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Reflections: Sacraments Sctn. (Holy Communion)

Holy Communion

Return to Holy Eucharist/Mass Reflcts. | Sacraments Sctn.

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Holy Communion

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Against Communion in the Hand

Communion of the Laity Under One Species

Frequent Communion

Holy Communion

Holy Communion Should Be Denied to Those Who Obstinately Persist in Manifest Grave Sin

The Holy Eucharist Should Be Handled Only By Priests

 

Category
Quotation

Against Communion in the Hand

Also See:  Holy Eucharist / Holy Communion (Topic Page)

Note: For More on This Topic, Try Here (Holy Eucharist / Mass, Gen'l. Info.)

"To touch the sacred species... is a privilege of the ordained" (Pope John Paul II, 1980 A.D.)

"Wherever I go in the whole world, the thing that makes me the saddest is watching people receive Communion in the hand." (Mother Teresa)

Also See: Communion in the Hand: Why Not? | The Holy Eucharist Should Be Handled Only By Priests | Lay 'Eucharistic Ministers': Why Not? | Communion Under Both Species: Is it Required? | The Holy Eucharist (Gen'l. Info.) | Holy Eucharist (Catechism of the Council of Trent) | Holy Eucharist / Mass (Basics / Misc.) | Holy Eucharist / Mass & Priests | The Real Presence / Transubstantiation | Reverence / Proper Behavior (Mass / Holy Eucharist) | Proper Behavior in Church | Latin Mass / Catholic Tradition | Free Resources (Incl. Fliers) | Reverence / Honor to God (Topical Scripture) | Fear of God / Fear of the Lord (Topical Scripture)

Note: Categories are subjective and may overlap. For more items related to this topic, please review all applicable categories. For more 'Reflections' and for Scripture topics, see links below.

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Communion of the Laity Under One Species

Also See:  Holy Eucharist / Holy Communion (Topic Page)

Note: For More on This Topic, Try Here (Holy Eucharist / Mass, Gen'l. Info.)

"The most Holy Eucharist is to be given only under the form of bread." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

"If any one saith that the precept of God or by necessity of salvation all and each of the faithful of Christ ought to receive both species of the most holy sacrament of the Eucharist: let him be anathema." (Council of Trent)

"If any one denieth, that, in the venerable sacrament of the Eucharist, the whole Christ is contained under each species, and under every part of each species, when separated; let him be anathema." (Council of Trent)

"If any one saith, that the holy Catholic Church was not induced, by just causes and reasons, to communicate, under the species of bread only, laymen, and also clerics when not consecrating; let him be an anathema." (Council of Trent)

"Augustine says in a sermon (Gregory, Sacramentarium): 'Each receives Christ the Lord, Who is entire under every morsel, nor is He less in each portion, but bestows Himself entire under each.'" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Christ is so contained, whole and entire, under either species, that, as under the species of bread are contained not only the body, but also the blood and Christ entire; so in like manner, under the species of wine are truly contained not only the blood, but also the body and Christ entire." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"Among the statements requested by Pope Gregory XIII from the Patriarch of the Maronites is the following: 'We celebrate Mass only with unleavened bread, but our laity communicate under both species.' The Pope replied: 'If they wish to consecrate unleavened bread, it is obvious that they should not be prevented, but the laity should be slowly discouraged from communicating under both species. For all Christ is present under one species, and there is great danger of spilling if the chalice is used' (Thomas of Jesus, de Conversione omnium gentium, p. 486f)." (Pope Benedict XIV, 1755 A.D.)

"The sacred and holy, ocecumenical and general Synod of Trent, lawfully assembled in the Holy Ghost, the same Legates of the Apostolic See presiding therein, whereas, touching the tremendous and most holy sacrament of the Eucharist, there are in divers places, by the most wicked artifices of the devil, spread abroad certain monstrous errors, by reason of which, in some provinces, many are seen to have departed from the faith and obedience of the Catholic Church, It has thought fit, that what relates to communion under both species, and the communion of infants, be in this place set forth. Wherefore It forbids all the faithful in Christ to presume henceforth to believe, teach, or preach otherwise on these matters, than is in these decrees explained and defined." (Council of Trent, 1562 A.D.)

"The most holy Eucharist has indeed this in common with the rest of the sacraments, that it is a symbol of a sacred thing, and is a visible form of an invisible grace; but there is found in the Eucharist this excellent and peculiar thing, that the other sacraments have then first the power of sanctifying when one uses them, whereas in the Eucharist, before being used, there is the Author Himself of sanctity. For the apostles had not as yet received the Eucharist from the hand of the Lord, when nevertheless Himself affirmed with truth that to be His own body which He presented (to them). And this faith has ever been in the Church of God, that, immediately after the consecration, the veritable Body of our Lord, and His veritable Blood, together with His soul and divinity, are under the species of bread and wine; but the Body indeed under the species of bread, and the Blood under the species of wine, by the force of the words; but the body itself under the species of wine, and the blood under the species of bread, and the soul under both, by the force of that natural connexion and concomitancy whereby the parts of Christ our Lord, who hath now risen from the dead, to die no more, are united together; and the divinity, furthermore, on account of the admirable hypostatical union thereof with His body and soul. Wherefore it is most true, that as much is contained under either species as under both; for Christ whole and entire is under the species of bread, and under any part whatsoever of that species; likewise the whole (Christ) is under the species of wine, and under the parts thereof." (Council of Trent, 1551 A.D.)

"Two points should be observed regarding the use of this sacrament, one on the part of the sacrament, the other on the part of the recipients; on the part of the sacrament it is proper for both the body and the blood to be received, since the perfection of the sacrament lies in both, and consequently, since it is the priest's duty both to consecrate and finish the sacrament, he ought on no account to receive Christ's body without the blood. But on the part of the recipient the greatest reverence and caution are called for, lest anything happen which is unworthy of so great a mystery. Now this could especially happen in receiving the blood, for, if incautiously handled, it might easily be spilt. And because the multitude of the Christian people increased, in which there are old, young, and children, some of whom have not enough discretion to observe due caution in using this sacrament, on that account it is a prudent custom...for the blood not to be offered to the reception of the people, but to be received by the priest alone... The perfection of this sacrament does not lie in the use of the faithful, but in the consecration of the matter. And hence there is nothing derogatory to the perfection of this sacrament; if the people receive the body without the blood, provided that the priest who consecrates receive both... Our Lord's Passion is represented in the very consecration of this sacrament, in which the body ought not to be consecrated without the blood. But the body can be received by the people without the blood: nor is this detrimental to the sacrament. Because the priest both offers and consumes the blood on behalf of all; and Christ is fully contained under either species" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Since in some parts of the world certain ones have rashly presumed to assert that Christian people should receive the sacrament of the Eucharist under both species of bread and wine, and since they give communion to the laity indiscriminately, not only under the species of bread, but also under the species of wine, after dinner or otherwise when not fasting, and since they pertinaciously assert that communion should be enjoyed contrary to the praiseworthy custom of the Church reasonably approved which they try damnably to disprove as a sacrilege, it is for this reason that this present Council ...declares, decides, and defines, that, although Christ instituted that venerable sacrament after supper and administered it to His disciples under both species of bread and wine; yet, notwithstanding this, the laudable authority of the sacred canons and the approved custom of the Church have maintained and still maintain that a sacrament of this kind should not be consecrated after supper, nor be received by the faithful who are not fasting, except in case of sickness or of another necessity [as allowed by the Church] and although such a sacrament was received by the faithful under both species in the early Church, yet since then it is received by those who consecrate under both species and by the laity only under the species of bread...since it must be believed most firmly and not at all doubted that the whole body of Christ and the blood are truly contained under the species of bread as well as under the species of wine. Therefore, to say that to observe this custom or law [that the laity receive Holy Communion under the species of bread alone] is a sacrilege or illicit must be considered erroneous, and those pertinaciously asserting the opposite of the above mentioned must be avoided as heretics and should be severely punished, either by the local diocesan officials or by the inquisitors of heretical depravity." (Council of Constance, 1415 A.D.)

