each person’s answer lies.
During this Covid season of life, we have all been “encouraged” to receive on the hand. A traditional and holy priest said that even though this is “encouraged,” the laypeople of the U.S. still do have an option and will not be acting out of disobedience by receiving on the tongue, he added "people throughout history, during every plague, still received on the tongue.”
At the very beginning of this pandemic I decided to receive Our Lord in the palm of my hand instead of on the tongue.
I knelt, had him placed on my hand and brought my mouth down to Him to take Him under my roof.
I walked back to the pew, hands still folded, knelt and prayed. I then opened my hands, looked down at them and found a Crumb.
And it wasn’t just a tiny speck of a Crumb, not that it matters- the tiniest little particle of the Eucharist is body, blood, soul and divinity of Our Lord.
Tears of shock rolled down my cheeks with no effort.
You always hear about the possibility of Crumbs, but I always imagined them too tiny to see with the naked eye and not frequent.
This Crumb was the size of a Chick-fil-a crunchy you get excited about after all the nuggets are gone.
I brought Him to my mouth while in shock of how Jesus was still on my hand… and I had no idea.
My thoughts then went to times when we receive Him in our hands and without seeing the Crumbs, the Savior of the World, the King of Our Life, Our Lord of Lords and Prince of Peace…falls to the ground… and we then step on God.
How many times have we stepped on Our Lord while walking back from the communion line, walking out of the Sanctuary, while saying hi to friends in the pew next to us?
The Most Holy and Precious of all Gifts, trampled on.
And if we could see the reality of what we were doing, we would see a Bloody trail.
God knew this would happen, and He STILL desired to give Himself to us. He knew His Crumbs would be falling from our hands, and He still became Bread for our salvation.
His desire for intimacy with us is something that is absolutely unfathomable and deeply beautiful, beyond any beauty we understand this side of the veil.
The tongue v. hand debate will go on forever and the question will always remain- what is the disposition of the heart? But, I ask you to take this to prayer one more time- how you receive.
When He is placed in your tongue, no Crumbs fall to the ground.
When he is placed in your hand, there are Crumbs and you might not even see some of smaller ones, but they are still Our Lord and they still fall to the ground and we do step on Him.
At the heart of this question isn't a "side" or "position" to defend. At the heart of this question is - how do we want to handle Our Lord when He is placed under our care.
Copyright Stephanie Stovall 2020