A dear friend of mine is interested in attending a special ritual I will be a part of this summer at my Catholic Parish.
I would love for her to be there, as we have been friends for years. Problem: She has expressed anger and confusion in the past as to why she is considered "not good enough" to receive Holy Communion while visiting a Catholic parish. She feels she should just go up and receive and it won't matter at all.
I explained that we must be Catholic, in a state of grace, etc, to receive Holy Eucharist in a Catholic Church, that she is not excluded because we think ourselves superior, but that The Church cannot allow it for a variety of reasons. ( I went into some detail for her in a gentle manner, but I was firm. ) I think she is seriously considering attending RCIA and is drawn to the Church.
Can you suggest ways to help her understand and lessen her anger and confusion? Also, another friend is interested in coming, but she is quite anti-Catholic and an evangelical. I also love this friend and yet wonder if she should attend at all. She is outspoken about how she feels about some of our most basic tenets. We have to avoid the subject of religion when we meet because of this.
I am actually concerned that they might suddenly come up to receive. I'm thinking I should instead invite them to a small get- together afterwards, at my house, rather than risk a potential problem. My priest is most willing to offer them a blessing if they would come forward with their hands in the proper position. The one friend which I mentioned earlier would think that this is a slight. The other friend? I'm not certain. Yet both are fine ladies, pillars of their communities who simply have very strong ideas and opinions on matters of faith. Because they are outside of the Church, they may just not understand the reasoning behind these things. I hope I can continue to do my best to share with them, in Christ's love and compassion.