Monday, July 2, 2012
The Sweetest Kiss
I've always tended toward scrupulosity and easily lay excessive and unwarranted guilt upon myself. A few years ago, when I first began blogging, I read many blogs where discussions over the better way to receive communion, on the tongue or in the hand, were held. The consensus of those that I read was that the holiest way to receive communion was on the tongue. But I've been a lifelong hand-receiver and wasn't comfortable receiving the Lord directly on my tongue so the whole online conversation became a source of stress for me. It wasn't until I spoke about it with my spiritual director who reassured me that either way of receiving is correct, that I finally let go of that worry.
Recently I watched an online video called Jesus is on the Floor and it brought the subject back to my mind. The video highlighted the very real concern that crumbs of the host can fall on the floor while receiving in the hand and for some reason, this time around, that disturbed me enough for me to reconsider my stance. I decided that I wanted to take better care of the Lord, to keep him from being offended or hurt by my actions. Receiving the Eucharist on the tongue seems like such an easy way to show my love and affection for Him in a deeper way than receiving Him in my unworthy hands. I decided that it was finally time for a change, not motivated by stress and scrupulosity, but motivated by love.
It can seem a bit awkward to begin doing something new. There have been several hitches along the way, such as a little dance with the host the first time a priest, who has only known me to be a hand-receiver, tried to figure out why I didn't make a throne with my hands, and the time when a Eucharistic minister almost missed my mouth entirely. But, I'm sure after a bit of adjustment, receiving the Eucharist on my tongue will become second nature to me.
Still, I'm glad that it isn't second nature right now. I'm glad that it is new and strange to me because I feel as if I appreciate the gift of the Eucharist more than ever and I don't want that feeling to go away. When I receive Jesus on the tongue I feel as if it is an unobstructed kiss from the Lord. I don't have to "put" Him into my mouth, He enters right in. The only effort required on my part is to be in a state of grace and to have the desire to receive Him. And with that desire He allows me to eat Him and He will stay with me, become a part of me and forever remain within me. Again and again, each time I receive Him, His presence intensifies within me. Receiving His Body directly into my mouth is the sweetest kiss I have ever known.