"Wherefore, this holy Synod, instructed by the Holy Spirit, who is the spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the spirit of counsel and of godliness, and following the judgment and usage of the Church itself, declares and teaches, that laymen, and clerics when not consecrating, are not obliged, by any divine precept, to receive the sacrament of the Eucharist under both species; and that neither can it by any means be doubted, without injury to faith, that communion under either species is sufficient for them unto salvation. For, although Christ, the Lord, in the last supper, instituted and delivered to the apostles, this venerable sacrament in the species of bread and wine; not therefore do that institution and delivery tend thereunto, that all the faithful of Church be bound, by the institution of the Lord, to receive both species. But neither is it rightly gathered, from that discourse which is in the sixth of John, however according to the various interpretations of holy Fathers and Doctors it be understood, that the communion of both species was enjoined by the Lord: for He who said; Except you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you (v. 54), also said; He that eateth this bread shall live for ever (v. 59); and He who said, He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath everlasting life (v. 55), also said; The bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world (v. 52); and, in fine, He who said; He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood, abideth in me and I in him (v. 57), said, nevertheless; He that eateth this bread shall live for ever (v. 59.)... It furthermore declares, that this power has ever been in the Church, that, in the dispensation of the sacraments, their substance being untouched, it may ordain, or change, what things soever it may judge most expedient, for the profit of those who receive, or for the veneration of the said sacraments, according to the difference of circumstances, times, and places. And this the Apostle seems not obscurely to have intimated, when he says; Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and the dispensers of the mysteries of God. And indeed it is sufficiently manifest that he himself exercised this power, as in many other things, so in regard of this very sacrament; when, after having ordained certain things touching the use thereof, he says; The rest I will set in order when I come. Wherefore, holy Mother Church, knowing this her authority in the administration of the sacraments, although the use of both species has, from the beginning of the Christian religion, not been unfrequent, yet, in progress of time, that custom having been already very widely changed, she, induced by weighty and just reasons, has approved of this custom of communicating under one species, and decreed that it was to be held as a law; which it is not lawful to reprobate, or to change at pleasure, without the authority of the Church itself... It moreover declares, that although, as hath been already said, our Redeemer, in that last supper, instituted, and delivered to the apostles, this sacrament in two species, yet is to be acknowledged, that Christ whole and entire and a true sacrament are received under either species alone; and that therefore, as regards the fruit thereof, they, who receive one species alone, are not defrauded of any grace necessary to salvation." (Council of Trent, 1562 A.D.)

Also See: Communion Under Both Species: Is it Required? | The Holy Eucharist (Gen'l. Info.) | Holy Eucharist (Catechism of the Council of Trent) | Holy Eucharist / Mass (Basics / Misc.) | The Real Presence / Transubstantiation | Holy Communion | The Holy Eucharist Should Be Handled Only By Priests | Communion in the Hand: Why Not? | Lay 'Eucharistic Ministers': Why Not? | Proper Behavior in Church | Latin Mass / Catholic Tradition | Free Resources (Incl. Fliers) | Reverence / Honor to God (Topical Scripture)

Note: Categories are subjective and may overlap. For more items related to this topic, please review all applicable categories. For more 'Reflections' and for Scripture topics, see links below.

Top | Reflections: A-Z | Categ. | Scripture: A-Z | Categ. | Help

Frequent Communion

Also See:  Holy Eucharist / Holy Communion (Topic Page)

Note: For More on This Topic, Try Here (Holy Eucharist / Mass, Gen'l. Info.)

"This is our daily bread; take it daily, that it may profit thee daily." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

"O my children, how beautiful will that soul be in eternity, who makes frequent and good Communions!" (St. John Vianney)

"Among the weapons against the prince of this world [the devil]...the most potent is...a frequent partaking of the Lord's Body." (Pope Gregory VII)

"Two sorts of persons ought to communicate often: the perfect, to preserve perfection; and the imperfect, to arrive at perfection." (St. Francis de Sales, Doctor of the Church)

"He who communicates (receives Holy Communion) most frequently will be freest from sin, and will make farthest progress in Divine Love." (St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church)

"Those who go often to Mass during the week do their work very much better than those who, for want of faith, think they have no time for it." (St. John Vianney)

"A saint has told us that if we had the happiness of assisting often and devoutly at Mass, we should have far more blessing - spiritually - and even for our temporal affairs." (St. John Vianney)

"Try to gather more frequently to celebrate God's Eucharist and to praise Him. For when you meet with frequency, Satan's powers are overthrown and his destructiveness is undone by the unanimity of your faith." (St. Ignatius of Antioch)

"Communion is the life of your soul. If you were to eat only one meal each week, would you survive? It's the same thing with your soul: you must nourish your soul with the Holy Eucharist." (Bl. Brother Andre Bessette)

"If it is 'daily bread', why do you take it once a year?...Take daily what is to profit you daily. Live in such a way that you may deserve to receive it daily. He who does not deserve to receive it daily, does not deserve to receive it once a year." (St. Ambrose, Doctor of the Church)

"Can. 863 The faithful should be urged to refresh themselves frequently with the Eucharistic Bread, even daily, according to the norms laid down in the decrees of the Apostolic See; and those who attend Mass should not only communicate spiritually, but dispose themselves duly to receive the most Holy Eucharist sacramentally." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

"Therefore you hear that as often as sacrifice [of the Mass] is offered, the Lord's death, the Lord's resurrection, the Lord's ascension and the remission of sins is signified, and will you not take the Bread of Life daily? He who has a wound needs medicine. The wound is that we are under sin; the medicine is the heavenly and venerable Sacrament." (St. Ambrose, Doctor of the Church, 4th century A.D.)

"History bears witness that the virtues of the Christian life have flourished best wherever and whenever the frequent reception of the Eucharist has most prevailed. And on the other hand it is no less certain that in days when men have ceased to care for this Heavenly Bread, and have lost their appetite for it, the practice of Christian religion has gradually lost its force and vigor." (Pope Leo XIII, "Mirae Caritatis", 1902 A.D.)

"Can. 1273 Those to whom the religious instruction of the faithful falls shall omit nothing that would excite piety for the most holy Eucharist in their spirits and shall especially encourage them that, not only on [Sundays] and feasts of precept, but also on regular days during the week, they assist at the sacrifice of the Mass and visit the most Holy Sacrament frequently insofar as this is possible." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

"The desire (indeed) of Jesus Christ and of the Church, that all the faithful of Christ approach the sacred banquet daily, is especially important in this, that the faithful of Christ being joined with God through the sacrament may receive strength from it to restrain wantonness, to wash away the little faults that occur daily, and to guard against more grievous sins to which human frailty is subject..." (Congregation of the Holy Council, December 20th, 1905 A.D.)

