Judge Ye Not - Who is in a State of Grace?


#1

My colleagues and I were talking about ‘states of grace’ and who is able to receive Holy Communion and who should not be teaching or leading in the Mass or even representing the Catholic Church. This is sensitive topic and so I later spoke to my parish priest about it.

In a week day Mass, we had a lady who was visiting with a friend receive Holy Communion. Upon receiving the Communion, my priest instinctively knew that she was not Catholic. He could not do anything about it then, but after Mass he spoke to her and told her that he will willing to give her communion after she received RCIA training. He spoke to her privately. Now, as someone bringing a non-Catholic to Mass, I feel it is imperative that we tell them what they can and cannot do. I was pleased to see the lady is still coming to Mass and she receives a blessing - instead of Communion.

Are we brave enough to nicely inform our non-Catholic guests about receiving Communion?

Now, for those of us who are living in compromised situations… with a boyfriend or girlfriend, as a homosexual, or even divorced and remarried without an annulment. or who are involved in some impropriety of any sort - we know that they should not go to Communion. Those of us who know better, and the priest does not - what do we do? Who are we to judge?

Well, in a similar situation - my friends and I who were talking decided to confront a colleague about her situation. We told her that she had to deal with it - on several grounds. She seemed to take no offense. We did not gang up on her, but because persons like her have been gravely hurt in situations like hers. We planted the seed for her think about regularizing her life and getting back in full-communion with the church. Nothing is impossible with God. At times, people need to be encouraged to do what they know is right.

How do you all deal with such situations in your schools and parishes? I will speak to my priest about this today. We do not want to chase people away from church, but when the occasion arises, we must speak up.


#2

23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you,
that the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:
24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said,
Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.

25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped,
saying, this cup is the new testament in my blood:
this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.

27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread,
and drink this cup of the Lord,
unworthily,
shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

28 But let a man examine himself,
and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily,
eateth and drinketh - damnation - to himself,
not discerning - the Lord’s body.

30 For this cause many are - weak and sickly - among you, and many - sleep.

31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.

32 But when we are judged,
we are chastened of the Lord,
that we should not be condemned with the world.


#3

There must be a way for the priest to decide to administer sacraments, for example:

CIC (Latin Canon Law)

Can. 915 Those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to holy communion.

Can. 1007 The anointing of the sick is not to be conferred upon those who persevere obstinately in manifest grave sin.


#4

“Brave”? I’ve never had any problem telling any non-Catholic I was bringing to Mass (primarily family members) that they weren’t allowed to go to Communion. In just those words. And frankly, most if not all of them already knew that and were planning to sit in the pew, so it was just a reminder on my part.

As for people in “compromised situations”, I don’t know anybody in those “situations” who bothers to go to Mass, much less Communion.


#5

Reminding your guests and having a word with your friends? I’m not sure why that requires bravery.

As for random people you don’t know? You are not required to be the Eucharist police. If they are Catholic they ought to know the consequences of partaking unworthily. If they do so anyway, it’s the priest’s responsibility to get his flock in order so to speak.


#6

It has been said that we should never discuss politics, sex, or religion with family and friends.
Religion and personal relationship with God can be a touchy, sensitive subject for people to talk about.
Yes, we need to support and to help our brothers and sisters, but I would say to tread lightly.
In our zeal to be helpful, we may be hurtful to those who are struggling with their faith.
We want to be supportive, but do not want to come in too strong, lest we seek like we are being judgemental or preachy.
The best we can do for our brothers and sisters is to pray for them.


#7

Agreed, I don’t think I’ve met anyone afraid to tell me I’m not welcome to communion.

I would just say, when you’re going to tell a non-Catholic that…It’s nice to be able to explain why.


#8

I’ve never had to explain it because my extended non-Catholic family all grew up around enough Catholics in their neighborhood and their extended family that they were well aware already. I agree that if it seems like somebody wouldn’t know or would be sensitive about it, then they perhaps need a gentle explanation.


#9

Is this a Catholic Teaching? I think not.


#10

I didn’t grow up around or w/ Catholics necessarily. I knew, but was only told “because you’re not Catholic”. I went to my first Catholic church when I was 21, but didn’t really find out they why I’m not welcome to communion until years later.

My in-laws didn’t/couldn’t tell me, my SIL actually wonders why I don’t just go up with them anyway.


#11

Thank you for respecting the faith enough not to.


#12

It is imperative that of us who are responsible Catholics - those who know that we have Truth in our Church - and are members of the True Church - do our best to learn as much as we can so that we can help ourselves benefit from the graces in our Church and to help others enjoy the graces our Church affords. Being in a state of grace is very important and when in a state of grace, we are better able to know what to say, how to say it, or even be silent - because God will create an opportunity to explain the situation if it needs to be explained. What we have in the Church is sacred, special and beyond human understanding. Only through prayer will we awaken within ourselves the ‘power’ to help ourselves and thus influence others to desire what we desire. May God help us all. I know this true… if we talk with others - especially after Mass - we will find ways to answer questions - even questions from cradle Catholics. In many cases, if the priest or deacon is nearby, they help us in answering questions. This is how the faith grows and how our spirituality strengthens.


#14

If you are bringing a friend to Mass, you’ve obviously already discussed religion. It’s appropriate to have the communion discussion since you are specifically bringing them with. As with bringing people anywhere they might not have been, it’s expected you’ll tell them of the rules of where you are going. If I were to take you to someone’s house, and knew they were adamant about not wearing shoes in the house, I’d mention it beforehand.

Now if it’s a stranger, I’d either keep my mouth shut or inform the priest of my concerns.


#15

This saying had to do with trying to refrain from arguments with family and friends.


#16

In my opinion, those are the best arguments!


#17

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