Mortal Sin and the Eucharist

I committed a mortal sin this week. I was not able to go to confession this week because I have small children and have had trouble finding babysitters for them. (Hubby works on Saturdays).

I would really like to receive Communion tomorrow, but obviously not in a state of mortal sin. I once heard that it is ok to receive Communion in mortal sin if one said the act of Contrition and then promised to confess ASAP.

I know for CERTAIN I’ll be able to go to confession next saturday. My husband will be working third shift that night so he’ll be home during the day to watch the kiddos.

Is it ok to receive and say an act of contrition if i have every intent to go to confession next Saturday? Should I wait?

Ask yourself this question:
Should I take the body and blood of Jesus Christ into my body while i have a mortal sin?

I look at it this way. If I were to go up during Holy Commuinion while In a state of Mortal sin that I knowingly committed, I would feel as though I was “taking” Communion as opposed to “Receiving” the Lord

I would still get in the Communion line,however,I would cross my arms to receive a blessing instead.

Hope that helps

In other words, no. There’s no obligation to receive Communion every time you go to Mass, in fact before Vatican II it was pretty rare for people to receive every week. The requirement of once a year actually came about because people weren’t receiving even that often!

Furthermore there is every obligation to be very careful of the state of your soul before you do so, and plenty of value to be got from the Mass even when you don’t receive Communion.

You can stay in your seat and make a Spiritual Communion (a prayer inviting Jesus to come into your heart spiritually since you cannot receive Him sacramentally) or go up and receive a blessing from the priest (not an EMHC, they’re not supposed to give blessings) and let your hunger for Our Lord prompt you to avoid mortal sin in future!

Thanks for your replies. I think I will hold out this week and wait until next week!

I took my 22 month old with me to confession today. I don’t always have a choice, either…and my wife could not watch him.

There have been other threads about this, so you may want to search.

In any event, if you commited a mortal sin, it’s worth taking the little ones to confession (even if Father has to say the absolution twice because he stops when you dive to the door to catch a little guy:) ). It’s your soul, after all.

Good decision on NOT receiving tomorrow. :thumbsup:

Just wanted to add if there is any doubt … that sin is extremely offensive to God especially mortal sin. If you love Jesus would you want to invite Him into your soul while it is stained with mortal sin? How does that show love for our Lord?

I’ve just joined and know I’m replying to a post from some years ago. I’m a Roman Catholic and of course I believe in confession to and absolution by a priest. But I certainly believe that if I am in a state of mortal sin and I genuinely repent and confess the sin to God that he will forgive me, thus removing the sin. Whilst Christ told the Apostles “whosover sins you forgive they are forgiven”, I do not accept absolution by a priest is the only way to be forgiven. After all, it is God who does the forgiving.

God bless

Jimmytwoguns

No. Christ explicitly said that forgiveness comes THROUGH the agency of the priest, ‘through the ministry of the Church’ as the priest says. Christ never said ‘whose sins people pray to me about are forgiven them and never retained against them’, did He?

That’s because He chooses to work through His priests for the forgiveness of mortal sins, and only through them except in extraordinary circumstances such as danger of death. Just as He chooses to work through His priests and other ministers in the sacraments of baptism, confirmation, Holy Orders etc. I hope you don’t think that people can declare themselves confirmed or ordained in Holy Orders, or confect the Eucharist themselves in the absence of a priest? Why then should they be able to declare themselves forgiven of mortal sin?

And there are lots of good reasons WHY the ministry of a priest is required. Firstly there are people whom God does NOT forgive in spite of their asking for forgiveness, if they are not truly contrite, for example - as He made clear when He spoke to the Apostles about retaining people’s sins.

Now not all of us are capable of accurately judging our own heart, plenty of people deceive themselves, attempt to deceive God, are still too attached to their sins to be properly contrite, or presume on God’s mercy, and thus ask for forgiveness while either not admitting the full extent of their sin or not being truly and properly contrite.

So if I simply pray to Him direct there’s every chance that my sins have in fact been retained by Him when I mistakenly think they are forgiven, no?

So we need the priest to judge that we are truly contrite and on God’s behalf tell us our sins have truly been forgiven and not retained (and there are people to whom priests refuse absolution of course, and they are right to do so).

No. I think if one receives Holy Communion in the state of mortal sin, one commits another mortal sin, a sacrilege.

I completely agree. But auricular confession to a priest is not the only way to be cleansed from Mortal Sin.

