The essay on receiving Communion while kneeling and on the tongue from Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Karaganda, Kazakhstan is getting tons of traction in the blogosphere. CNS mentioned it earlier this week. I wasn’t sure what to say about it. It just struck me as plain wrong.
Bishop Schneider said that just as a baby opens his mouth to receive nourishment from his mother, so should Catholics open their mouths to receive nourishment from Jesus.
The image is strange. I couldn’t help but envision an adult communicant scrambling up into the lap of a bishop to receive Communion like a baby. Maybe the hierarchy is really intent on keeping us layfolk as infants.
Metaphors are really great for giving us spiritual insight. But they don’t travel well beyond the single point or two they stress. My suggestion is to receive Communion with a mindfulness and an awareness, to receive with devotion and in prayer, to stand up in doing so. Likewise we stand tall in the world as an advocate for the Gospel. We don’t need a bishop giving us advice like this.