I go to noon mass as a non professed Catholic. I love the Catholic Church so much that I stopped going to my normal church because I believe so much in the Church’s teachings. When the Priest does the Eucharist, I can feel the presence of God in the room. Then sadly, I am not accepted at the Lord’s table because the Catholic Church does not deem me worthy. RCIA does not start until September and I won’t be professed until this time next year God willing. I have been attending since January and I am so sad that I am not acceptable to partake of our Lord’s body and blood lately, I have found myself leaving Mass in tears. I am considering going back to my old church or looking for another church because taking communion is when I feel the closest to our Lord Jesus Christ. Lately I feel that even though the Catholic Church is the true original church founded by our Lord. Did he intend for some to feel this longing and sadness when not being found acceptable in the sight of men. The Lord said do this in remembrance of me. He never mentioned RCIA or proving yourself to the Priest. I want to go to a different church because of this however I feel the Eucharist is the true presence of our Lord Jesus Christ. I am very confused, sad and I don’t know what to do.
Don’t be sad. I’m no expert but I’m sure some of the senior members of this forum will gladly explain your concerns in more detail than I can.
Just keep in mind that many of the teachings of the Church, particularly the Sacrament of the Eucharist as well as the Sacrament of Reconciliation, are included in the Mass. The Sacraments of Baptism and Holy Orders are also critical to an understanding of the Mass. After completing RCIA, believe me, it was worth the wait.
If you were a good Catholic and engaged to be married you would have to wait until your wedding night to have marital relations with your spouse.
Can you not see your waiting to partake of the Eucharist as your waiting till your wedding day? You will have a wonderful time in RCIA learning all the richness of the Catholic Faith and then how special will be that First Communion you will make on Easter?
Do we not value those things hard won and devalue those things that come easy? Trust me, it will be well worth the wait.
There is a time for everything. There is a law or steps we must take in order to receive the body of Christ. If we were not bound by those rules, everybody, from every religion and even with mortal sins will receive the sacred Eucharistic. The weight has a meaning and instead of feeling rejected, do not feel like that. It is not rejection, it is a spiritual preparation to that action, which is sacred to every catholic person. I hope that instead of being sad, keep joyous and excited about the long road that finally is leading you to what you have been looking for. The waiting is worthy, once we receive it, there is peace and joy in our hearts. If you are inclined to go to other churches still, because you feel that way, it might mean that you are not ready to receive the body of Christ. Time and perseverance will help you be sure of such choice of religion. May God be with you.
Don’t be down; you ARE in His Real Presence after-all. The souls in Purgatory are in a state of want as well; they do have the joy of knowing that they will soon be joined…as do you.
I know it’s hard, but try to offer your want up to Jesus as a suffering-offering. It’ll come soon. Good luck and welcome!
What a beautiful response.
I hope this questioner stays around-- will make a great Catholic.
How wonderful that Our Lord has given you the singular grace to sense His presence in the Blessed Sacrament! It isn’t given to everyone, nor is there a guarantee that it will last. But it is special nonetheless and He has singled you out. This happened to my mother before she became a Catholic or even started her instructions in the Faith, and it led her straight to the arms of God. I pray you do not turn your back on His calling to you. Rejoice in it and be patient, and during this time before your instruction and baptism, read all you can of the teachings of the Catholic Church, and pray, pray, pray that you persevere to the end. (Don’t forget your daily Rosary). Discouragement is a temptation and the devil would like nothing better than for you to go back to your old ways. It is good to be in love with Our Lord, and one day He will be yours completely!
The OP wrote another post called Starting to think about Martin Luther. We’re in trouble here, folks.
