Obedience to Change

Leon Suprenant forwarded an article by Bishop Robert Vasa (Baker, OR), who asks the faithful of his diocese to examine their response to change.

 ”Overcoming Self-will is Critical to Understanding Obedience

“When, however, the proposed change stimulates an emotional reaction, as proposed changes to ecclesial practices have a propensity to do, I have found that no level of explanation or preparation will be deemed adequate.”

Includes Communion on the tongue, Humanae Vitae

One response

  1. Eric,

    I believe one of the biggest problems regarding this topic has to do with lack of proper instruction in the virtues of meekness and humility. Especially in American culture were these virtues are misconstrued for weakness and lack of assertiveness. We also have a culture where parental rights are being eroded in the area of disciplining our children. Parents by their behavior show a lack of respect for those who would be authorities in our children’s lives. Go to any little league game to see this first hand. Families are being destroyed by divorce removing the primary disciplinarian from the home. A lack of understanding in the authority of the Church in guiding our spiritual lives is another factor. Within our own Catholic faith we have clergy that do not obey the magisterial teachings of the Church and then pass this on to parishioners and even worse students. Just as an example from the article, the pastor at my childrens’ Catholic school teaches emphatically the normative way of recieving communion is in the hand “creating a throne for the Lord”. This is how they prepare the children for 1st communion and how they are to receive at the weekly school mass. Now, for me to tell my child otherwise is showing a lack of obedience to that pastor. Now, I show example by receiving on the tongue and I try to explain that throughout history reception on the tongue was the norm and it shows more respect to our Lord and I also encourage her to receive on the tongue at Sunday mass but she does what she was taught.

    I don’t have the answers but the only way to really change things is to be an influence. For example if there are some at a parish who do receive on the tongue maybe they can be encouraged to speak about this to their friends and family around them. Ask them, why do you receive in the hand? Make them think about it and maybe give them some written material on the subject. Encourage them to try receptions on the tongue. Maybe it was just a habit, the way they always did it. Pastors can ask this question from the pulpit, especially during one of the great feast days like Corpus Christi. Inviting them simply to try the other way. Encouraging those who do obey and show great piety and reverence to “evangelize” within the Church with action as well as charitable discussion of the topics at hand.

    Don’t forget praying for the hearts of the faithful to be open to greater humility and reverence is probably the best place to start.

    Humbly yours,


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