Being denied the Eucharist as form of Penance

I’m looking for some suggestions on a situation I’m really struggling with. Quick background: I was baptized Catholic but raised outside of the Church. For quite some time, I was on a long journey of prayer and study. I had a lot of questions that needed to be answered, and I was blessed to find quality apologetics that, along with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, provided those answers.

Last Fall, I joined my local parish and entered RCIA. After a few weeks, I realized that my level of faith formation was such that I believed there was no reason I shouldn’t be allowed to receive my first Reconciliation and Eucharist. I made an appointment to speak with my Priest about it. He grilled me with common questions and found me to be satisfactorily knowledgable. He told me that once we were able to resolve the issue of my marriage, he would allow me to receive the Sacraments, as long as I would still attend RCIA.

My wife is also a baptized Catholic who was raised outside of the Church, but she is not yet prepared to join the Church. She is very supportive of me, however. In order to make our marriage licit we received a sanation. During this time, we worked with a second priest, who is more involved in our RCIA program. When I went to his office to sign the sanation paperwork, I noticed that it had wording to the effect of “…and I hereby accept the prescribed penance.” I signed and asked him what my penance would be. He told me that my penance was to wait to receive the Eucharist until the rest of the RCIA class did, at the Easter Vigil.

As you might suspect, I was not pleased with this. Frankly, I felt as if I’d been bamboozled. I’ve dealt with this for the last two weeks in silence, accepting my penance. But the more I think about it, the harder it is for me to accept. I was raised in a Christian environment. More importantly, I fully understand and accept all Catholic doctrine, and demostrated as much to the priest. This is not simply an excercise in patience, this is the essence of our Faith being denied to me, even though I am fully prepared and, I believe entitled to receive it. I feel as if they are improperly dangling a carrot over my head for no good reason. Yes, I understand the Easter Vigil is only a couple months away, but what if something happens to me in the meantime? This is a very serious issue.

I don’t want to stir up any trouble, but I’m really finding this “penance” difficult to accept.

Any suggestions?

BUt the desire is there.:slight_smile: I forgot where i heard it, but in times of battle, if you killed someone, as penance, the eucharist was denied for a year.

Don’t look as this so much as, i think i deserve this i want it now situation. See this as a time to pray, to reflect, to fully open yourself to the saving grace that is the eucharist. Go to an adoration chapel spend time there, Tell Christ i’m here hungering for you.

I don’t think that you are being denied out of spite, but there is a responsibility to make sure that you do not Bring judgment upon yourself. Go back to the priest, ask why, if he can’t give a good enough reason ask why again.:smiley:

JUst don’t get angry. Let that desire burn a little more.

I know it’s probably not the answer you were looking for, but i hope it helped.

tobin

Perhaps you have been given a gift from God that He knows you need.

Perspective is everything.

Peace in Christ…Salmon

Scotty :tiphat:

WELCOME HOME! :clapping:

Wow! What a penance! Take courage and know you are receiving double the graces from our Lord. How? God always honor our holy desires and will answer them according to His will. Obedience to this penance, although very hard, will give you the grace for being obedient and the reception of Jesus in the Eucharist. Jesus revealed this scriptural message to the Church and the saints, including St. Faustina in her dairy. Be sure to thank the priest, because the reward you will receive in heaven will be beyond your wildest dreams.
1 Sam 15

  1. Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice

Ironic verse because obedience is the greatest sacrifice. Jesus was obedient, obedient to a death on the cross.

Scotty, God has great plans for you! Why else would He allow such a penance? You are obtaining graces the saints would be “envious” of. Remember, scripture says in all things give thanks.

Thank you, Scotty for your yes.

May God :blessyou: and your family!

It seems to me that doing without the Eucharist as “penance” for this is llike doing without antibiotics when you have strep throat to make up for getting sick. It is not the healthy who need the doctor…

Pat

[quote=Scotty PGH]…I believe entitled to receive it…
[/quote]

Entitled? How can you be entitled to something that you are unworthy of?

[quote=Scotty PGH] I understand the Easter Vigil is only a couple months away, but what if something happens to me in the meantime? This is a very serious issue.

I don’t want to stir up any trouble, but I’m really finding this “penance” difficult to accept.

Any suggestions?
[/quote]

Your pastor is the best judge of your readiness to receive the Sacraments. With the irregularitities in the Marriage corrected you are making progress towards full re-union. You still need to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation, Confirmation, and Holy Communion. I would use the next six weeks for prayer, reflection, and preparation for these three Sacraments.

[quote=Timidity]Entitled? How can you be entitled to something that you are unworthy of?
[/quote]

Poor choice of words, but you should know what I meant. “Entitled” to the extent that any Catholic is “permitted” to receive the Eucharist.

Thanks for the input, all. I will continue to accept this penance and prepare myself spiritually for my first Holy Communion. Yes, it’s true, this is a most appropriate penance in that patience and submission to God’s will are two things I definitely need to reflect on.

As for the wait for the actual Sacrament, I know that Christ is good and that he will give me everything I need to get by until the time I am able to receive him Sacramentally.

[quote=patg]It seems to me that doing without the Eucharist as “penance” for this is llike doing without antibiotics when you have strep throat to make up for getting sick. It is not the healthy who need the doctor…

Pat
[/quote]

Your analogy may be somewhat akin to the truth, patg. When antibiotics cause the pathogen to rupture, the contents of the cell are released into the bloodstream. Normally, the liver can process these toxic substances handily.

In rare cases of particular infections, a large dose of antibiotics can cause a large release of toxic substances that overwhelms the patients liver and death ensues.

It’s a matter of trusting the doctor to know what’s best.

1 Cor 11:27 Therefore, whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord.

28 But let a man prove himself: and so let him eat of that bread and drink of the chalice.

29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord.

30 Therefore are there many infirm and weak among you: and many sleep.

31 But if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.

32 But whilst we are judged, we are chastised by the Lord, that we be not condemned with this world.

“Let a man prove himself.”

Peace in Christ…Salmon

In my church a couple of years ago during Lent there was a group who fasted from the Eucharist. I think that they might have been catechumens who had only Confirmation to receive at Easter, but really I can’t remember for sure. I had never heard of this before, but then at mass on the day that they were again to receive, the Priest invited them up first, and told the congregation of their Lenten sacrifice.

I think that in these cases we appreciate it more when we long for it for a period of time. I have known many converts who find it very difficult that they have to wait to receive the Eucharist. Once they come to the Catholic belief, it is difficult to delay receiving.

When you finally do receive, it will be much more meaningful to you, since you missed it for so long.

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