This is one of those times where it would be useful to see exactly what the earliest Christians practiced. Fortunately, there actually IS such a record, and it’s called the Didache. This short writing is the ONLY Christian writing besides the Bible that dates to the time when the Apostles were still alive. In fact, in the early church, it was often brought up as a contender for inclusion in the Bible itself. Now, although the Didache eventually wasn’t included in the Bible, it was rejected ONLY because it was seen as a procedural document on how to conduct Christian ceremonies. In other words, it didn’t provide any new revelation that contributed to our salvation, and as such, wasn’t inspired. It IS, however, an historically accurate document on worship in the first century church.
With that in mind, let’s see what the students of the apostles were taught:
The Eucharist – The Cup – The Bread**
1 And concerning the Eucharist, hold Eucharist thus: 2 First concerning the Cup, “We give thanks to thee, our Father, for the Holy Vine of David thy child, which, thou didst make known to us through Jesus thy child; to thee be glory for ever.”
3 And concerning the broken Bread: "We give thee thanks, our Father, for the life and knowledge which thou didst make known to us through Jesus thy Child. To thee be glory for ever.
4 As this broken bread was scattered upon the mountains, but was brought together and became one, so let thy Church be gathered together from the ends of the earth into thy Kingdom, for thine is the glory and the power through Jesus Christ for ever."
5 But let none eat or drink of your Eucharist except those who have been baptised in the Lord’s Name. For concerning this also did the Lord say, “Give not that which is holy to the dogs.”
The Sunday worship**
1 On the Lord’s Day of the Lord come together, break bread and hold Eucharist, after confessing your transgressions that your offering may be pure; 2 but let none who has a quarrel with his fellow join in your meeting until they be reconciled, that your sacrifice be not defiled. 3 For this is that which was spoken by the Lord, “In every place and time offer me a pure sacrifice, for I am a great king,” saith the Lord, “and my name is wonderful among the heathen.”
So, what do we learn from these passages? First, only baptized Christians may partake in the Eucharist. It is accepted that one must follow, practice, and believe in the Christian religion in order to receive. This is not surprising, and it’s how most denominations treat the Eucharist.
The second passage is more interesting. It states that one must only receive communion after confessing major transgressions. In other words, one cannot be in a state of mortal sin and receive the Eucharist. Since Protestants do not have access to the Sacrament of Confession, under Catholic belief, they cannot be guaranteed of their forgiveness. So, as a precaution, Communion is generally denied to them. This is done to protect them from accidentally committing sacrilege. Please note that even CATHOLICS that are in a state of mortal sin and have not attended Confession are to refrain from partaking in the Eucharist! This is not a mere prohibition against Protestants, and often, there will be Catholics sitting in the pews that do not go up to receive for this very reason.
Let me ask you this; if you could stand before God, and be in his complete presence of body, soul and divinity, and there was the option to be in his presence clean of sin, knowing without a doubt that you are prepared to be with your God, letting nothing come between you and Him, would you not take that option to honour Him, over being in sin, and not truly knowing or absorbing the significance of that moment?
I too long for the moment when I can declare my faith and come before the Lord’s Table. It is a moment I long for, but a moment I want to be prepared for - my first time and every time after that. These is why I wait, why I continue on the RCIA process, and continue learning more each day about God, deepening my relationship with Him and learning about this beautiful faith and church Jesus founded. The RCIA process is not something that begins in September and ends at Easter, for me it is a process that began the moment I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, and will continue for the rest of my life. To long for the Eucharist is to long to know our Lord, and to be in his presence, to live a Christ centered life, and to embrace all the teachings of God and the Sacraments that He initiated. Don’t rush this moment, because it is worth the wait.
I would strongly suggest speaking with the priest of your church; many churches offer the option of doing RCIA through out the year. I began my RCIA classes this past January, and meet with the priest of my church and another girl once a week.
It is not that the church deems you unworthy to receive the Holy Eucharist; it is that perhaps you are not ready, just because you long for something does not mean you are spiritually ready. But this also does not prevent you from participating in the mass in other ways, and worshipping our Lord. Remember God is present at mass and you can always go up for a blessing, which is also an expression of Gods love for you.