No, but it is the ordinary means.

One could be forgiven through perfect contrition, but how are we to know if our contrition is perfect?

As Catholics, we are required to confess our mortal sins to a Priest, and should not be receiving communion until we do.

God Bless

Exactly.

I’m new to this and don’t know if I sent my last two posts or not. If I have. Sorry.

Hi LillyM

I’m a Catholic in my fifties. And I’m no liberal. I believe in the teaching of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church and believe that it was founded by Christ.

Accordingly OF COURSE I DO NOT believe any person but a priest can offer the sacrifice of the mass or baptise. You are absolutely correct when you say Christ chooses priests to do these things. They are “sanctified”, set apart, for those purposes. When Christ instituted the Eucharist, he told the Apostles they could do this, Matthew 26 v 27 and didn’t say it to anyone else.

But when it comes to absolution from sin, when Christ breathed on the Apostles and told them to receive the Holy Spirit and told them that, “whosover sins you forgive, they are forgiven” whilst setting them (and their spiritual descendents) aside as the only persons who can do this, it is most certainly NOT recorded anywhere that Our Lord said that this was the only way that people’s sins could be forgiven. Nor from our Lord’s actions or words can this be inferred.

When Christ was on Earth he forgave people’s sin, and now in Heaven, He can still forgive people’s sins, without the necessity of a priest. When the Church began thousands of people were converted after St Peter’s sermon at the first Pentecost. I doubt this large group were queuing round the block for confession with the Apostles.

The sacrament of penance, confession to a priest, is an amazing sacrament. It helps in many ways, not only to obtain the receipt or assurance of absolution. I would urge it on every Catholic and always defend it vigorously against people who have no clue what they’re talking about and belittle it by saying it’s an easy way out for Catholics or other such anti-Catholic ravings. However it is in my humble submission NOT the sole way for a person to be forgiven for his sins, venial or mortal. If a priest can hear our confession, so can Christ and Our Lord is in a better position to know the exact state of our hearts and how contrite we are. In the “Our Father” prayer, Our Lord tells us to pray “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.” If we examine ourselves, repent and ask God for forgiveness are you saying we have to go along to the priest and confess again. Christ tells us, “Come unto me all ye who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest”.

With respect I’m afraid I don’t accept your argument that we require the priest to judge if we are truly contrite. How does he know? As a criminal defence lawyer for many, many years, I convinced 15 people on a jury (15 in Scotland) that black was white and back again. Only God and the sinner can possibly know whether the contrition, repentance etc is genuine or not. Whilst doubtless assisted by God, you surely are not saying that the Parish Priest is in some way infallible and can’t be fooled by someone there for all the wrong reasons.

Let’s be realistic. We both know, perhaps from experiences in our youth that many people have gone to confession, and doubtless still go, maybe because they’ve been forced along by parents before taking communion, whatever, who may or may not be contrite at all, but say they are and I’ve still to meet one who wasn’t told he/she’d been absolved.

When I confess to a priest or directly to Our Lord, I do it because I’m truly sorry and one things for sure, I won’t con God. But then I’m not trying to con him or the priest…

I would close in reiterating that confession to a priest is an important part of being a Catholic, and urge Catholics to attend. The only point I’m trying to make is that it is also possible to speak directly to Christ.

Bilop, as Catholics we are required to abstain from communion while we are in a state of mortal sin. There is a difference. My point is that as Catholics confession to a priest is not the only way to be forgiven for mortal sin. And with great respect, the idea the priest can tell if we are truly contrite is naive to say the least. Have you never met anyone, of whatever age, who went into confession, mumbled a few sins and was told they were absolved. Our contrition is our reponsibilty.

God bless you and yours.

Jimmytwoguns

Saint John in his first epistle ch 1 v 9 says “If we confess our sin, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sin, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” It would be a real stretch to read into this that he meant confess to a priest, when none is mentioned at all.

Confession to a priest is a great thing, a very helpful, useful thing and one receives absolution, but it is not the only way for God to forgive us.

God bless

Jimmytwoguns

Yes, and tell me why exactly you think priests are not set apart ALSO to forgive mortal sin, and no other people? And how are you not conning yourself and God by refusing to use the means He has indicated we are to use for forgiveness? If confession to a priest is unnecessary then His giving the Apostles that power is unnecessary and entirely meaningless, and He did nothing that was meaningless.

