March 22: Missing the source and the summit
Should the Catholic Church cancel all public Masses during the COVID-19 pandemic? While dioceses across North America and in many parts of Europe are doing just that, some prominent Catholics are saying the public celebration of the Eucharist must continue even if it costs some people their lives. The Eucharist is that essential to our spiritual lives, they say.
I see it this way. Vatican II taught that the Eucharist is the source and summit of the practice of the faith. Implied in that teaching is the assumption that being a practicing Catholic involves more than attending Sunday liturgy. However, not every climber reaches the summit of every mountain nor does every explorer reach the source of every river they explore. Despite that, their efforts are of value.
With a highly contagious disease let loose on the world, we should see this as a time to strengthen our foundations below the summit. This is a time to increase our personal prayer and, if possible, our charitable works. We can devote more time to studying Scripture or reading spiritual books. The pandemic should be seen as a special time for personal prayer and spiritual enrichment rather as a time that we are being deprived of the Eucharist. We can light a candle rather than curse the darkness.
- Glen Argan