Eucharistic Discourse


The Catholic Herald is reporting that His Holiness said yesterday...

"If anyone among us does not feel in need of God’s mercy, if he does not consider himself to be a sinner, it is better that he not go to Mass!" ~ Pope Francis
I would prefer that the Holy Father had replaced the word "Mass" with the words "Holy Communion".

At the same time, I would like to hear His Holiness talk also of our need to be in a State of Grace in order to receive Holy Communion, lest we eat and drink unto ourselves condemnation. None of us are 'worthy' but we should not be in a state of mortal sin when we receive Our Lord's Body and Blood. We don't hear much on that from Bishops, do we?

Sentiments of faith, unworthiness and penitence come and go and of course we should examine our consciences before Mass and pray to foster sentiments of penitence. Because we are sinners, we can experience the fog of our sins, especially pride, which blinds us to our deep unworthiness, even while in the Presence of God. However, people have lots of excuses for not going to Mass already. They surely don't need His Holiness to accidentally give them another one so they think, "I don't have to go to Mass anymore because I don't feel like I'm a sinner." 

The rest of His Holiness's address on the Eucharist was very good I thought. Here is a taster...

'We go to Mass because we are sinners and because we wish to receive God’s forgiveness, to participate in Christ’s redemption, his forgiveness. That ‘I confess’ that we say at the beginning is not merely a ‘pro forma’, it is a true act of penance! … In that bread and that wine we offer and around which we gather, the gift of the body and blood of Christ for the forgiveness of our sins is renewed every time. This best summarises the deepest sense of the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus, and in turn it opens our hearts to the forgiveness of our brothers and to reconciliation”.'

I'm not a priest, let alone a pontiff, so what would I know, but I'd imagine that good preparation is the key to papal homilies that can't be interpreted as supplying an excuse for people not to go to Mass. Not going to Mass will not pour light onto the blindness of the proud hearted. Going to Mass and being in the Presence of God can only help. Attendance on Sunday Mass and Holy Days are binding on Catholics, who commit mortal sin if they wilfully absent themselves. If you wilfully miss Mass one Sunday, you shouldn't receive Holy Communion the next until you've been to Confession, I would have thought.

Comments

Celia said…
Well, that should reduce the numbers at Mass considerably. In my parish absolutely no-one is ever in a state of mortal sin- because everyone goes to communion every Sunday. Including on occasion visiting Protestants.Venial sins? Well, even the Church says you needn't confess those, so obviously they're not really sins and anyway'Do you think God cares about any of that?' So -justification for only turning up when it doesn't interfere with family plans or look like rain.

No doubt His Holiness has been misquoted/mistranslated/chatted to a dozing journalist who's made it up-again. He obviously hasn't read your 'Mass of Ages' article yet.
Anonymous said…
That is a wonderful photo...the church is magnificent. Where is it Mr. Laurence?

Barbara
Genty said…
I do wish that Francis, and all priests, would put more emphasis on Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity and stop banging on about bread and wine and Eucharistic gatherings.
Perhaps then we might all think twice about whether we are in a state of grace to receive Holy Communion.

The Bones said…
Found it here

http://www.catholic-convert.com/blog/2011/11/26/why-young-people-drop-out-of-church-protestant-and-catholic-and-leave-the-faith/

There's no tag saying where the church is.
Delia said…
Coutances Cathedral in Normandy, I think.
Lynda said…
It is a mortal sin to commit the sacrilege of receiving Our Lord in a state of mortal sin. Why do priests refuse to teach and preach to their congregation - do they think people are living more holy lives than in previous generations, receiving Holy Communion all the time, but not going to Confession??
viterbo said…
Chesterton said, saying a rosary badly is better than not saying it at all. presumably attending Mass 'badly' is better than not attending at all.

p.s. Genty, they keep pushing the bread and wine made by human hands to remind us it's just a passover meal, taken from the haggadah, which Bugnini stole those lines from. I might be wrong, but I think there are few celebrants who even know anything other than a Lutheran or even rabbinic understand of this 'supper'.
Joe Potillor said…
The reduction to the subjective "feeling" is a problem.

I don't "feel" that I'm in the need of God's mercy, I know I am, huge difference....

non feeler of God's mercy, looks like another to add to the Papal book of insults
JB said…

He's such an unfortunate gaffe machine. Poor man just can't stop talking off the cuff. Oh well.

I have yet to hear Francis once talk about the need to be in a state of grace. I never hear this term at all anymore actually. But everyone must be in it because everyone goes to Communion now.
Annie said…
I just re-read the Ten Commandments and - lo and behold! - there it is, written in stone:

"Remember thou keep holy the Sabbath Day when you feel like it."

How did we miss that bit?