I was listening to a Bible study session about Adam and Eve. Simultaneously I have been looking into how Christ fulfilled all 7 of the OT covenants, one of which was the one made with Adam and Eve. The symbol of which was the tree of life. Now in looking at Genesis there was an original unity with God. It was broken when the fruit from the “Tree of Knowledge” was “eaten”. We know God is infinitely merciful thus the remainder of this story is showing God’s mercy. The pain in child birth and the work to bring fruit from the earth speaks to learning to love and give of ourselves for others. The guard around the Tree of Life is God not allowing them to remain permanently in a separated state, as it was only temporary (in terms of eternity) that they were to be separated from God. This left on humankind a darkened intellect and weakened will…we continuously fall into sin basically (not that we can’t over come this we certainly can…But we are all sinners, and repeat sinners at that).
Now, the sign of the 8th Covenant is again the Tree of Life, in other words the Cross. The fruit of the Cross is Christ…the Eucharist (Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity). I recognise all that Christ said about the Eucharist as a necessity for LIFE. But what I haven’t settled is where is that line between the grace we receive from this Sacrament, and the permanent effect of receiving this Sacrament “unworthily” (I know this means in a state of sin, and particularly mortal sin; I know that venial sin is forgiven through this sacrament although we should be committed to going to Confession ASAP; I know we receive grace from spiritual Communion no matter the state of our soul; I know the Church is supportive of frequent reception of Communion because of the grace received; I know that it is out of mercy that priests are to deny Eucharist; I know it is a liturgical abuse for the entire congregation to be receiving each week…lets face it we’re not all in a state of grace…and I certainly am not always in a state of grace…thus our priests aren’t necessarily discerning the requirements for reception for us; I know Satan loves the gray areas in life; …). That said the main question for me is in what gravity of sin is one that should require (or be recommended) that I refrain from receiving Eucharist? I have been told being in open defiance of Church teaching such as using contraception, supporting abortion in any form, supporting gay marriage, … while none of these describe me…do sins really need to be in the open to be equally as grave (not that I support these but they are examples)? What makes these sins so much worse than sins against other commandments (I’m not belittling how important these are but more raising how important the others may be / are)? I’ve also heard it said that if you are physically present but wilfully distracted during Mass that one should refrain from Communion as you are not likely properly disposed at that moment. Thus what are the guidelines for Catholics receiving the Eucharist?