Eucharist and Mortal Sin

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picasso_13

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Ok, another question from the Prots on the other board I post on. They were asking about Catholics view on salvation. While in this dicussion they were wondering why the Eucharist has the ability to cover venial sins, why doesn’t it have the ability to cover mortal sin?

I thought that was a good question and wanted others opinion’s on the topic. My first thought was because you are not in union with Christ when you have committed a mortal sin that you cannont receive the Eucharist, but I wanted some more thoughts before posting a response. It was a good question and I want to give him a thought out repsonse.

Thanks!
 
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picasso_13:
Ok, another question from the Prots on the other board I post on. They were asking about Catholics view on salvation. While in this dicussion they were wondering why the Eucharist has the ability to cover venial sins, why doesn’t it have the ability to cover mortal sin?

I thought that was a good question and wanted others opinion’s on the topic. My first thought was because you are not in union with Christ when you have committed a mortal sin that you cannont receive the Eucharist, but I wanted some more thoughts before posting a response. It was a good question and I want to give him a thought out repsonse.

Thanks!
It does cover mortal sin… but you have to be reconciled back to the Church before you can receive this sacrament. What happens is mortal sin causes you to lose the life of grace and Jesus Himself puts that back with His own life of grace.

Mortal sin kills the life of grace in us, venal sin does not. Think of it like a wound that is fatal vrs one that just has you stay in he hospital for a while. That is the differences in venal and mortal sin. Venal sin in does hurt our relationship with God- it does not kill it but by communion with a good heart (forgiveness and asking for forgiveness) and by practicing the cardinal virtues we can replace vice with virtue. Our source of grace and strength comes from the Eucharist to transform our imperfections, which is venal sin into holiness.
 
The Bible clearly teaches us that one should not unworthily receive the Lord in the Eucharist. Jesus gave us the Sacrament of Reconciliation to restore us to Santifying Grace when it is lost through mortal sin, and excepting a few rare instances, one in a state of mortal sin should always avail himself of Reconciliation before receiving the Eucharist.

The Eucharist is given to us as a gift to increase the Santifying Grace in our souls and draw us closer to God. Those without Sanctifying Grace (i.e. in mortal sin) who receive commit sacrilege against the Body and Blood of Christ.

Sacrilege doesn’t exist for one in venial sin, because venial sin does not deprive us of God’s Santifying Grace. In fact, when one receives with the proper disposition they are forgiven of venial sins and strengthened against them in the future. Forgiveness of venial sins can also come in other ways, however, like through the sacramental blessing of the priest at mass, prayer, etc. In other words, it doesn’t take the Eucharist to receive forgiveness for our venial faults, but it is certainly capable of doing so for those receiving in the right disposition.
 
The Eucharist does not “cover” any sin. You should abstain from receiving the Eucharist if you are knowingly in a state of separation from Christ by having any unrepentant mortal sins. Venial sins, while bad, do not separate us from Christ. They do, however, create a condition in our lives that can establish a propensity to commit mortal sin. The sacrements of Baptism, Reconciliation, and Annointing of the Sick “cover” sins. They are the sacrements that absolve us of the eternal penatly of mortal sin. To receive the Eucharist in good conscience, as posted above, you should already be reconciled to Christ.

Pax Christi
 
I think the simple answer is:

If Christ had wanted to, he could have made the Eucharist so that it remits mortal sin.

But in his wisdom and providence, he establihsed the Sacrament of Pennance for mortal (and venial) sin.

Or, to put it more technically:

God can do whateverthehell he wants!
 
I’m going to have to disagree because our mortal sins are completely remitted after we confess and receive the Eucharist- penance and receiving the Eucharist completes the sacrament of confession.
 
Greetings, In one of Pauls letter to the Corinthians he warned of recieving the Eucharist unworthly, lest we bring judgement on ourselves. I take this to mean that we must confess our sins first before recieving the Eucharist. God Bless. Chuck Clifford
 
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ShelB:
I’m going to have to disagree because our mortal sins are completely remitted after we confess and receive the Eucharist- penance and receiving the Eucharist completes the sacrament of confession.
No.

