Friend wants to come back to Church (Questions about Sacraments)


#1

I have a friend who was "somewhat" Catholic. He went to confession as needed and would never go to Holy Communion in mortal sin. After awhile of "being Catholic" he stopped attending Mass and starting going to a Bible based church. According to him this Church was all Scripture and praying, it had no "communion". Now, he wants to come back to the Catholic Church. He also wants to go to confession and go to Holy Communion. I know attending Mass is ok but can he go to confession and receive Holy Communion? I told him to just explain his situation to the priest in the confessional before actually confessing. I don't know if he experienced anything spiritual in the Protestant Church. I have this feeling that him participating in a Protestant services has blocked him from receiving Catholic Sacraments. Thoughts?


#2

Well, first of all the Catholic Church IS a bible-based church.

All your friend has to do is confess his sins (explaining his situation to the priest in the confessional should cover a lot of it: not attending Mass on Sundays, not receiving the Eucharist at least once a year, not going to Confession at least once a year, *active *participation in a non-Catholic church, etc.) and he can once again receive the Eucharist.


#3

All he needs to do to return to the Church is to make a good confession.


#4

[quote="ProdigalSon1211, post:1, topic:349131"]
I don't know if he experienced anything spiritual in the Protestant Church. I have this feeling that him participating in a Protestant services has blocked him from receiving Catholic Sacraments. Thoughts?

[/quote]

We will be judged on what we know. Obviously those who don't know that you can receive God's grace thru His sacraments do not have this knowledge for what ever reason. Try to remember that your Protestant brethren love Jesus too. So long as a person is seeking God in their life and love God and neighbor - that is what is important.

If we receive the sacraments and we can't love and all we can do is judge those who don't receive the sacraments than we are not loving the way God commands us too.


#5

Welcome him enthusiastically. Recommend a confessor who really has a gift for that sacrament. You might also recommend a good parish if the nearest one is not so. Above all, encourage and pray for him!!!


#6

He will not be barred from the sacraments, but intellectually he might stumble with struggling with teachings in the Catholic faith as it's not always as clear how they are confirmed by scripture. I really like this scripture quote for helping people move beyond using 'just the bible' to know about the mysteries of God,

"“I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come."

There are certain mysteries, called Private Revelations, which are not found in the Protestant Churches. Bible base Churches would answer this saying that the Holy Spirit will reveal to us small things like; prophecies, speaking in tongues, and the other spiritual gifts. However, it this isn't an adequate answer, because there were more miracles going on during the early church than today, and there must be something else that was difficult for those early Christians to bear. As for the case with Private Revelations, Catholics are not required to believe them as oftentimes, we 'cannot bear them now.' Things like the Rosary, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Immaculate Heart of Mary, are some examples of these Private Revelations the Holy Spirit has revealed to the Church. If he was strongly practicing in the Protestant Church for a long period of time, he may struggle with things like Mary, purgatory, etc. as it is not so clear where these teachings regarding these things are in the bible.

I really also like this imagery for explaining some of these deeper mysteries in the Catholic faith. This is how God revealed the secrets of Mary to the Venerable Mary of Agreda, who's body remains incorrupt to this day.

"Presently I saw a most precious veil covering a
treasure and my heart burned with desire to see it raised
and to look upon the sacred mystery which I understood
was hidden beneath. My desire was answered in the fol
lowing manner:" ";Obey, O soul, in what was enjoined
and commanded thee ; despoil thyself of thyself, and then
this mystery will be revealed to thee.";

Words of Jesus to Venerable Mary of Agreda


#7

The Catholic Church is based upon Tradition and Scripture, if it was Bible only we would be Protestants.

[quote="Mary_Ellen, post:2, topic:349131"]
Well, first of all the Catholic Church IS a bible-based church.

All your friend has to do is confess his sins (explaining his situation to the priest in the confessional should cover a lot of it: not attending Mass on Sundays, not receiving the Eucharist at least once a year, not going to Confession at least once a year, *active *participation in a non-Catholic church, etc.) and he can once again receive the Eucharist.

[/quote]


#8

[quote="ProdigalSon1211, post:7, topic:349131"]
The Catholic Church is based upon Tradition and Scripture, if it was Bible only we would be Protestants.

[/quote]

The poster you are responding to did not say it was based only upon the Bible.


#9

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