"The Eucharist is called daily (bread) for two reasons. The first is that it is daily offered to God in the sacred mysteries of the Christian [Catholic] Church and is given to those who seek it piously and holily. The second is that it should be received daily, or, at least, that we should so live as to be worthy, as far as possible, to receive it daily. Let those who hold the contrary, and who say that we should not partake of this salutary banquet of the soul but at distant intervals, hear what St. Ambrose says: If it is daily bread, why do you receive it yearly?" (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"O men, you who often complain of being tempted beyond your strength; you say that the assaults of the Devil are of irresistible violence. I well believe it. What would you say of the soldier who, in the midst of long and toilsome marches, combats by day and by night, would content himself with a piece of bread every two or three days, and complain of sinking under fatigue? 'Take more nourishment,' you would say to him. And I say to you: 'Soldier of virtue, communicate oftener.' A general law obliges every Christian [that is, Catholic] to receive Holy Communion at Easter; the law of your conscience obliges you to communicate as often as you require in order to overcome the Devil." (Fr. Delaporte)

"[In the Our Father prayer], we ask and say 'Give us this day our daily bread'…we ask that this bread be give us daily, so that we who are in Christ and daily receive the Eucharist as the food of salvation, may not, by falling into some more grievous sin and then in abstaining from communicating, be withheld from the heavenly Bread, and be separated from Christ's Body...He Himself warns us, saying, 'Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you shall not have life in you.' Therefore do we ask that our Bread, which is Christ, be given to us daily, so that we who abide and live in Christ may not withdraw from His sanctification and from His Body." (St. Cyprian of Carthage, c. 251 A.D.)

"There are two things to be considered regarding the use of this sacrament. The first is on the part of the sacrament itself, the virtue of which gives health to men; and consequently it is profitable to receive it daily so as to receive its fruits daily. Hence Ambrose says (De Sacramentis iv): 'If, whenever Christ's blood is shed, it is shed for the forgiveness of sins, I who sin often, should receive it often: I need a frequent remedy.' The second thing to be considered is on the part of the recipient, who is required to approach this sacrament with great reverence and devotion. Consequently, if anyone finds that he has these dispositions every day, he will do well to receive it daily. Hence, Augustine after saying, 'Receive daily, that it may profit thee daily,' adds: 'So live, as to deserve to receive it daily.' But because many persons are lacking in this devotion, on account of the many drawbacks both spiritual and corporal from which they suffer, it is not expedient for all to approach this sacrament every day; but they should do so as often as they find themselves properly disposed. Hence it is said in De Ecclesiasticis Dogmatibus liii: 'I neither praise nor blame daily reception of the Eucharist.'" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"In the sacrament of Baptism a man is conformed to Christ's death, by receiving His character within him. And therefore, as Christ died but once, so a man ought to be baptized but once. But a man does not receive Christ's character in this sacrament; He receives Christ Himself, Whose virtue endures for ever. Hence it is written (Hebrews 10:14): 'By one oblation He hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.' Consequently, since man has daily need of Christ's health-giving virtue, he may commendably receive this sacrament every day. And since Baptism is above all a spiritual regeneration, therefore, as a man is born naturally but once, so ought he by Baptism to be reborn spiritually but once, as Augustine says (Tractatus 11 in Joannis), commenting on John 3:4, 'How can a man be born again, when he is grown old?' But this sacrament is spiritual food; hence, just as bodily food is taken every day, so is it a good thing to receive this sacrament every day. Hence it is that our Lord (Luke 11:3), teaches us to pray, 'Give us this day our daily bread': in explaining which words Augustine observes (De Verbis Domini, Sermone 28): 'If you receive it,' i.e. this sacrament, every day, 'every day is today for thee, and Christ rises again every day in thee, for when Christ riseth it is today.'" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Let frequent and daily communion ...be available to all Christians [that is, Catholics] of every order or condition, so that no one, who is in the state of grace and approaches the sacred table with a right and pious mind, may be prevented from this. Moreover, right mind is in this, that he who approaches the sacred table, indulges not through habit, or vanity, or human reasonings, but wishes to satisfy the pleasure of God, to be joined with Him more closely in charity and to oppose his infirmities and defects with that divine remedy. Although it is especially expedient that those who practice frequent and daily communion be free from venial sins, at least those completely deliberate, and of their effect, it is enough, nevertheless, that they be free from mortal sins, with the resolution that they will never sin in the future... Care must be taken that careful preparation for Holy Communion precede, and that actions befitting the graces follow thereafter according to the strength, condition, and duties of each one. Let the counsel of the confessor intercede. Yet let confessors beware lest they turn anyone away from frequent or daily communion, who is found in the state of grace and approaches (it) with a right mind... Finally, after the promulgation of this decree, let all ecclesiastical writers abstain from any contentious disputation about dispositions for frequent and daily communion." (Congregation of the Holy Council, December 16th, 1905 A.D.)

"Wherefore, works of this kind which have been already set on foot must be ever more zealously promoted; old undertakings must be revived wherever perchance they may have fallen into decay; for instance, Confraternities of the holy Eucharist, intercessory prayers before the blessed Sacrament exposed for the veneration of the faithful, solemn processions, devout visits to God's tabernacle, and other holy and salutary practices of some kind; nothing must be omitted which a prudent piety may suggest as suitable. But the chief aim of our efforts must be that the frequent reception of the Eucharist may be everywhere revived among Catholic peoples. For this is the lesson which is taught us by the example, already referred to, of the primitive Church, by the decrees of Councils, by the authority of the Fathers and of the holy men in all ages. For the soul, like the body, needs frequent nourishment; and the holy Eucharist provides that food which is best adapted to the support of its life. Accordingly all hostile prejudices, those vain fears to which so many yield, and their specious excuses from abstaining from the Eucharist, must be resolutely put aside; for there is question here of a gift than which none other can be more serviceable to the faithful people, either for the redeeming of time from the tyranny of anxious cares concerning perishable things, or for the renewal of the Christian spirit and perseverance therein." (Pope Leo XIII, "Mirae Caritatis", 1902 A.D.)

Also See: The Holy Eucharist (Gen'l. Info.) | Holy Eucharist (Catechism of the Council of Trent) | Holy Eucharist / Mass (Basics / Misc.) | Holy Communion | Praise / Benefits of the Holy Eucharist & Mass | Necessity of Receiving the Holy Eucharist | Communion in the Hand: Why Not? | Communion Under Both Species: Is it Required? | Lay 'Eucharistic Ministers': Why Not? | Spiritual Communion | Mass / Holy Eucharist Prayers | Proper Behavior in Church | Free Resources (Incl. Fliers) | Reverence / Honor to God (Topical Scripture)

Note: Categories are subjective and may overlap. For more items related to this topic, please review all applicable categories. For more 'Reflections' and for Scripture topics, see links below.

Top | Reflections: A-Z | Categ. | Scripture: A-Z | Categ. | Help

Holy Communion

Also See:  Holy Eucharist / Holy Communion (Topic Page)

Note: For More on This Topic, Try Here (Holy Eucharist / Mass, Gen'l. Info.)

