The number of people going to confession on a regular basis has greatly
declined in the last several years.
This observation is based on a notable decline in the number of people
standing in line to go to confession, as was seen regularly in years past.
This raises a valid question. If many Catholics are not making use of this
Sacrament which Jesus gave us to heal us, are they remaining in the state of Sanctifying Grace, which is a
requisite for all of us to receive Our Lord in Holy Communion?
Or could it be that as we have almost two generations of “young” people, who
have been inadequately taught their faith, that so many Catholics do not know that they should NOT be
receiving Our Lord in Holy Communion, if they have committed serious (mortal or grave) sin which they have not
If a person receives Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist while in the state of
mortal sin, they commit another mortal sin called a SACRILEGE and actually they are worse off then what they
were before receiving Communion.
How can one receive Our Lord into a clean “house” that is not occupied with
Divine Life that we call Sanctifying Grace? This is an evil, a sacrilege!
I would like to quote from the same leaflet as last week which enjoys the
imprimatur of Archbishop John R. Roach, D.D., former Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis. It reads as
For Catholics to receive the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ in Holy Communion
while in the state of mortal sin (having committed a mortal sin which has not been confessed and forgiven
in Sacramental Confession) is itself a mortal sin - a mortal sin of sacrilege.
St. Paul in First Corinthians expressly warns against this sin when he says:
"Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the
body and blood of the Lord. But let a man prove himself: and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the chalice. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord" (1Corinthians 11:27-29).
Today, when most Catholics do not go to Confession from one end of the year
to the next, and when in a sizeable parish it is not unusual for there to be under ten Confessions per
week, and yet when it comes time for Communion at Sunday Mass, virtually everyone in
attendance receives Communion, it can be presumed that many people - human nature being what it is - are receiving Holy Communion unworthily, i.e., while in the state of mortal sin.
Prior to approximately 1960, it was the norm for practicing Catholics to go
to the Sacrament of Confession once a week, or at least once every two or three weeks (whether or not they
had a mortal sin to confess), and afterwards to receive Communion on Sunday. Prior to that time, the number of
Confessions approximately equalled the number of Communions. About half of a parish would receive Communion on a given Sunday.
Presently, however, there are hardly any Confessions, and the reception of
Communion is almost universal. Granted, many of those weekly Confessions in previous years were probably
Confessions of venial sins (not mortal sins), and thus they were not strictly necessary before Communion, yet we must admit that mortal sin has become far more commonplace today, and so it would only be a person wearing rose-colored glasses, one who wants to redefine the whole concept of sin, who would say that mortal sin has become so rare that only a handful of parishioners each week have need of Confession before receiving Holy Communion. (That handful who do go to Confession are likely to be the most devout and least sinful members of the whole parish.)
So, dear reader, if you are among those who are receiving sacrilegious Holy
Communions, please stop. Go to confession. Receive the healing of Jesus, then receive Him with a clean
heart. You’ll be so much happier for doing so.
God bless you!