Please don’t leave because you’ll get what you long for some where else easier, because remember the easy way, does not lead you to the true presence of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The time will pass faster than you think. As for spiritual communion, I like to say the Anima Christi prayer.
Soul of Christ, sanctify me Body of Christ, save me Blood of Christ, inebriate me Water from the side of Christ, wash me Passion of Christ, strengthen me O good Jesus, hear me Within Thy wounds hide me Separated from Thee let me never be ("Permit me not to be separated from Thee") From the malicious enemy defend me ("From the malignant enemy defend me") In the hour of my death call me And bid me come unto Thee That I may praise Thee with Thy saints ("That with thy Saints I may praise Thee") Forever and ever Amen
Please try to keep in mind that entering the Church is not just a “me and Jesus” event. You are being called to enter into communion with Him as a member of His Body, ready to receive not “just” the Eucharist, but the entirety of what being a Catholic is - and that includes loving obedience to all the teachings and disciplines of the Church. A patient, yet yearning, acceptance of this will help you enter fully into the Mystery which is the Church.
This agony in your heart is spitual communion, and evidence of Grace. Weep bitterly now, in no time you will know joy beyond all joy.
Look at the bright side. You still get to worship God in the best possible way.
It took me 3 years of study and 2 and 1/2 years of R.C.I.A to come to a place where I was able to be Confirmed.
One of the problems with the world today is that most people (especially folk under 40 or so) seem to have the “I want what I want and I want it now” mind set.
The Catholic Church is NOT like your protestant church down on the corner that you just walk into and “join up”.
If you truely want to know Christ in Eucharist, you will stay in R.C.I.A. for the *duration *and until you can honestly know in your heart of hearts that you do believe in all the Catholic Church teaches.
Your sentiment that you feel that you have been deemed “unworthy” is a false one. What you are is unprepared to receive Christ’s Body and Blood. All are worthy, but we all need to be prepared.
I feel the same way when I have not confessed and must not receive His Precious Body and Blood. I cry in Adoration, for longing for a closer relationship with Him.
The poster who compared your state to that of a pure bride waiting until her wedding night was spot on. You will be ready when you have been prepared. I hope that you stay patient and committed to completing RCIA so you can be in full communion.
The adult convert’s relationship with Christ in the Catholic Church is very much like a marriage. No one who enters into a marriage should undertake so important a step lightly,frivolously or without deep and serious contemplation. Those who do are often sadly disappointed. The Church, under the guidance and protection of the Holy Spirit, as promised by Jesus Christ Himself, wants to ensure that all who seek to unite themselves with Her, do so with the full knowledge and understanding of what they are committing themselves to. Because this committment, like marriage, is for not just life, but for eternity. Our membership in the Church, in the Communion of Saints, continues beyond the grave. The Church never seeks haste in committment, unlike some sects, like the mormons, who will press you to join quickly and only after baptism will reveal the true beliefs demanded of you. Or some protestant groups who will guarantee salvation simply by reciting the sinner’s prayer. You will be given a great treasure and since the earliest days of Christianity, the Church has guarded this treasure, lest it be assumed lightly.
I agree, it is a great response.
AM I wrong? Am I offensive? Will I go to Hell if I die today?
you are not yet disposed to receive the Eucharist because you are not yet Catholic, not because you are not worthy. None of us is worthy we all receive as His gift, but in his time, not ours. Welcome home, and use this time of longing and waiting to pray for those separated from Christ by sin, or who will never be able to approach his banquet on earth due to persecution.
Yes, the Acts of the Apostles and other NT writings do describe how people were prepared to join the communion of believers, and it is this ancient practice the Church looks to for RCIA. If you are already baptized your preparation should be shorter than that of the unbaptized. I am sorry you parish has such an unenlightened view of the process that “classes don’t start until September.”
It is worth looking for a parish that first, does not require baptized Christians to be received only at Easter and for one that accepts inquirers like yourself at all times during the year.