I think that I can safely claim to be the first person in the world to propose to the Vatican a revolutionary aid to marketing the Eucharist, inspired by an item in …NEXT week’s TIME Magazine (July 28, 2014). Some will say that the Eucharist needs no marketing; it is already the central act of Catholic worship. But in a world dominated by technology, the professional and social media, and the revolution in photography which has permitted instantaneous worldwide diffusion of images, including selfies produced by a smartphone, the Church would do well to exploit these means to reinforce belief in the Real Presence of Jesus in those circular wafers of bread become His Body.
A novelty company, according to TIME (7/28/2014, page 49), has unveiled a new product which allows you to personalize your toast. The toaster is called “Toasted Selfies” (TM), which makes it possible for you to burn a photo of your face onto a slice of bread (more detail on the Web, “Geek Alerts”, July 15). I imagine Mass-goers receiving Holy Communion, the consecrated host, in their hand, saying “Amen” to the words “Body of Christ” – and seeing a likeness of Jesus right there on each wafer. The words “Mass production” would take on a whole new meaning.
In comments on earlier posts concerning the Eucharistic miracle of Lanciano, where bits of Christic flesh are said to have been seen to appear stuck onto the host, our dear departed Jim/Helen brought this solemnly approved miracle to our attention. There is nothing miraculous or even technically complicated about putting an image of the face of Jesus on the wafers, or even His whole body (not the one on the Shroud of Turin, which has the downside of making Jesus look very dead, but a picture, say, of Him rising from the tomb).
I do not expect royalties or even a Plenary Indulgence for coming up with this inspired idea. But it’s an idea whose time – wait for it ! – has come. (Maybe the hosts could be given an edible chip, electronic not potato, with a recorded message activated by saliva as the host touches the tongue : “Enjoy !”, or “Bon Appétit”, or “Buon Apetito !”. I’m only trying to help.)