By Larry Peterson
On June 18, 2021, the Government Media Center issued a press release signed by 60 Catholic Democrats who are all members of the House of Representatives. The release was called a “Statement of Principles.” It can be found all over the internet.
But the press release is not the primary subject here. The Holy Eucharist is. It is the “source and summit” of our Catholic faith. People are free to accept church teaching on the Eucharist or not. But you cannot twist it to justify your actions or serve your own purpose. This applies to all of us.
The Holy Eucharist is also known as the Real Presence. The respect and honor due this most sacred gift God has given to us Catholics is no small matter. To demonstrate the importance of the Holy Eucharist within the Catholic faith, we can reference the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
1373 Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised from the dead, who is the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us, is present in many ways to His church: in His word, in His Church’s prayer, “where two or three are gathered in my name,” in the poor, the sick, and the imprisoned, in the sacraments of which He is the author, in the Sacrifice of the Mass, and in the person of the minister. But “He is present most especially in the Eucharistic species.”
We also know that taking and/or destroying life is against the Fifth Commandment. “You shall not kill.”
As the Catechism also says:
2258 Human life is sacred because from its beginning it involves the creative action of God, and it remains for ever in a special relationship with the Creator, who is its sole end. God alone is the Lord of life from its beginning until its end: no one can under any circumstance claim for himself the right directly to destroy an innocent human being.
During the pandemic, we often heard that we should “go to the science.” Therefore, let us go to the science and ask the question, When does Life begin? Princeton University says, “Life Begins at Fertilization.”
If a person has the power and authority to pass laws that allow for the destruction of human life, and they do that very thing, there will be a point in time where that will be on them. There is no escaping it.
Psalm 139:13 says “You formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother’s womb.” We are all God’s individual creations and none of us have the right to end another’s life whether directly or indirectly.
The Democrats who signed the press release do not seem to understand the extent of their hypocrisy. They might do well to become familiar with the story of one little girl who loved the Holy Eucharist with all of her heart. The honor and devotion she gave to “Holy God” was so profound that it caused Pope St. Pius X to lower the age for children to receive Holy Communion from 12 to 7. Hopefully, some folks might reconsider the heavenly wonder of this great gift we know as the Holy Eucharist after reading this. It should NEVER be politicized.
Meet Little Nellie Organ
On August 24, 1903, Ellen Organ was born in what was known as the “married quarters” of the Royal Infantry Barracks in Waterford, Ireland. Her father, William, was a soldier in the British army. Shortly after Ellen’s birth, she was baptized into the faith at the Church of the Trinity. No one knows why, but from that point on, Ellen Organ was called “Nellie.”
By the age of two, Nellie displayed a deep holiness rarely seen in a child, especially one so young. While walking to Mass holding her father’s hand, she would constantly talk about seeing “Holy God.” This was something she began saying without ever having heard such an expression. Even years later, her dad still admitted he had no idea why his daughter started saying “Holy God.”
Nellie was hugging her mom when she passed
Little Nellie had two brothers and one sister; she was the youngest. In 1906, a great sadness entered their lives. Their mother, Mary Organ, became very ill with tuberculosis. Nellie stayed by her mom’s side day after day, but her mom died after a short time. Nellie, who was only three, was hugging her mom when she passed on.
Since he was in the army, Nellie’s dad could not provide proper care for his children. Consequently, he turned to his parish priest for help. Thomas, the oldest at age nine, was sent to the Christian Brothers while David was sent to the Sisters of Mercy. Mary and Nellie were taken in by the Good Shepherd Sisters in Cork City. They arrived there on May 11, 1907. The sisters treated them kindly and were very good to the girls. Nellie was happy to call all of the sisters “Mother.”
Nellie was three years and nine months old when she arrived at the Good Shepherd Sisters’ home. A young girl named Mary Long slept next to Nellie. Nellie never complained, but Mary heard her crying and coughing during the night. She told the sisters, and Nellie was moved to the school infirmary.
Upon examination, it was discovered that Nellie had a crooked spine (the result of a severe fall) that required special care. Sitting up was very painful for the child, and sitting still for any length of time caused her great pain. Her hip and her back were out of joint. She was only three, yet she tried to hide her pain. But she could not “fake” feeling well. All the sisters could do was make the child as comfortable as possible.
“Holy God’s Lockdown”
Nellie astonished the nuns with her insight and knowledge of the Catholic faith. The sisters and others that cared for Nellie Organ believed without reservation that the child was spiritually gifted. Nellie loved to visit the chapel, which she called “the House of Holy God.” She referred to the tabernacle as “Holy God’s lockdown.” And she embraced the Stations of the Cross. Upon being carried to each station, she would burst into tears seeing how Holy God suffered for us. She also developed an acute perception of the Blessed Sacrament.
Nellie loved the Holy Eucharist so deeply that she would ask the sisters to kiss her when they were coming back from Communion so she could share their Holy Communion. She desperately wanted to receive her First Communion. But the rule of the Church was a minimum age of 12. Nellie was only three.
One day Nellie was given a box of beads and some string. Being a three-year-old, she put some in her mouth and inadvertently swallowed them. People saw her gagging and choking and rushed her into the infirmary. The doctor present was able to remove the beads from Nellie’s throat.
They were all amazed how brave the little girl remained as the doctor probed into her throat, removing the objects. She never made a sound. At this time, it was discovered that, just like her mom, she had advanced tuberculosis. The doctor told the sisters there was no hope for recovery and gave Nellie only a few months to live.
The Child loved the Holy Eucharist deeply
Nellie told of visions she was having of “Holy God” as a child and the Blessed Mother standing nearby. Her faith was so pronounced that the Bishop agreed (since she was close to death) to confirm her. She received her Confirmation on October 8, 1907. Then, on December 6, 1907, after considering all the facts, the local bishop, in consultation with the priests, allowed Nellie Organ to receive her First Holy Communion. Nellie Organ died on February 2, 1908.
Nellie Organ’s story spread throughout Europe and reached the Vatican. It was presented to Pope Pius X by his Secretary of State, Cardinal Merry del Val. It was providential because the Holy Father had been looking for a reason to lower the age of receiving First Communion to the age of seven but was not sure about doing it.
When Pius X read the documents about “Little Nellie of Holy God,” he immediately took this as a sign to lower the age. On August 8, 1910 The Pope issued Quam Singulari changing the age of receiving First Holy Communion from 12 years old to age 7.
A couple years later, Pope Pius X, who would become St. Pius X, took up his pen and wrote, “May God enrich with every blessing . . . all those who recommend frequent Communion to little boys and girls, proposing Nellie as their model.” — Pope Pius X, June 4, 1912
Maybe it is time for many of us Catholics to reevaluate our relationship with Christ truly present in the Holy Eucharist. It is REAL and our greatest GIFT. If a three-year-old can understand it, why can’t we.