May 27, 2005

Letters to the Editor

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Analogy for helping explain transubstantiation

Some people find it hard to comprehend that the bread and wine truly become the Body and Blood of Christ at Mass. As a scientifically minded person, I like to use the following analogy to help explain transubstantiation.

We all believe in emotions such as happiness and sadness. However, if you could look at the brain of a person when they are happy and when they are sad, you could not see any physical difference. The same brain tissue is there regardless of the emotion being felt. Despite the fact that we can not see emotions, we do not doubt their existence.

In the same way, the bread and wine may physically look the same before and after it is consecrated, but it is different. It becomes the Body and Blood of Christ.

-John Schnellenberger, Fishers, Ind.


Agrees that dressing up for Mass is a concern

Kudos to Virlee Schneider for her recent letter. The appearance of many who attend Mass is unbelievable. It sends the message that while it may be important to come to Mass, it’s more important to feel comfortable. Schneider’s point about dressing for work versus dressing for Mass is also right on target. If any of us came to work in shorts, sweatpants, flip-flops, etc., it would not escape the notice or censure of our superiors.

Perhaps that’s what is needed at Mass, too. Maybe it’s time our parish priests remind everyone that reverence, devotion and respect for our Lord may not be reconcilable with hip-hugging jeans and cargo shorts.

Maybe it’s also time for some good old-fashioned peer pressure. After all, is there no more shame? Are we all so sensitive about inclusiveness that those of us who bother to shower, brush our hair and put on a clean shirt before coming to celebrate the Eucharist dare not look down our noses at those who look like they just came from the gym?

-Patrick O’Connor, Indianapolis

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