Washed in the Blood of the Lamb

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    This story would be tragic if it was not for the fact that it illustrates the dangers of Private Interpretation, and Ignorance of the full facts.

    I was at dinner last night with a small group of friends celebrating the Patron of Ireland, St. Patrick. At the table where a group that was composed of 50% cradle Catholics, and 50% converts to the Faith.
    One of the Converts who grew up in an African American Penticostal Holiness sect that believed in praying in tounges, slaying in the spirit etc told a story about a woman from his church who went with a small group from her church to an Episcopal service. She told them she was going to be “Saved” there, and had been moved by the Holy Spirit to go there after reading about it in the Bible.

    The Sunday had come, and she took three people including this then 17 year old who (now at 29 and a Catholic) had been told to watch her become “saved”. At communion time she got into line with everyone else, when she was presented with the chalice by the deacon, she grabbed it and dumped the entire contents of the chalice on herself and ran around the pews yelling, I’ve been washed in the Blood of the Lamb, I’ve been washed in the Blood of the Lamb, I’m saved, I’ve been washed in the Blood of the Lamb.

    Well this story would be tragic, except for the fact that Episcopalians do not hold as a dogma that there is any change in the wine at communion services or their “mass” (in those Episcopal churches that call it the mass) They do not hold valid Apostolic Succession, so what she dumped on herself was simply blessed wine, and not the Blood of the Lamb. But it does illustrate what can happen when each man (or in this case woman) is left to interpret the Scriptures on their own without any reference to what has always and everywhere been believed, and sees every crazy impulse at the workings of the Holy Spirit.

    A good book to read on the subject of Evangelicalism and Penticostalism was written by Msgr. Ronald Knox. Knox was another of the famous Evangelical Protestant, formerly Anti-Catholic who converted to the Catholic faith in England around the 1920s. He wrote a book called Enthusiasm. The book covers the beginnings of the Evangelical movement in the 1800s, it’s rejection of History and acceptance of only what they could read in the Scriptures. It also details the many schisms as each “believer” became his own Pope and rejected his former Evangelical friend and “fellow Bible Believer” when they interpreted the same passage in a different way. A good (if not long) read, it will enlighten many, (even Ron) to how and why the new invention of the modern day Evangelical movement came to be 1800 years after Christ Ascended into Heaven, and how by ignoring history they can invent a history of their own without blushing. A good Protestant take on the subject is the Azusa Street Revival, as the modern “Penticostal” movement got it’s start in a house on Azusa Street, here in Los Angeles one hundred years ago this year. While it of course supports Penticostal Protestantism, it does give an honest look at the battles the first Penticostals had with other “Bible Believers” over who had the proper interpretation of the Scriptures.


    Andres Ortiz

    Thanks for sharing. This story reminds me of this past Thursday when I was teaching Catholic Social Teaching to 9th graders and somehow we drifted to the topic of confession.

    After proving through the Scriptures and historical precedent why we confess to a priest rather than just sitting in our bedroom asking for forgiveness he still was like “I don’t see why we need a priest”.

    I wanted to say that if it weren’t for his Evangelical friends, their rejection of historical Christianity and the Protestant Reformation we wouldn’t be having this discussion!



    What does one do if someone does something so insane at a real mass?



    [color=darkblue:9sds0lki]I’ve never seen anything that crazy. The only thing that I have ever seen that was somewhat strange during mass was during the first verse of the last song, right before the priest walks down the aisle. There was a young woman (about 19), who got up and started dancing in the middle aisle of the church. Her hands were all up in the air and she was just dancing in front of everyone. I don’t think what she did was crazy, but it was certainly unexpected, for everyone I might add. [/color:9sds0lki]



    Something like what was described is hard to protect against. I know in a parish I once attended Mass at someone broke into the tabernacle and scattered the hosts around the sanctuary. They where respectfully gathered by the Pastor, who cleaned the carpet at each spot on his hands and knees, he then disposed of the hosts in the manner prescribed by the Church, (they where dissolved in water and put into the sacrarium) the Blessed Sacrament was for a time kept in the Rectory, and as a parish we held devotions in reparation for the insults to our Lord throughout the world.

    In a case like this woman, if she could be stopped, and taken somewhere with some of the women of the parish and given a clean set of clothing, and her clothing rinsed in the sacrarium and then returned to her. In the mean time do a little education on how to act properly in a Catholic Church, and let her know she is welcome to attend Mass and instruction if she can maintain herself. (At least that I what I would suggest.)

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