Fallen-away Catholics/Eucharist


#1

I would like some help with something. My sister will be coming to visit for 3 weeks and I think she’ll be coming to daily Mass with me at times. The thing is that she’s not a practicing Catholic any longer :(, has been away from the Church for many years, but is a faith-filled woman who attends her Christian church regularly. Several months ago we were at a niece’s wedding Mass and I saw that she (and other fallen away family members) received Communion.

I know this is wrong and I would be grateful for suggestions for a gentle, non-judgmental way to explain to her that it’s not appropriate for her to receive Eucharist without making it sound as though she’s wrong, bad, not worthy - that Jesus doesn’t want to come to her … you know what I mean. I love her dearly and don’t want to hurt her, but I’m not comfortable just allowing that to happen.

Thanks in advance.


#2

[quote=trimont]I would like some help with something. My sister will be coming to visit for 3 weeks and I think she’ll be coming to daily Mass with me at times. The thing is that she’s not a practicing Catholic any longer :(, has been away from the Church for many years, but is a faith-filled woman who attends her Christian church regularly. Several months ago we were at a niece’s wedding Mass and I saw that she (and other fallen away family members) received Communion.

I know this is wrong and I would be grateful for suggestions for a gentle, non-judgmental way to explain to her that it’s not appropriate for her to receive Eucharist without making it sound as though she’s wrong, bad, not worthy - that Jesus doesn’t want to come to her … you know what I mean. I love her dearly and don’t want to hurt her, but I’m not comfortable just allowing that to happen.

Thanks in advance.
[/quote]

since it is your sister i would think you could speak pretty freely…
you might just ask her straight out, if she is uncomfortable with taking communion when the both of you know she probably should not be… wait for her reaction… if she says thankyou but not your place to notice her splinter, then you have at least let her know that her actions have been noticed, and that it does matter.

she may surprise you and wish to talk further about it… if your that lucky steer her towards the nearest priest… good luck :thumbsup:


#3

“And this food is called among us ukaristia [the Eucharist], of which no one is allowed to partake but the man who believes that the things which we teach are true, and who has been washed with the washing that is for the remission of sins, and unto regeneration, and who is so living as Christ has enjoined. For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Saviour, having been made flesh by the Word of God, had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh.”

This is a quote from St. Justin Martyr around the year 150 A.D. Basically tell her kindly that this is what the Church as always taught because in reality it protects non-catholics from receiving in an unworthy manner (As St. Paul warns in 1 Cor. 11).


#4

unless you have absolute positive knowledge to the contrary, assume that the persons you saw receiving communion had confessed and been absolved prior to Mass. that is what we are called on to do in Christian charity. You are not responsible for the state of soul of your adult children or siblings (or parents). You are resonsible for living the Catholic faith in every aspect of your life and witnessing to your family in that way.

Patrick Madrid’s Search and Rescue is the best treatment of this situation I have ever seen. Watch the show and read the book, he is great.


#5

Be aware that she might say she does believe in the Real Presence. I know many who justify receiving communion by saying that. Forget that they don’t believe in the Sacrament of Reconcilliation, take birth control, etc. Usually, the problem is with the Catholic church’s right to authority over them.

God Bless,
Maria


#6

You and she already expect that you will go to Daily Mass Together.

Why not invite her to attend Reconciliation with you ?

Explain the the Pope even recomends frequent confession for venial sins.

Get yourself a Guide for the Examination of Conscience.

I have one in the back of my Missal.

or find one at a Catholic Book Store or on the internet.

shop.catholic.com/cgi-local/SoftCart.exe/online-store/scstore/p-B0277.html?L+scstore+brsq7676ff4e9a4e+1117361893

Share this book with her.

Let the guide help her in an examination of her own conscience and see where that leads her.

Lead her to Reconcilation and the rest will take care of itself.

Be as casual and as matter of fact about it as possible.
Make it seem to be part of a normal Christian Life - as it should be.

If she resists - Ask her why she doesn’t have a problem receiveing the Sacrament of Eucharist from a Catholic Church but not the Sacrament of Reconciliation ?

Wait and see what she says. Be kind and ask her why she would consider one of the Sacraments valid from a Catholic Church but not the other.

Then be calm sit back and let the Holy Spirit do the rest.

Do try to Argue with her … just bring it up and Ask her to come with you every week to Confession.

Peace

todd


#7

Thanks for all the good advice so far and please keep it coming!

Todd, thanks for making the great point of why one sacrament would be valid but not the other.

I’m currently reading “Frequent Confession” because I’ve recently felt drawn to those sacramental graces moreso than ever, so will use that as a conversation catylist…

thanks again to everyone and I’d love to hear more.

pax…


#8

Oh Sorry –

:o
I meant “do not” try to argue with her.
Be prepared though.

Just talk about it on your own personal level.

She may agree that one if one sacrament is not valid then the other is not.

In which case she may choose not to attend Mass with you.
And no longer recieve communion.

Although - this too, will solve the problem you bring up.

Then over time, in the Spirit, she will begin to hunger for Mass and the Eucharist again.

God Bless

todd


#9

You could gently remind her that when a person receives Jesus in the Holy Eucharist, they are making a statement of faith, saying that “I believe Jesus is truly present, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in this Sacrament. I also believe all that the Catholic Church teaches and professes.”

If she agrees to this, then why is she not attending Mass regularly?

Often the missalettes have statements in the front on the cover that state the church’s teaching on Holy Communion. You might check that out and share that with her before you go to Mass as well.

Then, as stated before, pray that her heart and soul will be touched as she attends Mass and that she will hunger for all the Sacraments and return home!


#10

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.