If a person had received graces in Communion in the past, but now when he/she received they feel nothing. Would this mean they would be in a state of mortal sin. Why else would they not receive any graces? Even if they did everything to prepare correctly but still didn’t receive any graces? Or is it possible for the graces to not be immediately apparent and clear?
Our faith is not found in feelings.
We receive grace if properly disposed.
One can feel great emotion, because of our love for Christ.
But do not confuse that with grace. Grace is a gift, not a feeling.
Sometimes we do not “feel” because we become accustomed or indifferent or whatever. And sometimes God challenges us by allowing us to go through a period of “dryness”. But mainly, grace is not a feeling, as was pointed out above. You don’t have to “feel” it to have received it.
Even some of the greatest saints experienced times of great dryness.
The sign that one has received the grace is the physical manifestation of the sacrament: “A sacrament is an outward sign instituted by Christ to give grace.” (Baltimore Catechism)
Like who and what were their stories?
So does that mean that if we don’t feel anything, we didn’t recieve it worthily?
What do you mean by receiving, “graces”? Feel goose bumps or start crying? You receive Jesus & He strengthens you to resist temptations.
You should know if you were in mortal sin & committed a sacrilege by receiving!
Not necessarily. As others said, emotions are NOT the same thing as grace. When you don’t feel anything… it usually just means you didn’t feel anything. :shrug:
If you do a good examination of conscience regularly, try to avoid sin, and go to Confession as soon as you can after committing a mortal sin, then you should have a good idea of whether you are in a state of mortal sin or not (unless you have difficulty with scruples, in which case, follow the advice of your priest and/or spiritual director).
As for saints who experienced spiritual dryness, read Dark Night of the Soul (St. John of the Cross). Also, St. Jane Frances de Chantal, St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Faustina, Padre Pio, and Mother Theresa, to name a few. They continued to love and serve God, despite not “feeling” like it.
There is a Latin expression “ex opere operato.” This is translated with the words “by the work worked (or performed.”)
Basically this means that when you receive a sacrament (and are properly disposed - in a state of grace) the sacrament will confer grace when the sign is validly effected (see Post #5) - and that grace comes about by the power of God, not because the recipient did or “felt” something. We must have a right intention and be receptive to the grace, but we ourselves are not the cause of the grace.
Or is it possible for the graces to not be immediately apparent and clear?
Each of the sacraments have special effects and Holy Communion helps us to resist temptations when they come, cleanses us of venial sin and can increase our love for God. Again, this is not something “felt” as in an emotion, but rather is an intent of our will to increase in virtue and be pleasing to God.
Hope that helps.
Grace is not a matter of feelings.
Can it happen that we are also given particular “feelings” in our being with our Lord Jesus Christ in receiving Holy Communion? Yes it can.
But the absence of any feelings is* not* the measure of if one received Jesus and grace in Holy Communion nor is it an indication per se of mortal sin…and it such is* not* an indication that one received unworthily as you asked as well.
(To commit a mortal sin is when there is grave matter, full knowledge and deliberate consent)
No, it’s exactly the opposite. Barring being in a state if mortal sin (which blocks grace), tye sacrament occurs because the physical signs were carried out. When a person goes to Confession and confesses well (not deliberately leaving out a mortal sin), grace is conferred through the physical signs which occur. God did this on purpose because of the material aspect of our nature.
So, a person who confesses well and receives absolution has received the grace of confession *no matter how he feels about it. *The feelings one has are *totally independent *of the receiving of grace.
And this is the case because our feelings are ephemeral and not so much under our control. God set it up this way *so we could be assured that we had received the grace. *
I *know *I received the grace of Confession yesterday because I went into the Confessional and did what I was supposed to do and then the priest absolved my sins.
So, imagine a student who received a college acceptance shortly before going to Confession–he would feel good, right? And Confession might make him feel better.
But imagine someone who is coming down with the flu. That person might feel lousy and the Confession might not make a dent in that feeling.
The feelings are somewhat out of the control of the persons involved. However, they both definitely received the grace of the sacrament because the physical signs occurred.
Hope this helps It can be a hard concept for us to understand.
Ok, thanks eveyone for posting. In the past, I had recieved overwhelming feelings of joy but it stopped a while ago. I was wondering if that would mean I was in a state of mortal sin, which I didn’t think I was.
I was always told after leaving mass, you are supposed to feel ‘filled up’ from the Holy spirit, sort of like a recharge, but Ive never felt anything like this either, not one time, Ive found this kind of strange myself, When I used to go to Pentecostal services I noticed certain people would definitely leave filled up in the holy spirit, their demeanor would change drastically from when they entered and when they left at the end of the service, it was a very noticeable difference, seemed to happen to quite alot of people too, but even here, I always felt the same, maybe some of us are just different in this regard…??
