FATHER, I’M NOT SURE IF I COULD RECEIVE COMMUNION…SHOULD I? THE REQUISITES TO RECEIVE HOLY COMMUNION. Summary vid + full text.
This is a question which I have been asked at times by the young and not so young alike. To answer this question, let us review the teachings of the Catholic Church regarding the proper dispositions to receive Our Lord Jesus Christ, truly present in the Holy Eucharist.
1. TO RECEIVE COMMUNION, A CATHOLIC MUST BE IN THE STATE OF GRACE
In order to receive Jesus in the Holy Communion, CATHOLICS MUST BE IN THE STATE OF GRACE, that is, NOT AWARE OR CONSCIOUS OF HAVING A MORTAL SIN.
As the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches:
“What is required to receive Holy Communion?
“To receive Holy Communion one must be fully incorporated into the Catholic Church and be in the STATE OF GRACE, THAT IS, NOT CONSCIOUS OF BEING IN MORTAL SIN. ANYONE WHO IS CONSCIOUS OF HAVING COMMITTED A GRAVE SIN MUST FIRST RECEIVE THE SACRAMENT OF RECONCILIATION BEFORE GOING TO COMMUNION. Also important for those receiving Holy Communion are a spirit of recollection and prayer, observance of the fast prescribed by the Church, and an appropriate disposition of the body (gestures and dress) as a sign of respect for Christ (Compendium of Catechism, n. 291).”
2. WHEN DOES ONE COMMIT MORTAL SIN?
This is the next question which logically arises.
“One commits a mortal sin when there are SIMULTANEOUSLY PRESENT:
- GRAVE MATTER, [the MORAL evil in the action is a SERIOUS offense]
- FULL KNOWLEDGE, [one knows that an action he is about to commit is serious offense against God, one’s neighbor, or to one’s self]
- and DELIBERATE CONSENT [one willingly, freely entertains a thought and WANTS to carry out the grave evil action].
This sin DESTROYS CHARITY in us, DEPRIVES US OF SANCTIFYING GRACE, and, IF UNREPENTED, leads us to the ETERNAL DEATH OF HELL. It can be FORGIVEN in the ordinary way by means of the sacraments of BAPTISM and of PENANCE or RECONCILIATION. (Compendium of Catechism, n. 395. See as well Catechism of the Catholic Church, nn. 1855-1861, 1874).”
If one of the three above conditions is absent, then the action committed is just a venial sin. For example, if the evil action involves a light matter, even if done with full knowledge and consent, it remains a venial sin.
Evil actions with grave matter which are done without full knowledge and thereby without full consent, remain as venial sins. For example, one is half-asleep, or under the influence of a legitimately prescribed sedative, one does not have full knowledge or advertence of what is happening and therefore one cannot have a full consent to the grave evil action he has committed during this situation.
Dear brethren in Christ,
“St. Paul urges us to examine our conscience: ‘Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself.’ ANYONE CONSCIOUS OF A GRAVE SIN MUST RECEIVE THE SACRAMENT OF RECONCILIATION BEFORE COMING TO COMMUNION (Catechism of the Catholic Church, n 1385; cf. also nn. 1386-1389, 1415).”
CONTINUATION IN “FATHER, SHOULD I RECEIVE HOLY COMMUNION (2)?” Summary vid + full text in https://catholicsstrivingforholiness.com/2017/03/29/father-should-i-receive-communion-2-summary-vid-full-text/