Do we really want unity among the faithful?


#1

During the time when I could not take Communion as a decision had not yet been made regarding the validity of my previous marriage, I sat and sadly watched the rest go forward to recieve the Eucharist.

While I knelt there, I had an amazing “day dream” whereby Christ in the Flesh walked into the Church. Everyone filing up to Communion stopped dead in their tracks, turned around towards Him and began pressing back to reach Him. I, however, remained sadly rejected in place.

At that moment, someone in the crowd grabbed my arm and said, “C’mon! It’s the Lord”! I explained that I couldn’t go to Him because I was in sin. At that, many of the people who were pushing their way back to Him, had overheard me and began explaining that it’s for the worst sinners that He came, and that He didn’t want anyone kept from touching His garment. No one held me back from receiving Jesus. I was urged to go right up to Him and touch his garment, to be nourished, to be cleansed.

With that I was bounced back to reality and have since been left wondering why the HECK does the Church hold the worst sinners at arm’s distance? I know, I know, we need to be reconciled in the confessional; however, that wasn’t an option to me at that time. I was in the same boat as non-Catholics who are politely kept from the Lord’s table during the Eucharist.

If we truly want unity among the faithful, why don’t we admit EVERYONE to the sacraments, and let the Lord decide who is acceptable and who is not??? I can’t imagine making a guest feel welcomed and loved in my home if I make them sit in the living room while I serve dinner to my family. Can someone elaborate??

Basically, I’m asking this: IS THE EUCHARIST TRULY THE BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST THE REDEEMER, WHO WANTS ALL SINNERS TO COME TO HIM, OR IS THE EUCHARIST A “SYMBOL” OF OUR MEMBERSHIP IN THIS EXCLUSIVE CLUB CALLED THE CATHOLIC CHURCH? It can’t be both, a “secret handshake” and the Saving Body of my Lord. I seek to be more Christian than Catholic as it seems the two are in conflict with each other.

Thank you!
Terry


#2

Hi Terry,

The Church doesn’t hold the worst sinners at arms distance, the sinners themselves do. The Church isn’t forcing them to sin. They are doing that quite on their own.

The Church does not withhold the Lord’s compassion any more than He did. But He was only compassionate with those who were repentant and then He warned them not to engage in such activity again.

Actually when you were waiting for an annulment, you could have received Holy Communion if you were not having marital relations with someone with whom you were not validly married. Perhaps you didn’t know that to do so is a mortal sin. One cannot profess one’s unconditional love for the Lord while at the same time engaging in sinful activity. THIS is where it can’t be both!

The Church wasn’t politely holding your arm. You could have gone to Confession and determined to live celibately until you were validly married—and then received Holy Communion. Many do. Unfortunately, often priests fail to tell people this.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.


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