"Jesus said to them, 'Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever.'" (Jn. 6:53-58) [Note: As Scripture makes clear, reception of the Holy Eucharist is one essential condition for salvation. To be saved, one must also live according to God's laws.]

"For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread, And giving thanks, broke and said [to the Apostles]: Take ye and eat: This is my body, which shall be delivered for you. This do for the commemoration of me. In like manner also the chalice, after he had supped, saying: This chalice is the new testament in my blood. This do ye, as often as you shall drink, for the commemoration of me. For as often as you shall eat this bread and drink the chalice, you shall shew the death of the Lord, until he come. Therefore, whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord. But let a man prove himself: and so let him eat of that bread and drink of the chalice. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord. Therefore are there many infirm and weak among you: and many sleep [that is, die]." (St. Paul, 1 Cor. 11:23-30)

"We eat the Body of Christ that we may be able to be partakers of eternal life." (St. Ambrose, Doctor of the Church)

"One's everyday life ought to be both a preparation and a thanksgiving for Communion." (St. John Vianney)

"By one Communion you give more glory to God that if you gave away one hundred thousand francs." (St. John Vianney)

"[If] thou art cloaked in vice, approach not!" (14-15th Century Sequence)

"[You] should tremble at the very thought of an unworthy Communion (cf. 1 Cor. 11:27)" (Liturgical Year)

"Can. 861 The precept of receiving Communion is not satisfied by a sacrilegious Communion." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

"To receive the Blessed Sacrament worthily, one must have a great desire for union with Jesus Christ." (St. John Vianney)

"[W]hilst the Doctors in the Temple only saw and heard Him, we, in this Living Bread, possess Him and are united with Him in sweetest union." (Dom Gueranger)

"Upon receiving Holy Communion, the Adorable Blood of Jesus Christ really flows in our veins and His Flesh is really blended with ours." (St. John Vianney)

"The effect of this sacrament [the Holy Eucharist] which He operates in the soul of him who takes it worthily is the union of man with Christ." (Pope Eugenius IV)

"A preserving fidelity in observing God's commandments is the best preparation a Christian can make for approaching the holy Table" (Liturgical Year)

"Eucharistic Communion brings about in a sublime way the mutual 'abiding' of Christ and each of his followers: 'Abide in me, and I in you' (Jn 15:4)." (Pope John Paul II)

"There is a difference between the food of the body and that of the soul, that whereas the former is changed into our substance, the later changes us into its own." (Pope Leo XIII)

"If any one saith that the communion of the Eucharist is necessary for little children before they have arrived at years of discretion; let him be anathema." (Council of Trent)

"Thanksgiving after Communion is also necessary. The prayer we make after Communion is the most acceptable to God, and the most profitable to us." (St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church)

"Can. 912 Any baptized person who is not forbidden by law may and must be admitted to Holy Communion." (1983 Code of Canon Law) [Note: This, of course, means baptized Catholics who are in the state of grace and who are properly disposed.]

"Christ is food for me, Christ is drink for me; the Flesh of God is food for me, the Blood of God is drink for me. Christ is ministered to me daily." (St. Ambrose, Doctor of the Church, 4th century A.D.)

"We ought to ask the Blessed Virgin, the angels, and the saints to pray for us that we may receive the good God as worthily as it is possible for us to receive him." (St. John Vianney)

"If you keep your thoughts fixed on our Lord after Communion, you will feel for a long time that consuming fire which will inspire in your heart the desire for good and a shrinking from evil." (St. John Vianney)

"The Wisdom of God, the food of souls, hath offered to us, for our nourishment, the Flesh he had assumed to himself; that, by this food of his love, he might lead us to taste of what is divine." (Ancient Antiphon)

"When we want to obtain anything of the good God, let us, after Holy Communion, offer him his well-beloved Son, with all the merits of his death and Passion; he will be able to refuse us nothing." (St. John Vianney)

"There's nothing so great, my children, as the Eucharist. If you were to put all the good actions in this world against a Communion well made, it would be like a grain of dust against a mountain." (St. John Vianney)

"Now we, as often as we receive the Sacraments, which by the mystery of the sacred prayer are transformed into the Flesh and Blood of the Lord, proclaim the Lord's death." (St. Ambrose, Doctor of the Church, c. 378 A.D.)

"Can. 915 Those upon whom the penalty of excommunication or interdict has been imposed or declared, and others who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin, are not to be admitted to Holy Communion." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"The heart which is preparing to receive the Holy Eucharist should be like a crystal vase, filled with the purest and most limpid water. We should not allow the slightest impure atom to make its appearance." (St. Elizabeth Ann Seton)

"Can. 925 Holy Communion is to be given under the species of bread alone or, in accordance with the liturgical laws, under both species or, in case of necessity, even under the species of wine alone." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"He who undertakes to receive Communion, without observing the manner in which participation in the Body and Blood of Christ has been granted, derives no benefit therefrom; and he who communicates unworthily is condemned." (St. Basil the Great, Doctor of the Church)

"If you were to put your tongue into molten gold - if that were possible - you would make your hand or tongue golden. In much the same way, the [Eucharistic] Mystery lying before us here affects the soul." (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church)

"Love tends to union with the object loved. Now Jesus Christ loves a soul that is in a state of grace with an immense love; He ardently desires to unite Himself with it. This is what Holy Communion does." (St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church)

"[Before receiving Communion] you must humble yourself mot profoundly before God [and you] must renounce your corrupt interior and your dispositions, however good your self-love may make them look." (St. Louis Marie de Montfort)

"The sinner, reconciled to his offended God, must receive the Body of Jesus with sentiments of hearty contrition, and approach himself in all the bitterness of his soul, for having shed that precious Blood by his multiplied sins." (Dom Gueranger)

"Simeon gave Jesus back to his Mother; he was only suffered to keep him for one moment. But we are far happier than Simeon. We may keep him always if we will. In Communion, he comes not only into our arms but into our hearts." (St. John Vianney)

"[I]s not the enraptured gaze of Mary as she contemplated the face of the newborn Christ and cradled him in her arms that unparalleled model of love which should inspire us every time we receive Eucharistic Communion?" (Pope John Paul II, 2003 A.D.)

"Our Lord does not come down from Heaven every day to lie in a golden ciborium. He comes to find another heaven which is infinitely dearer to him - the heaven of our souls, created in His Image, the living temples of the Adorable Trinity." (St. Therese of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church)

"[T]hey should receive the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ with great humility and reverence, remembering what the Lord says: Whoever eats and drinks my blood has eternal life (cf. Jn. 6:55) and: Do this in memory of me (Lk. 22:19)." (St. Francis of Assisi)

"Let all this avail us to this end, that we eat not the Flesh and Blood of Christ in the Sacrament, as evil men do, but that we eat and drink to the participation of the Spirit, that we abide as members of the Lord's body to be quickened by His spirit." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church, 5th century A.D.)

