being in the state of grace to receive the Eucharist

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This topic contains 10 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Benedict 11 years, 4 months ago.

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  • #631

    Andres Ortiz
    Keymaster

    This is something that has been on my mind in the past and came up in a conversation I was having the other day.

    Why, exactly, does the Church teach that we need to be in the state of grace to receive the Eucharist? If in fact the Eucharist does give us everlasting life and grace, then why do we need to be in a state of grace to get more grace?

    If we look at the Bible, we see that Judas was one of the first people to receive the body and blood of Jesus, yet Jesus knew that he was up to no good. He knew that Judas was going to betray him.

    As the old saying goes “you are what you eat” then why can’t people that are not in the state of grace not receive the Eucharist to become more Christ-like.

    I understand that it is the body of Christ and that it should not be defiled, but if someone is truly repentant of their sin and wants to receive Jesus is that person still not in a state of grace if they do not go to confession? So does this mean they will have to wait until next week to receive Jesus? <img src=” title=”Confused” />

    #2366

    Benedict
    Member

    St. Paul tells us not to receive the Body and Blood of Christ unworthily (1 Cor 11:27).

    I believe if you experience perfect contrition you are forgiven without Confession, but really, how often do experience perfect contrition?

    #2370

    Andres Ortiz
    Keymaster

    What exactly does one mean by “perfect contrition”? I think I have an idea but I am not sure if it is correct.

    #2372

    Andres Ortiz
    Keymaster

    [quote:1h73ogoq]What exactly does one mean by “perfect contrition”? I think I have an idea but I am not sure if it is correct.[/quote:1h73ogoq]

    I think it’s when you totally reconcile with God by being absolutely sorry in your heart and firmly resolving that you will not sin again. I’m not sure if doing your penance is part of that either.

    [quote:1h73ogoq]St. Paul tells us not to receive the Body and Blood of Christ unworthily (1 Cor 11:27).[/quote:1h73ogoq]

    Good point. I forgot about that one. <img src=” title=”Wink” />

    And that section continues with:
    [quote:1h73ogoq]A person should examine himself, and so eat the bread and drink the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment 14 on himself. (1 Cor. 11:28-29)[/quote:1h73ogoq]

    So that sounds pretty serious to me and I suppose a good reason for the Church’s teaching. I can’t believe I forgot about that part in the Bible. :oops: I guess that’s what happens when I haven’t studied it hardcore like I used to in a couple years. <img src=” title=”Razz” />

    #2376

    Benedict
    Member

    Perfect Contrition: If you can find it, pick up a book called [u:3iyeo5vn]Hell: The Dogma of Hell and How to Avoid Hell[/u:3iyeo5vn]. The second half of the book includes a nice section on contrition.

    (From memory since I lent someone my copy of Hell and never got it back)

    Bascially, Jon got it right. It is feeling sincerely and perfectly sorry for having sinned against God. The fear of the loss of heaven and the pains of hell is known as attrition. Penance is not a part of contrition or attrition but a separate matter entirely. Contrition/Attrition are for forgiveness or your sins; penance is ‘paying’ for the damage you have done by sinning.

    #2392

    Andres Ortiz
    Keymaster

    Thank you both! I was already thinking along those lines, but now I know much more about it <img src=” title=”Very Happy” />

    #2443

    jay_dfw
    Member

    Both reasons for confession are acceptable in the Sacrament. However, outside the Sacrament of Reconciliation only perfect contrition is valuable, and even then, are you positive you have perfect contrition <img src=” title=”Smile” />

    In Christ,

    jay

    #2498

    Andres Ortiz
    Keymaster

    [quote:m0bk23jk]Both reasons for confession are acceptable in the Sacrament. However, outside the Sacrament of Reconciliation only perfect contrition is valuable, and even then, are you positive you have perfect contrition <img src=” title=”Smile” />[/quote:m0bk23jk]

    I know what you mean. It takes a lot to be fully sorry and firmly resolve that you will never sin again. The worst part is, though, when you end up doing the sin all over again.

    Let me ask this: when we say at mass “[color=darkblue:m0bk23jk]Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed[/color:m0bk23jk]” what impact does that have on our need to seek reconciliation? Like, if I was truly repentant of my sins at that point in the mass and then I said those words is it almost as good if I had gone to confession? I know that actual confession is always recommended, but I am just trying to figure out the theology behind that part of the mass. <img src=” title=”Smile” />

    #2501

    Benedict
    Member

    To my understanding, if you experience perfect contrition (emphasis on perfect) then you are forgiven without the sacrament. The question is, can you even judge what perfect contrition is?

    If you, at that moment, feel that you are perfectly sorry then I suppose you could receive communion in good faith and, if you are wrong, it would not be counted so heavily against you. If you feel any doubt at all, I think it would be best to wait. (Perhaps I need a disclaimer. Disclaimer: The previous are the words of an armchair theologian.)

    #2513

    Andres Ortiz
    Keymaster

    [quote:2tn9uxxg]If you feel any doubt at all, I think it would be best to wait.[/quote:2tn9uxxg]

    That’s good advice actually. I think I remember learning something like that in Confirmation class.

    [quote:2tn9uxxg]To my understanding, if you experience perfect contrition (emphasis on perfect) then you are forgiven without the sacrament. The question is, can you even judge what perfect contrition is? [/quote:2tn9uxxg]

    Personally, I am not sure that I ever can (at least I don’t think I can).

    #2514

    Benedict
    Member

    It would have to be one of those, “when you know it, you will know it” kind of things. Like when you are in true love for the first time you realize that everything before that was not true love but something else.

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