Morality and the Eucharist Essay

Submitted By revstrat
Words: 482
Pages: 2

Rev. Fr. Anthony Stratis
February 18, 2013

Misperceptions exist regarding Holy Communion and one’s ‘worthiness’ to partake. Of course, without divine grace, nobody can be worthy. Thus, in the Communion Prayers, we ask Christ: “make me worthy to partake without condemnation of Your immaculate Mysteries, unto remission of my sins and unto life everlasting.” Clearly, the Lord’s mercy is needed for us to approach the Holy Chalice. However, for some, there is a dilemma: should one limit their frequency to receive Communion? Or, are we to try our best, seek the mercy of Christ, and receive regularly? Even though generations were raised with the view that we are to receive infrequently, our Church’s teaching clearly points to the necessity for regular Communion. Yet, even then, there are moral stipulations. St. Justin Martyr teaches1st Apology 66 that the Eucharist is not permitted for those who believe anything other than the teachings of the Church. Believing something similar to the teachings of the Church, even in close ideological proximity, is not an option! Nor is it permitted for those who have not been initiated into the Faith (Baptism and Chrismation), or those who fail to live in according to Christ’s teachings. Our moral practices have direct bearing upon our worthiness to receive from the Holy Chalice. St. Paul makes this connection clear for us when he wrote to the Corinthians that, sinful behavior – whether by the individual or group – is in contradiction with the Body and Blood of Christ. To receive while living sinfully is to desecrate the Eucharist, thus one receives, not toward their sanctification, but condemnation.1 Corinthians 11:27-30 There are obligations, not only of the individual, but also of the entire community. For example, when gathering for the Lord’s Supper, the faithful must be in unity, not division. Furthermore, they must care for one another, being