"When his mother recognized St. Alexis in the lifeless body of the beggar who had lived for thirty years under her palace stairway, she cried: 'Oh! That I should have known you so late!'... The soul after this life will see at last whom she has possessed in the Eucharist" (St. John Vianney)

"No one who has a mortal sin on his conscience shall dare receive the Holy Eucharist before making a sacramental confession, regardless of how contrite he may think he is. This holy council declares that this custom is to be kept forever by all Christians" (Council of Trent)

"He who abstains from receiving Holy Communion, and separates himself from the body of the Lord, has much reason to fear, for he withdraws himself, at the same time, from eternal salvation; for does not Christ say, ' Unless you eat of the Son of man you shall not have life in you?' (Jn. 6:54)" (St. Cyprian)

"Can. 867 § 1 The most holy Eucharist is licitly distributed on any day... § 4 Holy Communion can be distributed at any hour at which Mass could be celebrated, unless a reasonable cause persuades otherwise. § 5 But holy Viaticum can be administered at whatever hour of the day or night." (1917 Code of Canon Law) 

"Can. 860 The obligation of the precept of receiving Communion that binds those below the age of puberty falls especially on those who are bound to have their care, that is, parents, guardians, confessors, teachers, and pastors." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

"If any one denieth that all and each of Christ's faithful of both sexes are bound, when they have attained to years of discretion, to communicate every year at least at Easter, in accordance with the precept of holy mother Church; let him be anathema." (Council of Trent)

"Can. 920 §1 Once admitted to the blessed Eucharist, each of the faithful is obliged to receive Holy Communion at least once a year. §2 This precept must be fulfilled during paschal time (the Easter season), unless for a good reason it is fulfilled at another time during the year." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"Holy Communion is the shortest and safest way to heaven. There are others; innocence, but that is for little children; penance, but we are afraid of it; generous endurance for the trials of life, but when they come we weep and ask to be spared. The surest, easiest, shortest way is the Eucharist." (Pope St. Pius X)

"Since God is unsullied purity, he who is united to Jesus Christ in Holy Communion, rising like an innocent dove above the muddy water of this wretched world, wings his flight upward and seeks refuge in the bosom of God - the bosom of Him who is purer than the spotless snow that crowns the mountain tops." (Pope St. Pius X)

"Augustine says (Tractatus 62 in Joannis): 'Many receive Christ's body unworthily; whence we are taught what need there is to beware of receiving a good thing evilly ... For behold, of a good thing, received evilly, evil is wrought'" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Can. 856 No one burdened by mortal sin on his conscience, no matter how contrite he believes he is, shall approach Holy Communion without prior sacramental confession; but if there is urgent necessity and a supply of ministers of confession is lacking, he shall first elicit an act of perfect contrition." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

"I too raise my voice, I beseech, beg and implore that no one draw near to this sacred table with a sullied and corrupt conscience. Such an act, in fact, can never be called 'communion', not even were we to touch the Lord's body a thousand times over, but 'condemnation', 'torment' and 'increase of punishment'" (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church)

"'[The Eucharistic Bread] which is broken on our altars, offered to us as wayfarers along the paths of the world, is Panis Angelorum, the Bread of Angels, which cannot be approached except with the humility of the centurion in the Gospel: 'Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof ' (Mt 8:8; Lk 7:6)." (Pope John Paul II, 2003 A.D.)

"For this gift, than which nothing can be more excellent or more conducive to salvation, is offered to all those, whatever their office or dignity may be, who wish - as every one ought to wish - to foster in themselves that life of divine grace whose goal is the attainment of the life of blessedness with God." (Pope Leo XIII, "Mirae Caritatis", 1902 A.D.)

"I therefore desire to reaffirm that in the Church there remains in force, now and in the future, the rule by which the Council of Trent gave concrete expression to the Apostle Paul's stern warning when it affirmed that, in order to receive the Eucharist in a worthy manner, 'one must first confess one's sins [in a sacramental Confession], when one is aware of mortal sin'." (Pope John Paul II, 2003 A.D.)

"He received earth from earth; because flesh is from the earth, and He took flesh from the flesh of Mary. He walked here in the same flesh and gave us the same flesh to be eaten unto salvation. But no one eats that flesh unless first he adores it...not only do we not sin by adoring, we do sin by not adoring." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church, c. 5th century A.D.)

"Christ did this to bring us to a closer bond of friendship, and to signify His love toward us, giving Himself to those who desire Him, not only to behold Him, but also to handle Him, to eat Him, to embrace Him with the fullness of their whole heart. Therefore as lions breathing fire do we depart from that Table, rendered objects of terror to the devil." (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church, 4th century A.D.)

"We must, therefore, approach the holy Table...with an ardent ambition for our resurrection, knowing as we do that we then receive unto our bodies an element which is to preserve them even when turned into dust; and which, moreover, confers on them a right to the qualities of glorified bodies, whose beauty and happiness will be like those of our Jesus, after he had risen from the grave." (Dom Gueranger)

"[Q.] What is the fear with which the Body and Blood of Christ are to be received by us? A kind of certainty, or a kind of feeling? [A.] The Apostle teaches us this fear when he says, 'Anyone who eats and drinks unworthy eats and drinks judgement on himself.' Certainty is effected by faith in the words of the Lord, when He says, 'This is My Body, which is given for you; do this in remembrance of me." (St. Basil the Great, Doctor of the Church, c. 371 A.D.)

"No greater glory can be given to God than the celebration of this sacrifice [of the Mass], wherein God Himself is the Victim; at the same time, nothing can be more advantageous to man than to partake of this divine Victim, to become himself this Victim, by incorporating it with himself by Holy Communion, whereby is realized that wonderful promise of our Redeemer: He that eateth My Flesh and drinketh My Blood, abideth in Me, and I in him." (Dom Gueranger)

"In every Communion we are made flesh of His flesh and bone of His bone; and if our hearts are pure and we are made also heart of His heart, mind of His mind, will of His will, spirit of His spirit. We are not straightened in him, but in ourselves. If our hearts were prepared as they might and ought to be by contrition and piety, the sacramental grace of even one Communion would suffice to sanctify us in body, soul, and spirit." (Cardinal Manning)

"The Apostle says (1 Corinthians 11:29): 'He that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself.' Now the gloss says on this passage: 'He eats and drinks unworthily who is in sin, or who handles it irreverently.' Therefore, if anyone, while in mortal sin, receives this sacrament, he purchases damnation, by sinning mortally." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"But whereas the Sacraments of the New Law, though they take effect ex opere operato, nevertheless produce a greater effect in proportion as the dispositions of the recipient are better; therefore, care is to be taken that Holy Communion be preceded by serious preparation, and followed by a suitable thanksgiving according to each one's strength, circumstances, and duties." (Congregation of the Holy Council, December 20th, 1905 A.D.)

"[St. Francis of Assisi's] burning love for the Sacrament of our Lord's Body seemed to consume the very marrow of his bones, as he wondered within himself which most to admire - the condescension of that charity, or the charity of that condescension of our Lord. He communicated often, and so devoutly as to move others to devotion; and, by the sweetness of that Immaculate [Host], he was, as it were, spiritually inebriated, and frequently rapt in ecstasy." (St. Bonaventure, Doctor of the Church)

"Those who receive [the sacrament of the Eucharist] worthily, receive an increase of grace. And all the effects which material food and drink have on the life of our body - maintaining and increasing life, restoring health and bringing pleasure - all these effects this sacrament has on our spiritual life. As Pope Urban says, in this sacrament we think of our Savior with gratitude, we are drawn away from evil, we are encouraged to do good, and we advance in virtue and in grace." (Council of Florence)

"They, therefore, err from the path of truth who do not want to have Masses celebrated unless the faithful communicate; and those are still more in error who, in holding that it is altogether necessary for the faithful to receive Holy Communion as well as the priest, put forward the captious argument that here there is a question not of a sacrifice merely, but of a sacrifice and a supper of brotherly union, and consider the general communion of all present as the culminating point of the whole celebration." (Pope Pius XII, "Mediator Dei", 1947 A.D.) 