After receiving communion, it seems like everyone should feel somewhat different, or at least filled up so to speak, after all, we are receiving the literal body and blood of christ…this is a pretty big deal, not sure what it means to feel the same before and after.
Part of what your noting there regarding some Pentecostals is due to the activity that is taking place there - the “kind of singing” and other emotional engagements. One can come out of a pep rally “charged up” that way -or a concert etc. Such is about the kinds of things that “move the emotions” - kinds of music etc. Same can be said of those in the Catholic Charismatic Movement.
In the Catholic Charismatic Movement - one can both experience particular charisms of the Holy Spirit - be the they quiet or otherwise. Yes. But one also has the normal human effect of the kinds of music and the engagement of the emotions by the kinds of praise that is being lived there. One can also experience “dry” times too even though surrounded by such.
Tis part of human life - there are those things that are more apt to engage our emotions or move us and there are also times when one is not moved by what moved one in the past or one expects - looks to hard to be moved and thus emotions are dampened actually.
And as well on a deeper level it is part of the spiritual life. Authentic consolations (something different than the emotions though they can overflow into such) in time will be withdrawn so one seeks more the giver than the gift - so love is purified.
As to Holy Communion - again emotions are not the measure.
Nor even on the spiritual level are ‘consolations’ or the like. Though they are certainly experienced by ordinary Christians as well as Canonized Saints who have had even other experiences out of the ordinary that we are not to seek though if given we thank God.
When one receives Holy Communion (yes not in a state of mortal sin) - yes we receive Jesus the Logos - the Son of God - and yes the Holy Spirit is at work.
read the Catechism scborromeo.org/ccc/p2s2c1a3.htm#VI
We may experience something we can not describe to others or we not feel something - but it is not feelings or even experiences that are the focus - but Jesus Christ -
we as St. Paul noted - walk not by sight but by Faith.
It does not mean one is in a state of mortal sin (see the CCC on mortal sin).
Such can be a period of purification - a time of increase in love and faith…
There is NOTHING WRONG with feelings of consolation and joy. There is also nothing wrong if you don’t feel such feelings, or even if you feel sadness or emptiness. There is a sort of “cycle” in the spiritual life, and all kinds of feelings and experiences are part of it.
(Also, some saints and holy people never have strong spiritual emotional experiences; they tend to have spiritual thoughts and realizations instead; or they get all kinds of stuff that is harder to define, like learning through people or movement or sensations, which they might never even consciously notice. A lot depends on the way God made you, and what He knows is the best thing for you personally.)
Feelings of consolation are often compared to babies receiving milk, or the first sweet baby foods that help them learn to eat; or a child getting a delicious dessert of honey. Sweetness helps and encourages people, and teaches us that God is sweet and wonderful, and that learning His ways is good.
However, as you grow in the spiritual life, eventually God puts almost everybody into “training,” a lot like an athlete. Instead of just a daddy playing with you and giving you sweet foods, suddenly you’ve got a coach making you move move move when you don’t feel like it! Making your spiritual “muscles” of faith, will, and love get exercised – oh, it’s going to hurt or be boring at first, and it won’t be much fun.
The thing to do is to keep doing what you’ve been doing, and not to panic. Having a daily prayer routine at these times may even feel useless and draggy, but it will actually help you stay on track. Make sure you are sleeping and eating in a healthy way, just like an athlete.
After a short or long while, when God decides you have “exercised” enough, you will probably receive feelings of consolation again. They may be similar to before, or different, depending on what God thinks will help you train. Everybody has a customized experience.
Some people who have “exercised” really hard, like Mother Teresa, end up on a more rigorous exercise plan that includes feelings of being totally abandoned. As St. John of the Cross notes, that’s when God is actually closest; but He doesn’t let you sense Him standing right behind you, so to speak. This is called a “dark night of the soul,” because your soul can’t “see” what’s going on, even though God is actually doing lots of stuff to help.
Sometimes people confuse depression or bad stuff that happens in life with dark nights of the soul, but they aren’t the same. (Although sometimes the unsensed closeness with God is similar, as in the poem/essay “Footprints.”)
Hope this helps!
In regards to “emotions” remember to that we do not have a despotic control over such. And due to original sin they do not follow as they ought in so many times in our life.
Also note that when one “looks for them” they will often not find them…that to ought to be noted. In addition to my posts above.
Love your earlier post and agree. Emotions can lead us astray, especially if there is an unresolved or unrepentant level of sinfulness we may not be fully aware of. But the main truth you have already spoken of. We do not seek or love God in hopes it will engender euphoric feelings - we must seek God authentically and for His sake only.