AN OPEN LETTER TO MY SISTER
This is my response to your comment and question, "We are all one in Christ Jesus. We all worship the same God. Why is it a cause for sadness if your friend is choosing a different way to worship the same God you do? When I take communion, it is no less moving and powerful to me whether I believe that the bread and wine truly are the body and blood of Jesus or not. Is that really something that separates us?"
I agree with you that we all worship the same God. Also, insofar as we are baptized Christians, we are all brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ, and in that respect we are all one. That does not mean that I believe that all faith communities are equal, and therefore it doesn’t matter to which you belong.
It is always wonderful to hear from you. It is even better when we happen to be online at the same time and use the video thing to talk to one another. But the phone, email, video all pale in comparison to having you in the same room with me.
That is the way it is with the Eucharist. I am convinced of the truth of the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the bread and wine changed into His Body and Blood. This is fundamental to my belief as a Catholic. It is not something on which I can compromise. I believe that Jesus spoke clearly and plainly when He said, “my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.” And when He asks, “Does this shock you?” and “Do you also want to leave?” I, like Saint Peter must answer, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”
I am convinced that the Catholic Church IS the same church founded by Christ when, to Saint Peter, He entrusted the keys to the Kingdom and in which resides the complete deposit of faith. I believe that the Church, although sinful in her human nature also has a divine nature, and that divine nature is guided and protected by the Holy Spirit so that she is forever the custodian and guardian of the Truth and I believe in the infallibility of her teachings on faith and morals.
All that being said, I believe that that Truth is alive and active, in varying degrees, within the various Protestant and other Christian communities because Jesus also said “whoever is not against you, is for you” and, as regards the salvation of all men, “nothing is impossible for God.”
With all my love,