At daily Mass on Monday, Father gave me two hosts.
Actually, he gave most people two hosts, unless they receive on the tongue.
The gentleman in line ahead of me stopped, looked at his hand, and said to Father, “You gave me two.”
“Yes. Yes, I did,” replied Father, and continued distributing Communion to the other people in line.
After Communion Father mentioned that he should have said something before we all lined up. He was giving everyone two hosts because they want to deplete the reserved Eucharist in the tabernacle before Holy Thursday.
With two churches in our parish and a succession of substitute priests this spring, we have a lot of consecrated hosts in those tabernacles. So on Tuesday, when Mass is celebrated in the other church, we all received two hosts again (this time, with fair warning from Father before Communion.)
I expect that the same will be true today.
Whenever I receive a portion of a host, it makes me think of the moment in St. Therese of Lisieux’s autobiography, A Story of a Soul, in which she worries about only receiving part of a host:
I do not normally feel any anxiety about going to Holy Communion, but there was one occasion when I did. There had been a shortage of Hosts for several days, so that I had received only a small piece, and on this particular morning I most foolishly said to myself: “If I only receive part of a Host today, I will know that Jesus does not really want to come into my heart.” I went up, and to my joy, after a moment’s hesitation, the priest gave me two complete Hosts: what a lovely answer! (p. 105)
I actually like when I receive only a piece of the host, because it makes me recall an extra time, “This is my Body…broken for you.”
…this is a saint to whom I don’t take easily. A priest once described her in a homily as “immature, fussy, and a bit of a drama queen” and I’m inclined to agree. I read her autobiography as a teenager, and I think it appealed to me more then than it does now that I’m fortymumble years old (I’m actually 50 now) and most of my idealism has melted away amid the cares and worries and chores of taking care of my husband and family.
That book got me reconsidering my opinion of St. Therese.
Have you ever found a book that completely altered your thoughts on a particular saint?