DAILY CATHOLIC     FRI-SAT-SUN     March 26-28, 1999     vol. 10, no. 60


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    INTRODUCTION      "Getting to the Heart of the Matter" is what Sister Mary Lucy Astuto pinpoints in every issue when she takes a common sense approach to living our faith with her practical columns.

          She continues her series on Lent, devoting today's column to the fact so many receive the Holy Eucharist on Sunday but so few are in the confessional line on Saturday. Are there that many saints in each parish? Sister thinks not and reminds all of the restrictions for receiving Holy Communion; for receiving the Body of Our Lord with mortal sin on our soul not only negates all graces but adds to the the sin - with a sacriligeous sin as she points out in her column Remember Sacriligeous Communions?

          Her column provides effective, vital insights into our faith and ways of fulfilling God's Will every day in every way. You can visit Sr. Lucy at her web site for Heart of Mary Ministry at http://www.heartofmaryministry.com or you can reach her at Srmarylucy@aol.com by e-mail.


          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 confessed?

          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 follows:

      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!

March 26-28, 1999       volume 10, no. 60


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