I stumbled upon it while reading The Rambler (1852).
"It is of no use, we say, to urge these outward changes against us, as though our faith concerning the Sacrament itself had undergone any corresponding modification. Far from it. Outward acts of this kind take their meaning from the intention of those who use them; and daily experience shews us how frequently the same inward feeling may develop tself in apparently opposite outward manifestations. In most Catholic countries the name of Mary is given to well-nigh every child that is born, out of love and reverence to the spotless Virgin, Mother of God; yet there have been some places where the people have abstained from giving the name to any child whatever for the very same reason. Ordinarily the Church forbids the use of any but the most costly vessels of gold and silver about the holy Eucharist; yet, as we have seen, St. Exuperius is commended for using only a wicker-basket, having sold the gold and silver to give to the poor. At one time the Church does not allow the laity to touch the sacred Host, nor even any of the vessels which belong to it, that so they may entertain the deepest reverence for it; at another she allows them to take it into their hands, to touch all their organs of sense with it, even to preserve it in their own houses, that they may thankfully avail themselves to the utmost of so precious a gift of God. In one place she administers the life-giving Sacrament only under one kind, in order to avoid accidental irreverences which the use of the chalice entails; in another she administers it under both kinds, in order to set before our minds in a more lively manner the passion and death of Christ, and his own most sacred institution. It is right that we should receive this holy Sacrament upon our knees, to express the humility and self-abasement with which we should always appear before the majesty of the Son of God; yet there have been times when it was deemed right that men should receive it standing, to shew forth the resurrection of Christ, and their own resurrection in and by Him. Even so, in the very same way, it is fitting that this Sacrament should be withdrawn as far as possible from human gaze, that men should learn to appreciate its surpassing dignity, and to think and speak of it with becoming reverence; but it is no less fitting that it should be set up on high and exhibited in solemn procession, that it may be proposed to the people as the object of their adoration and worship. It is right that the sight of it should be forbidden to unfaithful Christians and notorious sinners, to render them more fully aware of their unworthiness; and yet, again, the sight of it may well be permitted to them, in order to enkindle in them feelings of love and affection for so good and gracious a Redeemer. Only it belongs to the rulers of the Church, and not to private individuals, to determine the time and place, and all the other circumstances, which require one of these manifestations rather than the other; it is these who are appointed over the Lord's family to give them meat in season".
First published in March, 2008
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