Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi

03-12-2023Weekly ReflectionFr Charlie Goraieb

Dear Friends,

Three weeks ago, we hosted an exposition depicting some of the great Eucharistic miracles that have occurred throughout the centuries. While the circumstances of every miracle were different, in each case the events had the effect of reminding people anew that Jesus, the Son of God, is truly present in the Holy Eucharist.

It can be so easy for us to grow inattentive or even indifferent to this startling reality. After all, the species still has the appearance of ordinary wheat bread and grape wine even though it really is the Body and Blood of Christ. If we lose sight of this fundamental truth or it no longer moves us, then we are in danger of questioning everything else the Church teaches. The Fathers of the Church described this phenomena with the Latin term, Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi—the way we pray and worship will shape what we believe.

If you have been following the controversies and debates leading up to the Synod on Synodality that will take place in Rome next October, it is not hard to see how the Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi principal is at work. There are several bishops and cardinals who, sadly, are advocating for the Church to change some of Her basic teachings. The proposal that I find most troublesome comes from those leaders who are saying that the Church should no longer consider homosexual behavior to be sinful and therefore invite those who are actively living this life-style to receive Holy Communion.

If such a change were to occur, we could no longer say that our Church teaches the true Faith handed down from the Apostles. It would be a direct violation of the Gospel, which calls all men to repent of their sins and become holy as God is Holy.

Why has the behavior of people with same-sex attraction become the central litmus test for tolerance and compassion in our society? In our case, are there really that many men and women living this life-style who otherwise consider themselves to be faithful Catholics? Or is the Catholic Church being manipulated by the Human Rights Campaign which simply wants every institution in the country to approve and applaud same-sex behavior?

Are the Church leaders advocating this change unaware of what has happened to Protestant denominations that have taken this path. The Anglican, Presbyterian, Lutheran (and most recently) Methodist denominations have all embraced the LGBT agenda, resulting in bitter divisions within their communities. They have all seen new denominations spun off in response to their parent organization approving the ordination of active homosexuals and blessing their “unions.” Is this to be our fate as well?

The answer will be determined by just how convinced these activist Catholic leaders are that Jesus is really present in the Eucharist. If the Second Person of the Holy Trinity really and truly abides in the consecrated Host and Wine, then no one living in unrepented sin should present themselves to receive Him. If we have lost our faith in that foundational truth of the Catholic Church, then everything is up for debate. The Church Fathers were right—
Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi.

May God bless you and your family, Fr Charlie