Unworthy Of This
Just before communion, the Catholic (and Anglo-Catholic) say this prayer: "Lord I am not worthy to receive you but only say the word and I shall be healed."
For some reason this always rubbed me the wrong way. On one hand, I am worthy to receive God's grace and the eucharist meal for that matter. God made me worthy when God made me in the Divine image. And if that's not enough, Jesus made me worthy by the sacrifice he made on my behalf.
On the other hand, perhaps I am not worthy without Divine help and intervention. And this prayer is a reminder of that gift of grace that God alone can dispense. As a priest, I do not feel worthy to offer absolution, but instead give the assurance that no matter where you are, or how far you have moved away from God, you are never beyond the boundaries of God's love.
4/21/2018 12:45:10 pm
I agree with your thoughts! I have never really understood the Catholic ways of the theology, but that's just me
4/21/2018 02:18:12 pm
Catholics and Protestants have their own versions of “such a worm as I” theology. I see scripture, reason, and experience coming down on both sides of this issue. It’s sort of a “is the glass half empty or half full” kind of question. Too much emphasis on the “I am not worthy” side rubs me the wrong way too. I lean on the side of Psalm 8, “What is Man...you have made him little less than a god, crowned him with glory and honor, and given him rule over the works of your hand.”
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An ex-copywriter turned punk rock pastor and peacemaker who dedicates his life to making the world a better place for all humanity.
"that they all might be one" ~John 17:21
“Prius vita quam doctrina.”
~ St. Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274)
* “Life is more important than doctrine.”