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Good morning,

I am Federico and I am 33-year old. I started attending mass on Sundays and holy days a little over 2 years ago, I go to confession about every 2-3 months.

Let me start by saying that I am a sinner but not a person who seeks evil by my nature and I tried to seek good even when I behaved like an atheist, I always tried to behave like a good citizen and human being, with my mistakes.

Even more so in these times in which I have rediscovered the true faith and that it is not enough to respect the law of the state and be directed towards good but the lord wants us to respect certain rules and commandments.

One day I asked a parish priest who was confessing me if I could receive communion even if I didn’t arrive perfect at the appointment (in a state of grace, etc.) and he told me that with a prayer, for example, an act of contrition recited from the heart this would help me get rid of it and I could receive communion.

The point is that there are few parish priests for confession and the only sin I am certain I commit weekly is the impurity of autoeroticism.

It would seem a little strange to me to stop every single week to make the same confession on the same topic, among other things by looking for a parish priest I meet around and also taking his time for my fault.

In these 2 years or so I have always received communion and I have felt good but I wonder if I am doing well or if taking communion is something that hurts me because I do not arrive perfectly at the sacrament of communion at this point I also ask myself if it hurt me to go to mass, because I read many different opinions about communion.

What suggestions can you give me?

Let me start by saying that I pray the Rosary every day and I will also say a prayer for you.

Greetings,

Federico


Priest’s answer

Dear Federico,

1. above the disparity of the opinions of the priests you consulted, what the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II taught in the encyclical Ecclesia de Eucharistia applies:

“The integrity of invisible bonds is a precise moral duty of the Christian who wants to participate fully in the Eucharist by communicating in the body and blood of Christ. The Apostle himself recalls him to this duty with the admonition: “A person should examine himself, and so eat the bread and drink the cup.(1 Cor 11:28).

Saint John Chrysostom, with the strength of his eloquence, exhorted the faithful: «I too raise my voice, I beg, I pray and I implore not to approach this sacred table with a stained and corrupt conscience. Such an approach, in fact, can never be called communion, even if we touch the body of the Lord a thousand times, but rather condemnation, torment and increased punishment” (Homilies on Isaiah 6:3 T-E).

In this line, the Catechism of the Catholic Church (n. 1385) rightly establishes: «Whoever is aware of having committed a grave sin, must receive the sacrament of Reconciliation before accessing communion» (n. 1385, see also Code of Law Canon, can. 916 T-E).

I therefore wish to reiterate that the norm with which the Council of Trent concretized the severe admonition of the apostle Paul is in force and will always be in force in the Church by stating that, for the purpose of a worthy reception of the Eucharist, «the confession of sins must be preceded, when one is conscious of mortal sin” (EE 36).


2. What the holy Pope John Paul II recalled is nothing other than a practical determination of what the Holy Scripture says: “Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord

A person should examine himself, and so eat the bread and drink the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself. 

That is why many among you are ill and infirm, and a considerable number are dying. ” (1 Cor 11,27-30).

3. Going to the root of everything I urge you not to live with that sin, but to remove it once and for all from your life.

The Christian life must be lived in permanent communion with the Lord.

Only if you are in God’s grace can you experience Eucharistic communion well. Otherwise it becomes a reason for torment and even condemnation, as Our Lord said through the voice of Saint Paul.

4. Since this sin remains, it should not seem strange to confess every week.

If by chance you happen to dirty your body, you do not say that it’s strange to clean yourself every time. You do it always and immediately.

Therefore approaching confession to receive Holy Communion is the most normal thing for someone who falls into serious sin.

As can be seen from 1 Cor 11,27-30, it is God who speaks like this.

5. To say the act of contrition, if you fall, is the right thing to do.

But the act of contrition is true only if it includes the intention of confessing.

And, in the light of Sacred Scripture, confession must be made before receiving Holy Communion: “Each one, therefore, examine himself and then…”.

There is therefore a before and after that must be respected.

6. Don’t be afraid to take the time of the priest by telling in five seconds the sin you have committed.

Furthermore, it should be remembered that the main task of the priest is to administer the sacraments.

The celebration of the sacraments, in addition to sanctifying you, also benefits the sanctification of him.

I thank you for remembering me in prayer which I reciprocate from the heart.

I bless you and wish you all the best.

Father Angelo