Monday, August 21, 2006

The Responsibility of Receiving Holy Communion Worthily

The Prairie Priest from Sioux Falls who blogs at White Around The Collar had a great homily yesterday dealing with our preparation for the reception of the Eucharist in Holy Communion.

[snip] The gospel speaks to us today about how the Eucharist is indeed the flesh and blood of Jesus Christ. In it, Jesus points out that if we want eternal life…if we want true and lasting happiness, then we must eat his flesh and drink his blood; we must in a very real way, taste and see the goodness of the Lord. But my friends, along with the great privilege of being able to receive the body and blood of Christ into our very bodies comes a great responsibility. Namely, the responsibility of receiving him worthily.

Granted, none of us could be truly worthy to receive this great gift but we should strive to be as worthy as we possibly can be, given our fallen human nature. We should strive to make sure our conscience is not troubled by any serious sin, and if it is, then we should make a good confession.

Another way to more worthily receive the gift of the Eucharist is to make sure that we have prepared for the Holy Sacrifice with some time spent in quite prayer and reflection before Mass. This means that if we really want to be prepared to worthily receive our Lord we might arrive early and silently prepare our hearts to hear the Word of God and receive the body and blood of Jesus in the Eucharist. In order to prepare ourselves we should not be talking in the Church before Mass, or at anytime for that matter, but rather a spirit of attentive silence should pervade this place; a silence that speaks of the holiness of this sacred space.

I am currently using a book on how to better prepare for Mass as part of my morning meditation. In it the author makes a point about silence before Mass by saying:

“The minutes before Mass are best [for entering into silence]; but in order to have them for genuine preparation we must arrive early. They are not a time for gazing or day-dreaming or for unnecessary thumbing of pages, but for inwardly collecting and calming ourselves.”

My brothers and sisters, this feast that we come to share is so holy, so profound that it demands proper preparation. We must prepare ourselves for Mass at all times by abandoning the foolishness of sin. And as immediate preparation for Mass we must cultivate interior and exterior silence in this space. If we do these things then we will come to appreciate more and more the glory and mystery of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and be able to truly taste and see the goodness of the Lord in Holy Communion. [snip] Read More

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