I grew up Catholic, left off practice of my faith, then wandered around several churches before coming back. It just seemed like the preaching I was hearing treated the Bible like Ann Landers, and people wanted to be soothed rather than challenged. There would be preaching and singing but no Eucharist. It’s like foreplay without consummation.
The one time I was handed a tray of cut up Wonder Bread and shot glasses of grape juice, I asked the person sitting next to me, “What is this?” They answered, “Bread and grape juice.” I passed the tray without taking any.
At that time, I didn’t even really explicitly, consciously know the doctrine of the Real Presence but I knew it in my bones, and I knew that was a pale imitation. I thought, I don’t care if there is a world-class university professor organist here, a shot glass of grape juice just shattered my illusions. These people can’t even share a communion cup, what can they teach me about loving my neighbor?
My Dad had taught me years ago about shadow and substance. I felt like I was in the land of shadows–pale imitations. Only Catholicism and Orthodoxy have substance–the Real thing.
If it’s not the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of God’s dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, then…to hell with it. (paraphrasing Flannery O’Connor)