"But always remember that the more you allow Mary to act in your Communion, the more Jesus will be glorified; and you will allow Mary to act for Jesus and Jesus to act in Mary in the measure that you humble yourself and listen to them in peace and in silence, without troubling yourself about seeing, tasting or feeling; for the just man lives throughout on faith, and particularly in Holy Communion, which is an action of faith: 'My just man liveth by faith.' (Heb. 10:38).'" (St. Louis Marie de Montfort)

"Every medicine does not suit every stage of sickness; because the tonic given to those who are recovering from fever would be hurtful to them if given while yet in their feverish condition. So likewise Baptism and Penance are as purgative medicines, given to take away the fever of sin; whereas this sacrament [of the Holy Eucharist] is a medicine given to strengthen, and it ought not to be given except to them who are quit of sin." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Can. 913 §1 For Holy Communion to be administered to children, it is required that they have sufficient knowledge and be accurately prepared, so that according to their capacity they understand what the mystery of Christ means, and are able to receive the Body of the Lord with faith and devotion. §2 The blessed Eucharist may, however, be administered to children in danger of death if they can distinguish the Body of Christ from ordinary food and receive Communion with reverence." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 914 It is primarily the duty of parents and those who take the place of parents, as well as the duty of pastors, to take care that children who have reached the use of reason are prepared properly and, after they have made sacramental confession, are refreshed with this Divine Food as soon as possible. It is also the duty of the pastor to exercise vigilance so that children who have not attained the use of reason or whom he judges to be insufficiently disposed do not approach Holy Communion." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"Just as Judas to whom the Lord handed a morsel, furnished in himself a place for the devil, not by receiving something wicked but by receiving it wickedly, so too anyone who receives the Sacrament of the Lord unworthily does not, because he himself is wicked, cause the Sacrament to be wicked, or bring it about that he receives nothing because he does not receive it unto salvation. For it was the Body of the Lord and the Blood of the Lord even in those to whom the Apostle said: 'Whoever eats and drinks unworthily, eats and drinks judgment to himself.'" (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church, c. 400 A.D.)

"Think how indignant you are against the traitor, against those who crucified Him. Take care, then, lest you too become guilty of the Body and Blood of Christ. They slaughtered His most holy body; but you, after such great benefits, receive Him into a filthy soul. For it was not enough for Him to be made Man, to be struck and to be slaughtered, but He even mingles Himself with us; and this not by faith only, but even in every deed He makes us His body [through holy Communion]. How very pure, then, ought he not be, who enjoys the benefit of this Sacrifice?" (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church, c. 370 A.D.)

"Can. 919 §1 Whoever is to receive the blessed Eucharist is to abstain for at least one hour before Holy Communion from all food and drink, with the sole exception of water and medicine. §2 A priest who, on the same day, celebrates [Mass] twice or three times may consume something before the second or third celebration, even though there is not an hour's interval. §3 The elderly and those who are suffering from some illness, as well as those who care for them, may receive the blessed Eucharist even if within the preceding hour they have consumed something." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 916 Anyone who is conscious of grave sin may not celebrate Mass or receive the Body of the Lord without previously having been to sacramental confession, unless there is a grave reason and there is no opportunity to confess; in this case the person is to remember the obligation to make an act of perfect contrition, which includes the resolve to go to confession as soon as possible." (1983 Code of Canon Law) [Note: Of course, the term 'anyone' as used in this paragraph refers to all persons with regard to the reception of Holy Communion, but refers to a priest with regard to celebrating Mass (since, of course, no lay person has the power to celebrate Mass).]

"Those who have charge over children must make every effort to see that these same children after first communion approach the holy table often, and, if it can be done, daily, just as Jesus Christ and Mother Church desire; and that they do this with that devotion of mind which is appropriate to such an age. Let those who have this responsibility remember besides the very serious obligation by which they are bound, see to it that the children themselves continue to be present at the public instructions in catechism, or otherwise in some manner supply the same with religious instruction." (Congregation on the Sacraments, August 8, 1910 A.D.)

"There are others who deny any impetratory power to our prayers, or who endeavor to insinuate into men's minds the idea that prayers offered to God in private should be considered of little worth, whereas public prayers which are made in the name of the Church are those which really matter, since they proceed from the Mystical Body of Christ. This opinion is false; for the divine Redeemer is most closely united not only with His Church, which is His beloved Spouse, but also with each and every one of the faithful, and He ardently desires to speak with them heart to heart, especially after Holy Communion." (Pope Pius XII, "Mystici Corporis Christi", 1943 A.D.)

"If any one saith, that faith alone is a sufficient preparation for receiving the sacrament of the most holy Eucharist; let him be anathema. And for fear lest so great a sacrament may be received unworthily, and so unto death and condemnation, this holy Synod ordains and declares, that sacramental confession, when a confessor may be had, is of necessity to be made beforehand, by those whose conscience is burdened with mortal sin, how contrite even soever they may think themselves. But if any one shall presume to teach, preach, or obstinately to assert, or even in public disputation to defend the contrary, he shall be thereupon excommunicated." (Council of Trent, Canon XI)

"As of all the sacred mysteries bequeathed to us by our Lord and Savior as most infallible instruments of divine grace, there is none comparable to the most holy Sacrament of the Eucharist; so, for no crime is there a heavier punishment to be feared from God than for the unholy or irreligious use by the faithful of that which is full of holiness, or rather, or rather which contains the very author and source of holiness. This the Apostle wisely saw, and has openly admonished us of it. For when he had declared the enormity of their guilt who discerned not the body of the Lord, he immediately subjoined: Therefore are there many infirm and weak among you, and many [are dying] (1 Cor 11:30)." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"The Savior Himself declares, 'Whoever eats My Flesh and drinks My Blood abides in Me and I in him.' By this statement it is to be seen that Christ does not say He will be in us only after the fashion of some relation that is solely intellectual, but also through a participation truly according to nature. Just as if someone were to entwine two pieces of wax together and melt them with a fire, so that both are made one, so too through participation in the Body of Christ and in His Precious Blood, He is united in us and we too in Him. In no other way can that corruptible nature be [quickened] except by being united bodily to the Body of Him who is, by His very nature, life: that is, the Only-begotten." (St. Cyril of Alexandria, Doctor of the Church, c. 431 A.D.)