The sin is absolved with the absolution.
Moreover, since the Sacraments signify what they effect, the words, I absolve thee, signify that remission of sin is effected by the administration of this Sacrament; and hence it is plain that such is the perfect form of the Sacrament. For sins are, so to say, the chains by which the soul is bound, and from which it is freed by the Sacrament of Penance. And none the less truly does the priest pronounce the form over the penitent who, through perfect contrition, accompanied by the desire of confession, has already obtained remission of his sins from God. (Roman Catechism: Penance)
The temporal dues of sin which has already been forgiven are made up by penance and the Eucharist. So mortal sins are wholly remitted with the words of the priest “eg te absolvo a peccata tuis” but the temporal dues are not.

The Eucharist, by itself, remits venial sins of the those properly disposed.
It cannot be doubted that by the Eucharist are remitted and pardoned lighter sins, commonly called venial. Whatever the soul has lost through the fire of passion, by falling into some slight offence, all this the Eucharist, cancelling those lesser faults, repairs, in the same way not to depart from the illustration already adduced as natural food gradually restores and repairs the daily waste caused by the force of the vital heat within us. Justly, therefore, has St. Ambrose said of this heavenly Sacrament: That daily bread is taken as a remedy for daily infirmity. But these things are to be understood of those sins for which no actual affection is retained. (ibid.: The Eucharist)
 
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Ichthus:
No.

The sin is absolved with the absolution.

The temporal dues of sin which has already been forgiven are made up by penance and the Eucharist. So mortal sins are wholly remitted with the words of the priest “eg te absolvo a peccata tuis” but the temporal dues are not.

The Eucharist, by itself, remits venial sins of the those properly disposed.
Okay I understand that, but doesn’t communion restore the sanctifying grace?
 
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ShelB:
Okay I understand that, but doesn’t communion restore the sanctifying grace?
Sanctifying grace is restored by Confession.

One has to already be in a state of sanctifying grace to receive Communion. Justification (sanctifying grace) is increased by Communion, but absolution restores sanctifying grace already

Sanctifying grace can be increased or decreased, and Communion increases it, but Confession is that sacrament that restores one to a state of grace

CCC:
[1446](javascript:eek:penWindow(‘cr/1446.htm’)😉 Christ instituted the sacrament of Penance for all sinful members of his Church: above all for those who, since Baptism, have fallen into grave sin, and have thus lost their baptismal grace and wounded ecclesial communion. It is to them that the sacrament of Penance offers a new possibility to convert and to recover the grace of justification. The Fathers of the Church present this sacrament as "the second plank [of salvation] after the shipwreck which is the loss of grace."47
 
The way I explain this to my non-Catholic friends is this way: You wouldn’t receive company into your home if your home was not clean. So we as Catholics do not receive the physical body & blood of our Lord into our bodies if our soul is not clean.

The example may be pedestrian, but it seems to convey the point.

Best Regards,

John
 
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Ichthus:
Sanctifying grace is restored by Confession.

One has to already be in a state of sanctifying grace to receive Communion. Justification (sanctifying grace) is increased by Communion, but absolution restores sanctifying grace already

Sanctifying grace can be increased or decreased, and Communion increases it, but Confession is that sacrament that restores one to a state of grace

CCC:
[1446](javascript:eek:penWindow(‘cr/1446.htm’)😉 Christ instituted the sacrament of Penance for all sinful members of his Church: above all for those who, since Baptism, have fallen into grave sin, and have thus lost their baptismal grace and wounded ecclesial communion. It is to them that the sacrament of Penance offers a new possibility to convert and to recover the grace of justification. The Fathers of the Church present this sacrament as "the second plank [of salvation] after the shipwreck which is the loss of grace."47
Thanks.
 
A somewhat different question but related…

I seem to have a difficult time defining what the ‘mortal sins’ are. Are they the 10 Commandments or the only Law that Christ gave: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your mind, soul, body, strengh and being, and love your neighbor as yourself.’ (Paraphrasing). If that is the case, then we all would have a difficult time fulfilling this one great commandment.

I pray that I have not taken the Holy Eucharist unworthily.
Any suggestions?
 
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Edwin1961:
A somewhat different question but related…

I seem to have a difficult time defining what the ‘mortal sins’ are. Are they the 10 Commandments or the only Law that Christ gave: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your mind, soul, body, strengh and being, and love your neighbor as yourself.’ (Paraphrasing). If that is the case, then we all would have a difficult time fulfilling this one great commandment.

