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Sunday, May 24, 2015

Contemplating the Eucharist

 
Jesus said, “Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able . . . Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets’; and He will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you are from; depart from Me, all you evildoers.’ In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth . . . . (Luke 13:24-28)
 
As Catholics, we must never presume we can receive the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus in the Eucharist each Mass, and then routinely disobey Christ and historic Church teaching the rest of the week.

That would be a very dangerous lifestyle choice.
 

 

6 comments:

Barb Schoeneberger said...

Do those who receive Jesus actually believe that He is present under the appearance of bread and wine if they go out and do as they please the rest of the week?

I know we are all sinners. The just man sins constantly as we hear in the psalm. But how can we believe in Jesus's presence in the Blessed Sacrament, how can we claim to have an intimate relationship with Him and then turn our backs on Him deliberately? There is a difference between those who are determined to consciously choose evil and those struggling to overcome sin. I question whether the first really believe.

Victor S E Moubarak said...

Well said.

I agree. The problem is sometimes our Church's teaching is not too clear.

God bless you for all your good works.

Rich Maffeo said...

Barb, thanks for the comment. You ask a reasonable question. While I agree with you that those who have an intimate relationship with God cannot do things that many self-professed Christians do, it is exquisitely possible for us to deceive ourselves.

Jeremiah briefly addressed that problem in Jeremiah 17:9 -- “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick;
Who can understand it?"

Nadab and Abihu are examples, also. In fact, I wrote about them and this question of eating and drinking in God's presence -- and then receiving His judgment:http://thecontemplativecatholicconvert.blogspot.com/2009/06/presumption.html

I think those in Matthew 7:21-23 and Luke 13:26ff were honestly shocked at the Lord's response. Thus, self-deception to its completion.

That is why I so often urge Christians to frequently examine their own conscience and be QUICK to repent/turn and obey. The longer we stay in venial sin, the easier it is for us to brush aside mortal sins.

Rich Maffeo said...

Victor, where the Church fails in clarity, the laity has the responsibility to be Watchmen on the wall (Ezekiel 33). I know you know that, but I needed to say it publically.

Barb Schoeneberger said...

Yes, self-deception is a really big problem. However, our blind spots are gradually removed by the Holy Spirit. Deliberately sinning is completely different from not realizing something is a sin and doing it. When a person seeks conversion daily, he won't choose to sin deliberately, and will be appalled by his accidental sins. This comes about through belief in Christ and having a true relationship with him.

In Psalm 19, vs. 12-13 we have a translation in the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine bible that I have loved: "Cleanse me from my unknown faults and from wanton sin restrain Thy servant." Seems a perfect prayer for conversion of heart.

Rich Maffeo said...

Barb, heart conversion is, as you say, a daily thing. That's why the Church gave us the practice of examination of conscience. It is so important to keep short accounts with God -- even (especially?) of the venial sins, because venial sins WILL lead to mortal sins when we simply shrug off those venials as unimportant. Their stain will grow unrestrained.