Mia: Shaken Not Stirred

The true life stories of a NYC female.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Body of Christ

Is accepting Holy Communion under false pretenses a sin? If so my grandfather is going to have some ‘splaining to do.

Grandpa had been in the hospital for five days, five days with no solid food. He was living on jello, apple juice, tea (which he hates), and clear chicken broth. He was hungry, cranky and didn’t give a flying fig who knew about it so when the Catholic priest entered his room and asked if he wanted to receive Holy Communion a light went off in my grandfather’s head. Never mind that the last time he’d been in church was over 50 years ago.

There was no love lost between him and the Catholic Church. The church had made it very clear what it had thought about his illegitimate status when he was a child. He’d only made his first communion at the age of 14 in this country because his mother begged him to and the priests here didn’t care about the circumstances surrounding his birth, they only cared about his soul. He never set foot in a church again after that day but this Sunday the church had come to him and grandpa was determined to take advantage of it.

He watched as the priest approached him with the communion wafer in hand and instantly remembered what he was supposed to say. My mother shook her head slightly not quite believing what her father was about to do.

“This is the body of Christ” said the priest as he placed in my grandfather’s mouth.
“Amen”, my grandfather replied.

The priest kneeled down and began to pray not taking notice that my grandfather was furiously chewing the communion wafer. Mom opened her eyes wide and arched an eyebrow at her father. He continued chewing and smirked at her when she covered her eyes with her hand.

When the priest left the room my grandfather smiled, “Ahh that was good!” he exclaimed.

“Daddy you’re not supposed to receive the Eucharist unless you’ve made your first communion.”

“Maggie, my mother was a Spaniard; of course I made my communion! I gave in to my mother when I was a teenager. She was afraid I’d get killed out here she wanted to make sure I’d get into heaven if that happened.”

“So then you know you’re not supposed to chew it daddy!”

“Maggie that was the first piece of solid food I’ve had in five days. The priest was lucky I didn’t ask him to smear some butter on it.”

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