Tuesday, January 1, 2008
Catholicism as Cannibalism?
Catholicism as Cannibalism?: When Catholics receive the "Body of Christ" in the form of a consecrated piece of bread, they assume Christ-like qualities. That is, through the ingestion of the sacramental bread (host), Christians become infused with the Holy Spirit, and thus, attempt to recenter their lives on the principles of love, forgiveness, and humility. To some non-Christians, however, the symbolic eating of Christ's body appears as a cannibalistic act. Ingesting the body of God is certainly a unique feature of Catholic Christianity. Other Christian sects view this act as blasphemous, especially considering the presumed arrogance of someone to think that he or she is worthy of consuming a piece of the Divine. Even so, for Catholics, the sacrament of the Eucharist is the source of all life, and thus, the most important part of weekly mass celebrations. Also referred to as the "Lord's Supper," Catholics gather in Church to seek unity with Christ. This union of the human and the Divine, of the finite and the Infinite, of the temporal and the Eternal, is an essential part of the "Mystery of Faith" whereby the bread on the altar effectively becomes God through the process of transubstantiation.