Hello, everyone (and I pray you all have had a blessed Christmas, as well as happy new year). I wanted to ask a question about sacrilege (and whether I have committed it).
Last night, I attended Mass, and I received Communion (following Confession). After Mass (for the First Saturday devotion, although it was the Sunday Vigil Mass), as I was saying my prayers (in which I silently pray the Ave Maria, the Salve Regina, and the Prayer to St. Michael), I noticed a woman taking a piece of hay from the Nativity scene, and it reminded me that my grandmother had asked me to take a piece of the hay for her (for “good luck,” although I try not to believe in such things anymore). I took a (albeit small) piece of hay, but as I was walking out, I felt as if it may be stealing (my grandmother, however, told me—when she asked me to take a piece of hay either prior to Christmas Mass or the Mass for the First Sunday of Christmas—that it wasn’t stealing—as I had thought it was, because I refrained from taking the piece of hay—because her brother had been told by the priest that he could take a piece of the hay, and the reason they don’t “announce” people can take a piece of the hay is that they would have no hay left if they did so), and so I returned to one of the religious education teachers and asked her if it was allowed, and she said she “couldn’t see anything wrong with it,” and so I left.
Today, I asked my mother her opinion, and hearing the teacher didn’t have an issue with it, she said it was not stealing, and I was able to receive Communion (which I did as I attended Mass today). However, I still have an “uneasy” feeling (I intended to ask the priest his opinion following Mass but he left before I was able to do so), especially after reading the article on sacrilege from the Catholic Encyclopedia, and so (essentially for peace of mind), I wanted to ask:
Was it stealing to take a piece of hay (from the Nativity scene in my church) my grandmother asked me to do (and which she said I could do as her brother was allowed by the priest), and was it sacrilege to receive Communion today?
(By the way, I wanted to add, I feel I do suffer from scrupulosity at times, particularly over matters concerning the Holy Eucharist. I wanted to add this before it is suggested that I have scrupulosity because I am already aware I show tendencies.)