"Why would anyone get up in the middle of the night and spend an hour in a church or chapel before a 'piece of bread'?" asked L. Owen Traynor, founder of the Association of Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration.
His answer: "The ultimate form of prayer is prayer before the Blessed Sacrament."
Because of Traynor's belief in perpetual adoration of the Vatican wafer-god, thousands of Catholics in this country are getting up around the clock to go to their local church or chapel to bow for an hour before that "piece of bread."
Since 1990, the Roman Catholic Hierarchy has begun a push to renew this idol worship in America. Recent surveys show that only one in three American Catholics firmly believe in their church's teaching on "transubstantiation."
This is the doctrine that the "substance" of the wheat wafer is changed into the "body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ" when an ordained Roman Catholic priest "consecrates" the wafer during Mass.
Once the priest turns the wafer into god, it is then either eaten by those attending Mass, placed in a "tabernacle" in the sanctuary of the church for future use, or attached to a "monstrance" for the faithful the come and "adore."
What does this mean to the Roman Catholic? Pope John Paul II stated in 1989:
"From the beginning, the Church...has expressed and confirmed her identity through the Eucharist." In other words, no wafer-god, no Roman Catholic Church.
Why is this so central to Roman Catholicism?
Because its entire system of salvation depends on this belief. For a Roman Catholic to "receive Christ" is to eat the wafer. It is his god which he worships.
Therefore, salvation can only come through the church because only an officially ordained priest can perform this magic on the wafer to turn it into god.
In the last several years, there is a growing campaign by Catholic leadership to "restore belief in the real presence" the doctrine that Jesus is "really present" in the form of a wheat wafer.
Besides pressuring the faithful to maintain round-the-clock prayer to the wafer, Cardinal Edouard Gagnon told a gathering in New York recently that the problems in America's families is the result of ignoring the worship of the wafer.
"When the baptized get married, they are not alone. Christ comes to be with them every day, to help them be happy," he said. This sounds good until he defines his "christ."
"Where is Christ? He is in the Eucharist. Christ is in the Mass, He is in our churches," he added.
Much has been said recently about joining with other "denominations" in evangelism. Gagnon's remarks clearly illustrate why the Bible believer cannot join Roman Catholics in soul winning.
He places the wafer at the center of all evangelistic efforts. "It is the first thing parents should tell their children about," he says.
When the pope can hold eternal life hostage, the wafer-god becomes a powerful political tool.
During the dark ages popes brought kings and magistrates to heel by refusing to give this wafer-god to the people until the ruler obeyed the pope.
Some would argue that the Vatican has changed and would not do that today.
However, in 1989 when Catholic Assemblywoman Lucy Killea of San Diego, California ran for a seat in the state senate, Bishop Leo Maher denied her communion because she was pro-choice on abortion.
This sparked a hot national debate over the role of religion in politics but many missed the fact that the same tool, the wafer-god, was still being used by popery to pressure political leaders.
One reason for the renewed emphasis on the wafer-god is the concern over the dwindling number of ordained priests.
Noel C. Burtenshaw writes in the September 21, 1990 National Catholic Reporter, "The essential action of the Catholic community is the Eucharist, which can be performed only when a priest is present."
When there was no priest available, one U.S. archbishop said: "The first thing you tell the people is to go to the next parish because the Eucharist is more important than this specific gathering of these specific people."
What else do Roman Catholics get out of this "adoration?" Time off in purgatory. Frank Sheedy, regular columnist in the Catholic weekly Our Sunday Visitor, writes:
"In the current grant of indulgences, a partial indulgence is granted to the faithful, who visit the Most Blessed Sacrament to adore it; a plenary indulgence is granted, if the visit lasts for at least a half hour."
What does this mean? In the Catholic system of priestcraft, sin is forgiven by the priest when the sinner comes to "confession" and tells the confessor priest what he did wrong.
But it is not a complete forgiveness. The sinner must be punished. Quite often the priest will prescribe some act like repeating the "hail Mary" prayer or the Lord's prayer 10 or 20 times.
God is also supposed to keep score and if not enough punishment has been endured by the sinner, he goes to purgatory when he dies for further punishment until the books are balanced.
However, this punishment can be avoided by good deeds.
For these good deeds, "indulgences" are granted. Spending time "adoring" the wafer-god earns credit to offset punishment either in life or in purgatory. A whole half hour adoring the wafer idol wipes the punishment ledger clean. Nice investment!
So we see that Roman Catholicism is not just another Christian denomination.
It is the same old pagan system of works salvation wearing the name "Christian."
Fifty million precious Roman Catholics in this country need to know the truth which will set them free. Free from this bondage to a false church where salvation can only be obtained through worshipping a wafer-idol made by a magic-working priest.
They need to know that Jesus is all the Priest we need; that being zealous to good works is not enough.
They need to be told that complete forgiveness through simple faith in Christ's work on the cross can give them a brand new start with God.
If we don't tell them, their blood will be on our hands at the judgment.