What traditionally, with receiving on the tongue, was virtually impossible to get wrong, now requires teaching.
But didn’t the Lord Himself instruct the Church to “make disciples,” not just consumers [so to speak]?
Yes, but we should not be putting obstacles in people’s way.
Catholicism is in great part about unity, — oneness — of symbol and fact. We do what we think, we think what we do. Of course, it can be explained, that even though you get to hold and carry the Host (the victim Who reconciled the world to Himself) you are not to do anything with it but eat it, because these were the words of Christ: “take it all of you and eat it, this is My body that has been given up for you”. But it has to be explained. The symbol and the fact are no longer one.
Let us try this mental experiment. We have, you and I, a meeting at a given public place, a Dairy Queen parking lot. We approach each other and you extend you hand for a handshake. I twirl like a derwish. I may have explained to you that when I twirl like a derwish I mean to greet you. It could be that in some cultures people twirl to say hello. But still, you would much rather that I simply shake you hand like you meant it to happen. This is because gestures and ceremony are a language. If you start substituting words and letters, you are garbling the message. Commuinion in the hand is meant the same, — it IS the same,— but these hands holding the Host are a garbled message, which now needs an extra layer of deciphering before it begins to work.
I reminded myself of a sad story. A Russian immigrant was stopped by a cop in a dicey neighborhood in the Bronx and asked for a driver’s license, because he ran a red street right. The Russian immigrant reached for his wallet. The Russian immigrant always kept his wallet in the breast pocket of his leather jacket, because that is where Russian people keep their wallets. So he reached for his wallet deep in the breast pocket of his leather jacket. The cop, however, had a different idea of what kind of stuff is carried in breast pockets of leather jackets. Everyone else in the Bronx kept his wallet in his hip pocket and his loaded Glock in his breast pocket. And so the Russian immigrant got shot through the head, because the cop misunderstood his body language.
It is life and death out there.