Jesus breathed ONLY on the Apostles and not on everyone. He only told THEM (and by extension their successors our bishops and priests) that their word determined forgiveness and retention of sin. He gave only them the power to bind and loose heaven, which is a power you attempt to usurp, to take for yourself, by unilaterally declaring yourself ‘forgiven’ of mortal sin.

The bottom line is you aren’t God, you aren’t His agent sanctified to exercise any of His powers as a priest is, so you have no right or authority to declare yourself forgiven of mortal sin.

Besides which James commands that we confess TO ONE ANOTHER - auricular confession, out loud to another person, not private prayer to God. My goodness, this means EVEN priests can’t absolve THEMSELVES of their sins but MUST confess to other priests, why do you think your powers are greater than theirs? Why should we expect, in the face of this command of James’, to be forgiven by any other means when the means he commands is available?

Jimmytwoguns:

Interesting point about the 3000 converted on the day of Pentecost, but it doesn’t help your argument, unfortunately. Have a look at the event:

When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.

(a) St Peter’s hearers are aware that they have committed a mortal sin (‘cut to the heart’)

(b) St Peter tells them to repent (your argument: repentance is enough)…

© …and be baptized for the forgiveness of their sins.

In other words, repentance isn’t enough: baptism is necessary to wipe away their sins.

Such has always been the Church’s teaching from the earliest days. Confession came in because sins committed after baptism weren’t covered by baptism, and clearly the Church has always been in the business of ensuring forgiveness. Just as we know that if someone really can’t be baptised (for instance, they are martyred or die before they get to the day of their baptism), their desire suffices, so the Church tells us that if it is impossible to confess to a priest before you die, then perfect contrition suffices. If you don’t die, then you must confess to a priest at the first opportunity.

But you seem to be assuming that one never needs to confess - that contrition suffices. That’s certainly what I believed as a Protestant; it’s not Catholic doctrine.

Its very simple St Paul’s epistle to Romans, Ch10 v 9. “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus Christ, and believe in thine heart that God hast raised him from the dead, though shall be saved”.

Let’s stop pretending that a priest has some sort of magical power, Unfortunatley, to our eternal shame, we hear of priests interfering with children and their disgusting acts being covered ny our One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. Is this the same priest who is apparently deciding if we are really contrite in our confession? If so, what happens to our genuine confession to a paedophile pretending to act as a “pontifex” between God and man.

Stop being silly and live in the real world. We are Roman Catholics. We believe that Our Lord died for our sins and rose again from the dead. If this was not so as Saint Paul said, " We are of all men most misereable" - Don’t get me wrong. You could not get a more enthusiastic RC than me. But I won’t listen to rubbish trotted out to support a ridiculous position.

Jimmy two guns

You always know someone has no argument when they trot out the sex scandals to smear priests.

School teachers commit sex abuse at TEN TIMES the rate as Catholic priests, are you against public education too?

Confession or the intent to confess is necessary for the forgiveness of mortal sins. You may not like it, but Christ established the Church and made this particular rule.

Please stop the ad hominem attacks against our priests, 99% of whom have nothing to do with the scandal.

God Bless

Enthusiastic you may be, yes, but in spite of what you, “Roman Catholic Women Priests” and who knows how many other sub- denominations we have running around after their Catholic baptisms pretending otherwise, Roman Catholics believe what the Church teaches. The mark of baptism may not be removed from you, but you are perfectly capable of removing yourself from the truth into which you were baptized.

The priest doesn’t have magical powers. Through fidelity to his priestly office, however, he does have the power to forgive sins. This is a gift that does not come from his own personal holiness, but from the one perfect Priesthood of Jesus Christ, of which he is a minister.

I’ll tell you something else, too: no matter who you’re talking to when you say your sins out loud, you’re talking to a sinner, and that includes the mirror. And who knows if you’re telling the truth, or whether you’re really sorry? God does…and the sacrament of Reconciliation is the ordinary means that God chose for the forgiveness of sins.

If you don’t think God is the one behind the sacraments and the authority of the Pope and all the rest, you may as well forget the Catholic Church. Without the Holy Spirit, with Jesus Christ as Her True Head, a heirarchical Church is a ludicrous invention. You’re in a ridiculous position from the word “go.”

