Stuart Reid, a regular columnist in the UK’s best Catholic weekly, The Catholic Herald, wrote a smart thing the other day!
My emphases and comments:
Counter-Reformation corner (first in an occasional series on ways to reform the reforms): The present fasting rules must go (with respect), [Do I hear an "Amen!"?] and at the very least the three-hour fast must return, ["AMEN!"] perhaps to begin with through local initiatives. The requirement that Catholics should refrain from food and drink for only one hour before receiving Communion – that is, for half an hour before Mass begins – is an insult. It calls into question the strength, determination and moral fibre of the people now known as the People of God.
At school we managed the fast from midnight by going to Mass before breakfast. This was not, of course, a voluntary act of piety on our part, and I can’t say it was always an especially happy or holy experience. But I am pretty sure that none of us ever fainted from hunger.
There is no risk of anyone fainting from hunger at Mass these days, of course. Here’s how it now works in the Church Militant: you must finish your 10-course meal, with 17 different wines, plus cigars, by 5.30 in the evening if you want to go to Communion at the six o’clock Saturday-for-Sunday Mass. [ROFL!] Communion will not be distributed until at least 6.30, so you will have observed the fast. Provided that you are sober enough to reach the altar rails, or, depending on your parish, the "collection point" for Holy Communion, and have not been so gluttonous that you are in a state of mortal sin, you will be able to receive.
Fast? What fast? There is no fast. [Do I hear an "Amen!"?] It’s time there was one. Might we make an exception for tea, though? The older among us, I have been told, can’t quite get off to a flying start without regular cups of tea in the morning.
Good for Mr. Reid. Bang on and kudos.