On a sin… and communion (Part II)
After asking my questions and googling as if my life depended on doing so, (which it does in a sense) I have been getting an education on what constitutes sin. Here are some conclusions I have come to:
What I have gotten is that:
1. it is wrong to miss Mass without a grave reason, and to go to a Protestant service as a substitute without grave reason… (emphasis on grave)
2. if I go to a Protestant church instead of a Catholic one, I fail to fulfil my Sunday obligation and am in a state of mortal sin
3. it is wrong to fully and actively participate in a non-Catholic service, i.e. communion, reading, etc.
4. it is unclear whether it is wrong to attend other Christian services ‘passively’ – if one can be passive – as well as mass. It is advisable not to go, as one’s faith is put in peril, could be attacked and undermined.And attending these services is not in the best interests of the church; of not condoning the different Christian denominations as we want to encourage the return of all the Christians to the church
5. if I attend Protestant services for different reasons like pleasing family or just because I like it, I tolerate the hurt to Christ’s Body and make light of the scandal that wounds our Lord deeper every day
And what I need to do is:
1. actively endeavour to go to mass every week and receive the Eucharist
2. study the catechism in order to understand why Catholicism is the true church of Christ
3. avoid actively participating in other Christian services and going there as I could be tossed around and confused by strange doctrines and beliefs
4. somehow get my friends and family to understand why it is important for me to be Catholic and lead them to the light…
As I read around I came across a site which had the following… “The new Catechism calls the Eucharist “the heart and the summit of the Church’s life,” as well as the “sum and summary of our faith.” (CCC, #1407, #1327). The Eucharist is the sacrament of sacraments, the divine reality toward which all the other sacraments point and in which they are all fulfilled.”(source) and I thought how profound, I think I was last at a benediction years ago I can’t remember when and yet I always felt immersed in His presence then so why don’t I go now?
In one of the Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis which I am listening to, Screwtape was telling his nephew Wormwood something about how our bodies and what happens to them affects our spirituality… or something to that effect, it was about how the nephews ‘person’ could be led to being less prayerful by thinking that where I am and kneeling etc. are not important in the greater schemes of things for prayer or the quality of a prayer. As Catholic we hold that our bodies are the temples of the Lord, hence I’d want my temple (read body) to be positioned at the best place possible and not be desecrated and to be clean in preparation of the Lord coming into it… during communion.
Along the same lines, I’ll quote the following (also online) “…there were Gnostics who reasoned that the opposition of body and spirit meant the body could do anything without affecting the spirit. This school went in for orgies and every form of self-indulgence, all the while pretending they were ‘holy within’. But the Church of Christ went on teaching the truth: The Word became flesh. Body and spirit are married in Christ Jesus and we who are in him can and must glorify God in our bodies, not apart from them just as Jesus did when he died and rose–bodily–and ascended to his Father.(source)“ So indeed I have been woefully depriving myself by not receiving the Eucharist to be unified body and soul with the body of my Lord. and not only that, I’ve also been in a state of mortal sin by not attending mass; which leaves me very sad indeed.
“Many Catholics leave their bland parish for another denomination that serves up the Gospel hot and spicy. People who give up the Catholic faith often say they were looking for a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. How much more personal can you get than to have Jesus literally and physically living within your body? Ex-Catholics who claim that they are now being “fed” with the written Word at their new church, don’t realize that they have abandoned the banquet of the Living Word, the body and blood of our Saviour Jesus Christ. (source)
I used to wonder that if half the world did not believe in God for reasons out of their control as in been brought up way out wherever where Jesus is mostly unknown, and that if we can only get to heaven through His son then what would happen to them? It seemed … anathema…!!! Would so many perish?!? Then I would think that there must be another way to heaven or that there must be some flaw in the formula or that one’s deeds were a great part of it. Then I came to realise that there can not be two or more right answers… there is the truth and everything else. It may fill me with horror to think of people perishing in hell, as it well should, for without this fear would my faith grow?
It is not for me to try and figure out the mysteries of the Lord or to try and figure out how the rest of the world would get to heaven or to judge if they should… but it is for me to say yes to the truth when I hear it, for me to say no to the sin when it is recognised (as has happened here). I was sinning and I have to turn away from that sin ask for forgiveness and for the grace of the Lord to not sin again… for all my failures are my own and the triumphs are His. It his mercy that pulls me through.