Easter Joy. You say “Enthusiastic you may be, yes, but in spite of what you, “Roman Catholic Women Priests” and who knows how many other sub- denominations we have running around after their Catholic baptisms pretending otherwise, Roman Catholics believe what the Church teaches. The mark of baptism may not be removed from you, but you are perfectly capable of removing yourself from the truth into which you were baptized”

I frankly object, when you have no idea who I am, to your association of me with such groups as “Roman Catholic Women Priests” and your reference to the possibility of me being a member of some sub denomination running about after my Catholic baptism etc, etc. There is not a single heretical bone in my body and I don’t need a patronising lecture from you about the possibility of removing oneself from the truth into which one is baptised.

You also say:

If you don’t think God is the one behind the sacraments and the authority of the Pope and all the rest, you may as well forget the Catholic Church. Without the Holy Spirit, with Jesus Christ as Her True Head, a heirarchical Church is a ludicrous invention. You’re in a ridiculous position from the word “go.”

Apart from the rather “ridiculous” spelling of the word “hierarchical”, I object to being told I’m in a ridiculous position because you apparently and erroneously assume I don’t think God is behind the sacraments etc. I am a Roman Catholic. Of course I believe God is behind the sacraments etc. I believe in baptism by a priest. I believe in confession to a priest. I do NOT believe in women priests. I believe in the papacy and I believe in the infallibility of the Pope when he speaks Ex Cathedra. I believe in the communion of Saints, the sacrifice of the Mass, transubstantiation, prayers for the souls in Purgatory, have a devotion to Our Lady and I am in no way a protestant as anyone who knows me will tell you. I merely make the point that confession to a priest is not the sole means of forgiveness of sin.

You also write “ ….who knows if you’re telling the truth, or whether you’re really sorry? God does…” That, my friend, is exactly my point. God does know and the priest does not or at least cannot be sure. You also write “the sacrament of Reconciliation is the ordinary means that God chose for the forgiveness of sins”. I agree with this too, but it’s not the only means.

I note you have carefully avoided the points I made. I asked, when answering a post about priests judging if we’re contrite or not, “Is this the same priest who is apparently deciding if we are really contrite in our confession? If so, what happens to our genuine confession to a paedophile pretending to act as a “pontifex” between God and man” Perhaps you could address that point, plus the other points I make when I ask about people going to confession, trotting out a few sins and then being absolved. I AM NOT KNOCKING CONFESSION! I BELIEVE IN IT!!!

Whilst talking about priests you state and I quote, “Through fidelity to his priestly office, however, he does have the power to forgive sins. This is a gift that does not come from his own personal holiness, but from the one perfect Priesthood of Jesus Christ, of which he is a minister”. Again, I agree entirely, but what happens when he is not faithful to his priestly office, how do we know if we’re forgiven then?

As far as the post from Bilop is concerned, you state “You always know someone has no argument when they trot out the sex scandals to smear priests”. Number one it is an immense and utterly untrue generalisation to say that anyone who talks about sex scandals in the church has NO ARGUMENT. That would mean that many members of our own Catholic Hierarchy, Cardinals and the Holy Father himself have no argument, because they have expressed deep concern and taken great steps to combat this (What planet are you on Bilop)

Number two, these scandals are a fact, however distasteful. I fully agree (and often argue this point against my Protestant colleagues) that there are probably TEN TIMES more teachers, doctors, carpenters, plumbers, policemen, construction workers who are guilty of these heinous acts, but we’re not counting on them to hear our confession, consider if we are contrite or not, absolve us, dispense advice and impose a suitable penance and it is sometimes years and years and years before these priests are discovered. I am NOT smearing priests, just stating a fact. I am well aware that 99.9999999% are innocent.

You also say – “Confession or the intent to confess is necessary for the forgiveness of mortal sins”. Again, I agree, we must confess our sins, but you go onto say “You may not like it, but Christ established the Church and made this particular rule” If by this you mean confession to a priest only as opposed to confession to Christ directly, then this is simply not correct. Yes Christ gave the Apostles and their descendents the power to forgive sins, no doubt about it. But He did not make any rule that people had to go to go only to priests. Even the priests I know agree with this. (If he did, please point the part in the Bible where he says this is the only way to be forgiven out to me) Where is it recorded that Christ ever told anyone that they could only go to a priest to confess. Just because he imbued the apostles with this power does not preclude a person from confessing to Christ, or He would have said so considering this crucial point and he simply did not say this!! He did not rely on man alone to dispense this heavenly power and in some cases it’s a good thing he didn’t.

God bless

JTG’S

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