Receiving Eucharist - Mortal Sin vs. Addiction

The other day, I had a priest tell me that I should not avoid the Eucharist if I am in a state of addiction. I have heard this, but my immediate response was to think I had run into a liberal priest. I’m an extremely orthodox guy, and I also tell myself that this is not an addiction (but I have struggled with it for 8+ years now). I do remember reading that Fr. Benedict Groeschel has suggested that receiving the Eucharist should be encouraged when dealing with masturbation and such.

After Reconciliation with this priest, I started thinking about it more, and there is a certain problem that comes up when I strictly follow the rule: “Do not receive communion in a state of mortal sin.” It keeps me from going to daily mass when I am struggling, which gets me lower than usual. There are days that I am perfectly free and able to go to mass, but I choose not to out of fear that I will cave and receive the Eucharist in a state of mortal sin. This can lead to bad cycles. I believe that if I were to receive the Eucharist more often, it would help me with this addiction (if that is what it is).

What do you guys think? And I am not trying to justify receiving in a state of mortal sin. I just want help figuring out the right thing!

This priest is not telling you to receive while in the state or mortal sin, but that you are not in such a state because your addiction reduces your culpability.

The priest in confession has authority to make such a judgement, and you should be prepared to abide by the advice given. You are right to be concerned about the seriousness of this sin, and this is not a free pass to continue in it, but if you can find a regular priest and make regular confessions to him, then he can guide you in dealing with this.

Regular mass attendance and reception of the Eucharist is a powerful source of grace. You should avail yourself of it, based on your confessors guidance.

I agree 100%. I have also been given counsel to the same effect and even though it is difficult to go up and receive I follow my confessor’s advice. I even went to several confessors thinking that mine was liberal but received the same advice. Yes, I went to a few priests who said that every time I commit the act I am in the state of mortal sin and cannot receive. But the many who have told me otherwise seem to know what addiction is and can spot it. Keep up the good fight and listen to your confessor. I mainly stick to one now even though he has to hear the same thing over and over again. But he knows my struggle, my fight, and my firm purpose of amendment. My weakness is there but my love for God is dependent upon His grace and mercy. Saint Paul says it best in 2 Corinthians 12.

Follow your conscience. It’s formed by Church teaching which is excellent…but even if the priest says you are in an addictive state…and you can/should receive…you must still ultimately follow your conscience…that is what God judges,

Lastly, strongly encourage you to get (Daily) Mass (when you can) even when you have discerned that you shouldn’t receive the Holy Eucharist…it is a liberating thing to obey your conscience and show God that you love him and want to be with him…a spiritual communion. Its also liberating when you abstain no matter if everyone else receives the Eucharist…you will have a certainty that you are doing the right thing…if you feel peace and joy by being obedient to your well formed conscience…you will know with certainty God is very, very pleased with you.

1779 It is important for every person to be sufficiently present to himself in order to hear and follow the voice of his conscience. This requirement of interiority is all the more necessary as life often distracts us from any reflection, self-examination or introspection:

[INDENT]Return to your conscience, question it. . . . Turn inward, brethren, and in everything you do, see God as your witness.51 [51–51 St. Augustine, In ep Jo. 8,9:PL 35,2041.-]


Pax Christi

Obeying your Confessor is the right thing to do.

From The Will of God by Fr. Kenneth Baker S.J., page 51-52;

…(a) distinction theologians make regarding grace is that between efficacious grace and sufficient grace. An efficacious grace is one that is accepted by the human will and acted upon. For example, a man may have an impure temptation; he resists it and prays to our Blessed Mother for help in overcoming it. He gets rid of it, does not sin, and is in peace. Another person has a similar temptation and makes an attempt to resist, but eventually gives in to the temptation and commits a sin of impurity. We know that with grace no one can be tempted beyond his power to resist. In this latter case, the individual gave in to temptation and committed the sin. So the grace in this case is called “sufficient”, that is, he had the grace to resist but his free will did not accept the help.
The point in each case is that grace enlightens the mind and strengthens the will, but it does not force the will. God made man free and respects his freedom. He deals with each thing according to the nature He gave it. So there is something very mysterious about grace in that it assists the free will but does not force it to do the right thing.

Just thought I would share this. :slight_smile:

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