Living in the Two Hearts

My Spiritual Insights and Musings

Reconciliation & the Eucharist…Part III

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on September 23, 2008

A Brief Recap:

Confession to a priest is an essential part of the sacrament of Penance: “All mortal sins of which penitents after a diligent self-examination are conscious must be recounted by them in confession, even if they are most secret and have been committed against the last two precepts of the Decalogue; for these sins sometimes wound the soul more grievously and are more dangerous than those which are committed openly.” ~ CCC§1456; Council of Trent; cf Ex 20:17; Mt 5:28 (emphasis added).

Matthew 5:23-26

23 So if you are offering your gift at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25 Make friends quickly with your accuser, while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison; 26 truly, I say to you, you will never get out till you have paid the last penny.

When Christ’s faithful strive to confess all the sins that they can remember, they undoubtedly place all of them before the divine mercy for pardon. But those who fail to do so and knowingly withhold some, place nothing before the divine goodness for remission through the mediation of the priest, for if the sick person is too ashamed to show his wound to the doctor, the medicine cannot heal what it does not know.” ~ CCC§1456; St. Jerome, In Eccl. 10, 11(emphasis added).

It is precisely in the Passion, when the mercy of Christ is about to vanquish it, that sin most clearly manifests its violence and its many forms: unbelief, murderous hatred, shunning and mockery by the leaders and the people, Pilate’s cowardice and the cruelty of the soldiers, Judas’ betrayal – so bitter to Jesus, Peter’s denial and the disciples’ flight. However, at the very hour of darkness, the hour of the prince of this world, the sacrifice of Christ secretly becomes the source from which the forgiveness of our sins will pour forth inexhaustibly. ~ CCC§1851; cf Jn 14:30

Instituted by Christ, the Sacrament of Reconciliation works very closely with Christ.  As we said in the last Post, the priest/bishop stands in for the person of Christ – He works through His minister.  So, if Christ is directly connected to this Sacrament just by those two established TRUTHS, how much more so is He connected to His very Eucharistic Presence?

Eucharist and Penance. Daily conversion and penance find their source and nourishment in the Eucharist, for in it is made present the sacrifice of Christ which has reconciled us with God. Through the Eucharist those who live from the life of Christ are fed and strengthened. It is a remedy to free us from our daily faults and to preserve us from mortal sins. ~ CCC§1436; Council of Trent

This is why St. Paul teaches in 1 Cor 11:27-32, Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died.  But if we judged ourselves truly, we should not be judged. But when we are judged by the Lord, we are chastened so that we may not be condemned along with the world. (emphasis added)

This is for all you out there who have questioned the rational of Bishops refusing communion to politicians who support the Killing of Children in the womb.  Murder is a mortal sin, and therefore, unless that person has truly repented, and no longer supports this type of murder, they are eating and drinking judgment on themselves. Would it not be better for them to repent instead of being condemned along with the world ?

The Church further teaches: According to the Church’s command, after having attained the age of discretion, each of the faithful is bound by an obligation faithfully to confess serious sins at least once a year. Anyone who is aware of having committed a mortal sin must not receive Holy Communion, even if he experiences deep contrition, without having first received sacramental absolution, unless he has a grave reason for receiving Communion and there is no possibility of going to confession. Children must go to the sacrament of Penance before receiving Holy Communion for the first time. ~ CCC§1457; Council of Trent

Actually, this pertains to all of us, not just politicians.  If you’ve given money to Planned Parenthood and other organizations that promote and support the murder of children in the womb (let’s call it was is), then you too are in need of repentanceEspecially if you’ve been receiving our Lord in the Eucharist!

For the Eucharist – which IS the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Our crucified AND risen Lord, Jesus Christ – can have a very powerful affect on the life of the person whose soul is receptive to the efficacious grace that comes from the Sacrament.  We are told that:

The Gospel is the revelation in Jesus Christ of God’s mercy to sinners.  The angel announced to Joseph: You shall call [His] name Jesus, for [He] will save [His] people from their sins. The same is true of the Eucharist, the sacrament of redemption: This is my  blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. ~ CCC§1846; cf Lk 15; Mt 1:21; Mt 26:28

And so:

Holy Communion separates us from sin. The body of Christ we receive in Holy Communion is given up for us, and the blood we drink shed for the many for the forgiveness of sins. For this reason the Eucharist cannot unite us to Christ without at the same time cleansing us from past sins and preserving us from future sins:

For as often as we eat this bread and drink the cup, we proclaim the death of the Lord. If we proclaim the Lord’s death, we proclaim the forgiveness of sins. If, as often as his blood is poured out, it is poured for the forgiveness of sins, I should always receive it, so that it may always forgive my sins. Because I always sin, I should always have a remedy. ~ St. Ambrose, De Sacr. 4, 6, 28; cf 1Cor11:26

Yet none of this will be possible if we are already separated from God by our sins!

Sin is an offense against God: Against you, you alone, have I sinned, and done that which is evil in your sight. Sin sets itself against God’s love for us and turns our hearts away from it.  Like the first sin, it is disobedience, a revolt against God through the will to become like gods, knowing and determining good and evil. Sin is thus love of oneself even to contempt of God. In this proud self-exaltation, sin is diametrically opposed to the obedience of Jesus, which achieves our salvation. ~CCC§1850; Ps 51:4 ; Gen 3:5; St. Augustine, De civ. Dei 14, 28: PL 41, 436; Phil 2:6-9

It is to be rightly understood:

The Eucharist is not ordered to the forgiveness of mortal sins – that is proper to the sacrament of Reconciliation…

It is only…

By the same charity that it enkindles in us, the Eucharist preserves us from future mortal sins.

So long as…

…we share the life of Christ and progress in [His] friendship,…

Then…

the more difficult it is [for each of us] to break away from [Him] by mortal sin.

This is why…

The Eucharist is properly the sacrament of those who are in full communion with the Church. ~CCC§1395 (emphasis added).

Any questions?  Have you attended to your insides lately?

Food for Thought: When you are dead in life and you die in that state, you will plant yourself in the land of the dead.

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