I pray that I have not taken the Holy Eucharist unworthily.
Any suggestions?
1, The two great commandments are summary of the decalogue
  1. Grave matter, objectively mortal sin, is anything contrary to the 10 commandments, the Church precepts, or natural law.
  2. To be a mortal sin three things
a. It must be grave matter, i.e. inherently wrong (sinning against the precepts is disobedience against the Church) or you must think it to be so (as violating your conscience, even if you are wrong on the particular issue, is still wrong)

b. You must freely do the sin. If someone drugged you to have sex, then you would not be have committed a mortal sin (extreme example, I know.)

c. You must know it to be gravely wrong (ignorance excuses from the sin which you are ignorant of. However we are under moral obligation to form our conscience. Ignorance is thus a sin here. There is vincible ignorance, that which you are culpable. And invincible ignorance, that which you are innocent. The former means that you had the ability to know better and were negligent and the latter means that you had no way of knowing, even though it is a thing that humans in general have a natural apitude to know)
  1. If you were not conscious of any mortal sin at the time of communion, through no fault of you own (such as being negligent or non chalant) then even if in a state of sin, you would be free of guilt of sacrilege.
  2. Talk with a confessor about any sin which you suspect to be grave, he can help determine if it is grave and whether or no it was a mortal sin
 
Okay, so I have a question or two. Every Sunday before Mass, I look back at the week and think of my sins, and wonder if any of them are mortal. Actually, every time I have done wrong, I tell myself it could be a mortal sin, and then I get into a confused mess where I can’t tell if it was venial, mortal, or no sin at all. Because I am scrupulous, it only makes it worse. So what do I do? Do I recieve communion? If I have mortal sin on my soul, but I am not fully aware of it, is it still a sin to recieve communion while in this state? This happens EVERY Sunday at Mass. I’m worried it’s going to continue this way.
 
“The righteous man sins seven times a day.” Despite our best efforts, as St. Paul states we “do that which I would not do, and do not do that which I would.” Despite our best efforts we sin. Most of these sins will be venial, possibly unknown. What is important is the continued desire and effort to follow God’s Will in our lives, even if we sometimes fail.
Mortal sin is the deliberate and intentional turning away from God and rejection of God’s grace. How can a person receive that which he has rejected? The Sacrament of Reconciliation allows for a turning back to Christ before we receive Him in the Sacrament of the Eucharist.
 
There’s only one thing for you, as a scrupulous person, to do. That is consult with the priest (you know, the ONE priest you go to exclusively and always obey in matters of conscience) and get personalized rules about this for yourself.

Betsy
 
Okay, so I have a question or two. Every Sunday before Mass, I look back at the week and think of my sins, and wonder if any of them are mortal. Actually, every time I have done wrong, I tell myself it could be a mortal sin, and then I get into a confused mess where I can’t tell if it was venial, mortal, or no sin at all. Because I am scrupulous, it only makes it worse. So what do I do? Do I recieve communion? If I have mortal sin on my soul, but I am not fully aware of it, is it still a sin to recieve communion while in this state? This happens EVERY Sunday at Mass. I’m worried it’s going to continue this way.
Regarding approaching the communion rail, I have had this problem, both long ago and very, very recently. For me it comes down to the degree of a particular action (which causes me to wonder whether in some cases the degree or intensity or scale of it was mortal rather than venial). Different examens categorize them differently, so there isn’t a uniform standard of “grave” – outside of the really obvious ones. For myself, rather than worry about it, I just decide to go to confession when I’m unsure, as it ends all doubt and allows me to focus on the Mass much better. There are behaviors which I’m guilty of that I know are venial, and I don’t get scrupulous about them, but there is definitely a gray area for me that “dances” with seriousness, and for these I hesitate to approach communion until I confess. For me, it boils down to the level of awareness of each individual. Since I’m a proponent of frequent confession anyway (and I admit I do not go as frequently as I should), to go when I’m unsure whether it’s mortal or venial, is a good “excuse” to practice frequent confession!

I know this is not the theological answer you wanted. Remember that serious sin requires full awareness of its gravity. If I were giving you a technical answer I would say that if you are merely concerned, then you are not committing sacrilege, but to put your mind at ease, it will be helpful if, the next time you go to confession, you ask the priest explicitly whether your confessed sins were mortal or venial, and how to gauge that in the future.
 
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