1. Shawn Pavlik on April 14, 2016 at 7:17 am

    Except, as a teacher at a Catholic school, a Christian, I was not allowed to partake. I asked the question “Is it the church’s table, or is it the Lord’s table?” That got me a little talking to by the head nun. She said I was being disrespectful, but I think it was a legitimate question.

    • quinersdiner on April 14, 2016 at 8:05 am

      Not only is your question legitimate, these types of questions should be encouraged. There is so much misunderstanding of Catholicism, that honest questions help to clear the air so to speak. As a convert, I not only understand the nature of your question, I felt that way once myself. I was wrong. Leading up to communion are a series of prayers that at the end of which, Mass participants say “amen.” In other words, with that ‘Great Amen’ (as we call it), we acknowledge our belief in a number of things that we just prayed that Protestants typically don’t embrace, including the Pope’s authority, the communion of the saints, the presence of all the angels and the saints at the Mass; and especially the full Presence of Christ, Body, Soul, Divinity, in the species of bread and wine. Regarding unity, Catholic Answers (Catholic.com) provides a succinct explanation:

      “Because unity is not caused by sharing in the Lord’s Table any more than a marriage is caused by intercourse. For those who are out of full communion with the Catholic Church, the spiritual unity must happen first (by entering into full unity with the Church through the rites of initiation), just as those who are not married must be married before they can enter into bodily unity. In both cases, the physical unity naturally flows from the spiritual unity. Eucharist strengthens the unity of the Body of Christ, just as the marriage act strengthens the sacrament of matrimony. But we must do first things first!”

      I’m not an expert, Shawn, but I’ll try to answer these questions to the best of my ability, and lean on other sources like Catholic Answers to make sure I’m saying it correctly. Honest questions like yours are invaluable to understanding our differences. Thanks for asking!

      • Shawn Pavlik on April 15, 2016 at 8:29 am

        Thanks. I guess my issue was that I felt as if the Catholics were feeling superior to me, like they were looking down on my “petty faith”. I felt the same when I went to, IIRC, a Missouri Synod Lutheran Church. I was not allowed to partake because I was not Lutheran.

        My church is no longer affiliated, although we most closely adhere to a Baptist philosophy. We are a bible-believing, -teaching, and -preaching church, and our only requirement for communion is that you are saved, and that each person should “examine himself” before partaking of the elements.

        From our website:

        The Lord’s Supper, or communion, commemorates the death of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the bread representing His body that was broken for us, and the fruit of the vine representing His blood that was shed for us. Before partaking of these elements each person should examine himself, “For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.”

        The long and the short of it is that every believer, all who have been saved, and who are right with God, are welcome at the table.

        • quinersdiner on April 15, 2016 at 8:40 am

          I understand the issue, as I’ve been on both sides. As a Catholic, I actually think there are more Protestants who look down at Catholics than the other way around. Many, many Fundamentalists and Evangelicals don’t even think Catholics have been “saved.” Your astute questions allows the air to be cleared by increasing our understanding of each other, even if we don’t totally agree on foundational issues.

Leave a Comment