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Eucharist–Part One–“If it’s a symbol, to hell with it.”

My Calling

“Well, if it’s a symbol, to hell with it.”

At the end of a late-night dinner, Catholic writer Flannery O’Connor gave this singular reply to fellow writer Mary McCarthy, who’d just pronounced her thinking of the Eucharist as a symbol, and a pretty good one. “That was all the defense I was capable of,” O’Connor explains in her December 1955 letter to a good friend. “[B]ut I realize now that this is all I will ever be able to say about it, outside of a story, except that it is the center of existence for me; all the rest of life is expendable.”

Flannery O’Connor’s words might well shake us out of any sense of the Eucharist as a routine celebration.

Sometimes we all need to be re-awakened to what we believe. Roman Catholics and vowed religious brothers and sisters are no different.


Let’s remember some of what the Eucharist…

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