Monday, August 20, 2012


Some couples have pet names or other terms of endearment for each other. My wife, Abby, and I have a couple. For instance, for the last twenty years, whenever she tells me that she loves me, I respond with, "I love you more" because---well, because I do. For our tenth wedding anniversary we went to a Kansas City Royals baseball game and I had "Abby, I love you more" put on the score board.

Recently, we have started a new saying we share with each other. We will tell each other, "I love you madly, passionately, and extraordinarily." We are crazy for each other. We are passionate for each other. And our love for each other is extraordinary.

What does that mean though---"extraordinary." I figure, too often in today's culture, "love" is tossed around too easily. Everyone loves something. Some people love pizza. Some people love the Kansas Jayhawks (losers) or the West Virginia Mountaineers (what else is there to love in that state) Some people fall in love and get married in Las Vegas marriage chapels only to get an annulment the next day. Some people fall in love and get married in great big weddings--only to get divorced 72 days later. Those examples of love---if they truly are love---are plain and ordinary.

But the love that Abby and I have for each other, is EXTRAordinary. It's a love that has been tested by fire. It's a love that has been proven. It's a love that's been through three kids, several dogs, many houses and a few jobs. It's a love that doesn't quit even when the going gets tough. Sadly, in today's world--where over 50% of marriages end in divorce---that is extraordinary.

So, you'll excuse me when I take offense that the word "extraordinary" gets maligned and changed and misused. Many of your are probably thinking, "I rarely hear the word much less see it misused." Well, the specific example I'm thinking about happens in the Catholic Church when the laity is put into the position of "Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion." Many places will call them "Eucharistic Ministers" but the correct term is "Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion."

You see, the use of the laity in the position is supposed to be exactly that---extraordinary. It's not supposed to be an common every day occurrence. The ORDINARY Minister of Holy Communion is supposed to be a priest or a deacon. Yet, you will see 7-10 extraordinary ministers at every Sunday mass so that the lay people can "feel more involved." At some parishes---there is a down right infestation of extraordinary ministers. During the "Lamb of God" they are coming from every where.

I believe that this takes away the sacredness of the Blessed Sacrament in many people's eyes. If anyone can dispense it, I don't think people appreciate what/who they are receiving. If we need all these people so that we can quickly get through communion then I don't think people will appreciate why they are there. I think if people have to wait an extra 5 minutes to receive Our Lord and then to receive Him from a priest that they will better will understand that what they are experiencing is a sacred, holy moment and have an extraordinary love for the Eucharist.

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