Properly disposed to receive Communion?


I have heard many times, Catholics claiming that they occassionally abstain from His Eucharist at Mass on account of them not being properly disposed to receive Communion.

I understand what the phrase means, but I am not sure I understand why this is considered an acceptable or justifiable decision.

It seems to me, that if I were not properly disposed to receive Communion, I would either have to take something that is bothering my conscience to Reconciliation, or I may need medical attention regarding the health of my mind.

Is it really justified to abstain from Communion because we are not “properly disposed”? Or would that be a dishonor to Jesus?


Yes. From 1 Corinthians 11:27:

“11:27 Therefore, whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord.”


If we are in mortal sin we must not participate in the Eucharist until after we have been to the sacrament of reconciliation


Not receiving because of serious sin I understand. But many Catholics are claiming it’s not “mortal sin” but simply not being “properly disposed”.


There is no requirement to “justify” not receiving Communion. That’s entirely up to the individual.


That, I understand.


I’m not requiring anyone to justify. I’m simply asking, in general, is there a justifiable reason, other than serious sin on our conscience.


Mortal sin would be under that umbrella of improper disposition, but I think I get what you mean. It is a personal matter in a sense when mortal sin is not involved. We don’t want to treat Our Lord as some fleeting thing when we go up to receive Him because we’re distracted by worries or anger. So people abstain because they’re not able to focus on Him for that time.


Maybe it’s non belief etc as a reason. What does the catechism say


So if these Catholics recognize they are poorly disposed, isn’t that acknowledgment enough to be thankful Jesus still offers them His Body and Blood?

It’s really a silly notion, in my opinion. To say to our self, “Boy, I just don’t appreciate enough, or I’m too grumpy, I’m not going to benefit from this grace.”


Non-belief in what?


It’s not a matter of a lack of gratitude.

They can make a heartfelt spiritual communion instead and receive the same grace and benefits.


Really? Is that Catholic Teaching?

That would mean they are abstaining for a just reason. And that they truly want to receive, but shouldn’t.


I have personally witnessed priests say that they would not with hold communion from a catholic because they can not judge what is in that persons heart. so it is interesting. the responsibilty seems to be left to the individual to determine.


Who says there needs to be a “justifiable reason?”


" A spiritual communion is different from an actual or sacramental communion, in which we receive the Real Presence in the consecrated Host and Precious Blood. A spiritual communion is a devotion that we can initiate on our own, either inside or outside of holy Mass. We can make a spiritual communion at any time and in any place, as long as we approach the devotion with “renewed faith, reverence, humility and in complete trust in the goodness of the divine Redeemer” and are “united to him in the spirit of the most ardent charity,” according to Pope Pius XII’s encyclical Mediator Dei (The Sacred Liturgy). In spiritual communion, we embrace Our Lord as if we had actually received him in the Eucharist."



Yes. And when held up to scrutiny, I’m not sure it makes any sense.

I think you are complicating things a bit.


I’m not arguing whether a priest should read the hearts of people to control Eucharist distribution.

I’m asking if not being “properly disposed” is a justifiable reason to abstain. Which Catholics tell me is not related to mortal sin.


So Holy Communion is separate from Spiritual Communion? I don’t believe so.

And one can be “properly disposed” to receive a “Spiritual Communion” but not “properly disposed” to receive His Eucharist? That is the silliness of the notion.


I think so, yes. The benefits of spiritual communion are contained in receiving Jesus sacramentally.


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