Abstaining from Communion?


#1

Hi everyone.

I have been going to daily Mass nearly every day for the past 6 months or so. It’s been a great blessing, needless to say.

However, I have also noticed that, at times, the fact that it has become so habitual has led me to receive Communion as part of routine.

Although I am, thanks be to God, free from Mortal Sin, a confessor told me on Saturday that it would be advisable to abstain from Communion a few times per week in order to avoid making reception of the Body and Blood of our Lord just a part of my routine. He claimed that making it a less ordinary event will allow me to fully appreciate the treasure that is Holy Communion.

I have done some research and have realized that, until a few decades ago, daily reception of Communion was granted by peoples’ spiritual directors on certain occasions, but was generally not practised.

I do not have a Spiritual Director. I am praying for one but, until God sends me one, I plan to abstain from Holy Communion a few times per week.

Is this common practise among yourselves? Do you take daily Communion and, if so, are you doing it with express permission from your spiritual director?

In your opinion, would abstaining from Communion be advisable, even if I am in a State of Grace?

Pax Christi


#2

Receive Communion as much as you can.

Would you want to abstain from Jesus blessing you?

Better to fast and pray than abstain from Communion.

Only abstain from Communion if you are in mortal sin.


#3

In other words, listen to an anonymous poster on a website rather than to your confessor?


#4

I would suggest talking to another priest about it and then trying to focus more on what Mass is all about. Keeping our focus on the Alter really helps. I go to daily Mass and I would not refuse Holy Communion even on the days my mind wanders, as the Grace we receive is still there for us. I silently say the Act of Contrition and then ask Our Lady to accompany me as I walk up to Receive Our Lord. God Bless. Memaw


#5

I have not seen it as a common practice to abstain from the Eucharist. Prayer can keep us from become habitual receivers without giving much thought to what is happening.

Our Lord Jesus Christ gives Himself as our sacred food to increase His life in us. Our prayer life enables us to grow spiritually from the sacraments, whether we “feel” anything or not. It is our commitment that counts.

That being said, I won’t interfere with what a spiritual director tells someone, as there may be a reason I do not understand why he thinks a certain way.


#6

“Give us this day our daily bread…”

'Nuf said :slight_smile:


#7

I think there is nothing wrong at all with abstaining. Although it is true that the sacraments don’t require that we feel anything, it is also true that receiving communion is an intimate and personal encounter. If you feel you are loosing sight of this very important dimension of the sacrament, and that abstaining is the best way of recovering it, then I would say go ahead.

There is an excellent book on the appreciation of the sacrament called “7 Secrets of the Eucharist”. Have a look at it on amazon and see what you think.


#8

Many, many, many MANY saints encouraged daily Communion. I have no idea why your confessor suggested that, but that just seems off to me.


#9

It may not be common, but that doesn’t mean it’s wrong. I see the priest’s point. Why not try it and see what happens? If it does increase your appreciation for the Eucharist, that’s a good thing.


#10

While the suggestion seems odd to me personally, it would appear that it was made in response to something you shared with him. If that is the case, then I would follow his advice for a short while to see if there can be any spiritual gain in your personal situation.


#11

This^^

I think your confessor is wanting to try the absence makes the heart grow fonder thing. While Communion everyday is fantastic, sometimes you need to take a step back and just think about the Sacrament itself without actually receiving. Just my opinion though. :shrug:


#12

Definitely ponder what your confessor has said; I can see his point.

Although, it comes down to you, as this is the most deeply spiritual and intimate experience we can have with God.

The fact you are asking this question tells us that you want to preserve the reverence for this act, and in ensuring you are always free of mortal sin, confirms that further.

Consider reading about St Therese of Lisieux. Sorry, it has been some time since I read her autobiography so I can’t quote, but she stands out in my mind for her longing and desire to receive the Eucharist as often as she possibly could. Her words describing it and her longing for Christ was beautiful, and beautiful to read, too.


#13

I would not presume to advise you what YOU should do, because one more learned than I has heard from you what I have not and counseled you accordingly.

That being said, I am afflicted with a wandering mind during Mass and I don’t always have the “warm fuzzies” when going up to receive Communion, but I would NEVER pass up a chance to receive the Eucharist (as long as I am free from mortal sin). The church is my refuge from the cares of the world and I attend daily Mass every chance I get. The idea of going to Mass and not receiving the Body and Blood of Christ when I am free to do so is unfathomable to me.

Pax tecum,

Boswell


#14

People choose to abstain from communion for various reasons-I’m listing just a few. Some may need to go to confession first, others may have entered the Church but need to work through annullment/convalidation processes. Others may be finding their way into the Church and not yet be baptized or confirmed.
Anyone may assist at Mass and make a spiritual communion, telling Our lord that they believe in his presence and asking Our Lord to unite himself with them.
You might ask your confessor about spiritual communion and alternating between this and going up to receive…
May God bless you.
jt


#15

I don’t have a spiritual director, but priests I have talked to have encouraged receiving communion daily. It’s an interesting question though, I’ve wondered about this myself, but for now I receive whenever I can, and I pray that God will remind me to not take the Eucharist for granted when I can receive, and to increase my appreciation for it when I cannot, and bring me closer to Him either way. :slight_smile:


#16

I agree. I think everyone goes thru those kinds of dry feelings at times. But to pass up receiving Our Lord because of it, I wouldn’t do, as long as I am in the ‘State of Grace.’ I think God allows these dry spells to see if we will stay with HIM in spite of them. We don’t have a constant supply of consolations. Lord I am with you even when I don’t feel like it. Think of the missed Sacramental Grace if we skip Communion. It may even lead to indifference for some. God Bless. Memaw


#17

I notice you left out the Mass part. Did he tell you not to attend daily Mass altogether? If not, then I think he wants you to realize that the Mass is about the Holy Sacrifice Christ made Himself for us, and you benefit whether you receive sacramentally or not. But he’s your confessor and none of us know better what his reasons were.


#18

I was listening to the Mass on Catholic Radio (EWTN) and thought you might appreciate their spiritual communion prayer for those days that you follow your spiritual director and abstain. Hre it is from their website:

An Act of Spiritual Communion
My Jesus,
I believe that You
are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things,
and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment
receive You sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You.

Amen.

May God bless you.
jt


#19

Sorry for not being very clear. Of course, the priest did not discourage me from attending Mass. That would be almost sacrilegeous!!!

Thank you all for your advice. It seems to me that the best way forward would be to continue taking the Eucharist as normal. I need to specify that the priest that suggested doing this is not my confessor or spiritual director. He is the priest who I encountered at Confession last week. His was merely a suggestion, not an of ‘order’ or ‘encouragement’ of any sort. He just said that some spiritual directors suggest the souls entrusted to them to abstain from Communion once in a while in order to make them appreciate the reality of the Eucharist more if they have grown spiritually numb.


#20

It’s starting to make sense. Maybe he just sees people receiving out of seeming obligation, which it isn’t. I see people all the time act very nonchalant when going to communion, especially at English Masses, but who am I to judge? :slight_smile: I’m willing to bet he may be telling others the same thing as he’s telling you. It’s not a bad thing per se. It’s just that some groups consider communion without confession a decadent practice.


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