"The consequence to be drawn from this teaching is evident; it is contained in these words of the apostle: 'Let a man prove himself, and so let him eat of that bread and drink of the chalice'. What could be more just, than that, having to be initiated in so intimate a manner to the mystery of the redemption and to contract so close a union with the divine Victim [Christ], we should banish from our hearts sin and affection to sin? 'He that eateth My Flesh and drinketh My Blood, abideth in Me, and I in Him,' says our Lord (Jn. v. 57). Could there be a closer union? God and man abiding in each other? Oh! How carefully ought we to purify our soul, and render our will comfortable with the will of Jesus, before approaching this divine banquet, to which He invites us!" (Dom Gueranger)

"As Christ's Passion benefits all, for the forgiveness of sin and the attaining of grace and glory, whereas it produces no effect except in those who are united with Christ's Passion through faith and charity, so likewise this sacrifice [of the Mass], which is the memorial of our Lord's Passion, has no effect except in those who are united with this sacrament through faith and charity. Hence Augustine says to Renatus (De Anima et ejus origine i): 'Who may offer Christ's body except for them who are Christ's members?' Hence in the Canon of the Mass no prayer is made for them who are outside the pale of the Church. But it benefits them who are members, more or less, according to the measure of their devotion." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"In this sacrament, as in the others, that which is a sacrament is a sign of the reality of the sacrament. Now there is a twofold reality of this sacrament...one which is signified and contained, namely, Christ Himself; while the other is signified but not contained, namely, Christ's mystical body, which is the fellowship of the saints. Therefore, whoever receives this sacrament, expresses thereby that he is made one with Christ, and incorporated in His members; and this is done by living faith, which no one has who is in mortal sin. And therefore it is manifest that whoever receives this sacrament while in mortal sin, is guilty of lying to this sacrament, and consequently of sacrilege, because he profanes the sacrament: and therefore he sins mortally." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"But let us dread, and dread above all things, the sacrilegious daring, spoken against in such strong language by our apostle, which, by a monstrous contradiction, would attempt to put again to death Him who is the Author of life; and this attempt to be made in the very banquet, which was procured for us men by the precious Blood of this Savior! Let a man prove himself, says the apostle; and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of the chalice. This proving one's self is sacramental confession, which must be made by him who feels himself guilty of a grievous sin, which has never before been confessed. How sorry soever he may be for it, were he even reconciled to God by an act of perfect contrition, the injunction of the apostle, interpreted by the custom of the Church and the decision of her Councils, forbids his approaching the holy Table until he has submitted his sin to the power of the keys [received absolution in the Sacrament of Penance]." (Liturgical Year)

"When it is said that the Eucharist imparts grace, pastors must admonish that this does not mean that the state of grace is not required for profitable reception of this Sacrament. For as natural food can be of no use to the dead, so in like manner the sacred mysteries can evidently be of no avail to a soul which lives not by the spirit. Hence this Sacrament has been instituted under the forms of bread and wine to signify that the object of its institution is not to recall the soul to life, but to preserve its life. The reason, then, for saying that this Sacrament imparts grace, is that even the first grace, with which all should be clothed before they presume to approach the Holy Eucharist, lest they eat and drink judgment to themselves (1 Cor. xi. 30), is given to none unless they receive in wish and desire this very Sacrament. For the Eucharist is the end of all the Sacraments, and the symbol of unity and brotherhood in the Church, outside which none can attain grace." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"[T]he sin of unbelief, which fundamentally severs a man from the unity of the Church, simply speaking, makes him to be utterly unfit for receiving this sacrament; because it is the sacrament of the Church's unity, as stated above (Q61,A2). Hence the unbeliever who receives this sacrament sins more grievously than the believer who is in sin; and shows greater contempt towards Christ Who is in the sacrament, especially if he does not believe Christ to be truly in this sacrament; because, so far as lies in him, he lessens the holiness of the sacrament, and the power of Christ acting in it, and this is to despise the sacrament in itself. But the believer who receives the sacrament with consciousness of sin, by receiving it unworthily despises the sacrament, not in itself, but in its use. Hence the Apostle (1 Corinthians 11:29) in assigning the cause of this sin, says, 'not discerning the body of the Lord,' that is, not distinguishing it from other food: and this is what he does who disbelieves Christ's presence in this sacrament." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Can. 854 § 1 The Eucharist should not be administered to children who, because of a deficiency of age, do not have knowledge of or desire for this Sacrament. § 2 In danger of death, in order that the most Holy Eucharist can and must be administered, it suffices that they know how to discern the Body of Christ from common bread and reverently adore it. § 3 Outside danger of death a fuller knowledge of Christian doctrine and more accurate preparation is correctly required, namely, that they perceive according to their capacities at least those mysteries of the faith necessary as a means to salvation and devoutly according to the manner of their age approach the most Holy Eucharist. § 4 Judgment about the sufficiency of the disposition of children for first Communion is left to the priest who is their confessor and to the parents or those who take their place. § 5 To the pastor belongs the duty of being vigilant, even by examination if he prudently judges it opportune, lest children approach the Sacred Synax before attaining the use of reason or without sufficient disposition; likewise, of taking care that those who have attained reason and are sufficiently disposed receive the Divine Food as soon as possible." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

"The Holy Communion is the principal and indispensable weapon of the Christian [that is, Catholic] in his spiritual combats with the infernal powers; it is because they either do not receive Holy Communion, or receive it badly, or too seldom, that the devils are terrible to the frail children of Adam. As soon as a Christian nourishes himself with the bread of the strong, as [one saint] remarks, all is changed; that Christian returns from the Holy Table 'like a lion, inflamed with Divine ardor, terrible to the demons,' and what wonder? That Christian marches to battle clothed not only with the armor furnished by Jesus Christ but with Jesus Christ Himself! Hell may, doubtless, in its fury, assail him with desperate rage at the very moment when he receives his God; that has been seen, and is seen every day. But hell shall not enslave him. 'He who Communicates well, does all well,' further said St. Vincent de Paul. Yes, he who communicates well, that is to say, frequently and worthily, shall count his steps by victories; he shall keep the treasure of the holy and glorious liberty of the children of God, and his last struggle with hell shall be a splendid triumph." (Fr. Delaporte)  

"Our Savior's washing the feet of His disciples before permitting them to partake of His divine mystery, conveys an instruction to us. The apostle has just been telling us, that we should prove ourselves: and here we have Jesus saying to His disciples: you are clean. It is true, He adds: but not all: just as the apostle assures us, that there are some who render themselves guilty of the Body and Blood of the Lord. God forbid we should ever be of this number! Let us prove ourselves; let us sound the depths of our conscience, before approaching the holy Table. Mortal sin, and the affection to mortal sin, would change the Bread of Life into a deadly poison for our souls. But if respect for the holiness of God, who is about to enter within us by holy Communion, should make us shudder at the thought of receiving Him in the state of mortal sin which robs the soul of the image of God and gives her that of Satan, ought not that same respect to urge us to purify our souls from venial sins, which dim the beauty of grace? He, says our Savior, that is washed needeth not but to wash his feet. The feet are those earthly attachments, which so often lead us to the brink of sin. Let us watch over our senses, and the affections of our hearts. Let us wash away these stains by a sincere confession, by penance, by sorrow, and by humility; that thus we may worthily receive the adorable Sacrament, and derive from it the fullness of its power and grace." (Dom Gueranger)

"The fact of a man being unconscious of his sin can come about in two ways. First of all through his own fault, either because through ignorance of the law (which ignorance does not excuse him), he thinks something not to be sinful which is a sin, as for example if one guilty of fornication were to deem simple fornication not to be a mortal sin; or because he neglects to examine his conscience, which is opposed to what the Apostle says (1 Corinthians 11:28): 'Let a man prove himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of the chalice.' And in this way nevertheless the sinner who receives Christ's body commits sin, although unconscious thereof, because the very ignorance is a sin on his part. Secondly, it may happen without fault on his part, as, for instance, when he has sorrowed over his sin, but is not sufficiently contrite: and in such a case he does not sin in receiving the body of Christ, because a man cannot know for certain whether he is truly contrite. It suffices, however, if he find in himself the marks of contrition, for instance, if he 'grieve over past sins,' and 'propose to avoid them in the future' (Rule of Augustine). But if he be ignorant that what he did was a sinful act, through ignorance of the fact, which excuses, for instance, if a man approach a woman whom he believed to be his wife whereas she was not, he is not to be called a sinner on that account; in the same way if he has utterly forgotten his sin, general contrition suffices for blotting it out" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"We now come to point out the manner in which the faithful should be previously prepared for sacramental Communion. To demonstrate the great necessity of this previous preparation, the example of the Savior should be adduced. Before He gave to His Apostles the Sacrament of His precious body and blood, although they were already clean, He washed their feet to show that we must use extreme diligence before Holy Communion in order to approach it with the greatest purity and innocence of soul. In the next place, the faithful are to understand that as he who approaches thus prepared and disposed is adorned with the most ample gifts of heavenly grace; so, on the contrary, he who approaches without this preparation not only deserves from it no advantage, but even incurs the greatest misfortune and loss. It is characteristic of the best and most salutary things that, if seasonably made use of, they are productive of the greatest benefit; but if employed out of time, they prove most pernicious and destructive. It cannot, therefore, excite our surprise that the greatest and exalted gifts of God, when received into a soul properly disposed, are of the greatest assistance towards the attainment of salvation; while to those who receive them unworthily, they bring with them eternal death. Of this the Ark of the Lord affords a convincing illustration. The people of Israel possessed nothing more precious and it was to them the source of innumerable blessings from God; but when the Philistines carried it away, it brought on them a most destructive plague and the heaviest calamities, together with eternal disgrace. Thus also food when received from the mouth into a healthy stomach nourishes and supports the body; but when received into an indisposed stomach, causes grave disorders." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"Benedict XIV, wishing to emphasize and throw fuller light upon the truth that the faithful by receiving the Holy Eucharist become partakers of the divine [Eucharistic] Sacrifice itself, praises the devotion of those who, when attending Mass, not only elicit a desire to receive Holy Communion but also want to be nourished by hosts consecrated during the Mass, even though, as he himself states, they really and truly take part in the [Eucharistic] Sacrifice should they receive a host which has been duly consecrated at a previous Mass. He writes as follows: 'And although in addition to those to whom the celebrant gives a portion of the Victim [that is, Christ] he himself has offered in the Mass, they also participate in the same [Eucharistic] Sacrifice to whom a priest distributes the Blessed Sacrament that has been reserved; however, the Church has not for this reason ever forbidden, nor does she now forbid, a celebrant to satisfy the piety and just request of those who, when present at Mass, want to become partakers of the same [Eucharistic] Sacrifice, because they likewise offer it after their own manner, nay more, she approves of it and desires that it should not be omitted and would reprehend those priests through whose fault and negligence this participation would be denied to the faithful.'...Now it is very fitting, as the liturgy otherwise lays down, that the people receive Holy Communion after the priest has partaken of the divine repast upon the altar; and, as we have written above, they should be commended who, when present at Mass, receive hosts consecrated at the same Mass, so that it is actually verified, 'that as many of us, as, at this altar, shall partake of and receive the most holy Body and Blood of thy Son, may be filled with every heavenly blessing and grace.'" (Pope Pius XII, "Mediator Dei", 1947 A.D.)

"The first preparation, then, which the faithful should make, is to distinguish table from table, this sacred table from profane tables, this Celestial Bread from common bread. This we do when we firmly believe that there is truly present the Body and Blood of the Lord, of Him whom the Angels adore in heaven at whose nod the pillars of heaven fear and tremble, of whose glory the heavens and earth are full. This is to discern the body of the Lord in accordance with the admonition of the Apostle... Another very necessary preparation is to ask ourselves if we are at peace with and sincerely love our neighbor. If, therefore, thou offerest thy gift at the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath anything against thee, leave there thy offering before the altar, and go first to be reconciled to thy brother, and then coming thou shalt offer thy gift. We should in the next place, carefully examine whether our consciences be defiled by mortal sin, which has to be repented of, in order that it may be blotted out by the remedy of contrition and confession. The Council of Trent has defined that no one conscious of mortal sin and having an opportunity of going to confession, however contrite he may deem himself, is to approach the Holy Eucharist until he has been purified by sacramental confession. We should also reflect in the silence of our own hearts how unworthy we are that the Lord should bestow on us this divine gift, and with the centurion of whom our Lord declared that he found not so great faith in Israel, we should exclaim from our hearts: Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldst enter under my roof. We should also put the question to ourselves whether we can truly say with Peter: Lord, thou knowest that I love thee, and should recollect that he who sat down at the banquet of the Lord without a wedding garment was cast into a dark dungeon and condemned to eternal torments." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"The Church puts upon all her children the obligation of receiving Holy Communion at Easter. This precept is based upon the words of our Redeemer, who left it to His Church to determine the time of the year, when Christians [Catholics] should receive the Blessed Sacrament. In the early ages, Communion was frequent, and, in some places, even daily. By degrees, the fervor of the faithful grew cold towards this august Mystery, as we gather from a decree of the Council of Agatha (Agde), held in 506, where it is defined, that those of the laity who shall not approach Communion at Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost, are to be considered as having ceased to be Catholics. This Decree of the Council of Agatha was accepted as the law of almost the entire Western Church. We find it quoted among the regulations drawn up by Egbert, Archbishop of York, as also in the third Council of Tours. In many places, however, Communion was obligatory for the Sundays of Lent, and for the last three days of Holy Week, independently of that which was to be made on the Easter Festival. It was in the year 1215, in the 4th General Council of Lateran, that the Church, seeing the ever growing indifference of her children, decreed with regret that Christians should be strictly bound to Communion only once in the year, and that that Communion of obligation should be made at Easter. In order to show the faithful that this is the uttermost limit of her condescension to lukewarmness, she declares in the same Council, that he that shall presume to break this law, may be forbidden to enter a church during life, and be deprived of Christian burial after death, as he would be if he had, of his own accord, separated himself from the exterior link of Catholic unity. These regulations of a General Council show how important is the duty of the Easter Communion; but, at the same time, they make us shudder at the thought of the millions, throughout the Catholic world, who brave each year the threats of the Church, by refusing to comply with a duty, which would both bring life to their souls, and serve as a profession of their faith. And when we again reflect upon how many even of those who make their Easter Communion, have paid no more attention to the Lenten Penance than if there were no such obligation in existence, we cannot help but feeling sad, and we wonder within ourselves, how long God will bear with such infringements of the Christian Law." (Dom Gueranger)

"When the Mass, which is subject to special rules of the liturgy, is over, the person who has received Holy Communion is not thereby freed from his duty of thanksgiving; rather, it is most becoming that, when the Mass is finished, the person who has received the Eucharist should recollect himself, and in intimate union with the divine Master hold loving and fruitful converse with Him. Hence they have departed from the straight way of truth, who, adhering to the letter rather than the sense, assert and teach that, when Mass has ended, no such thanksgiving should be added, not only because the Mass is itself a thanksgiving, but also because this pertains to a private and personal act of piety and not to the good of the community. But, on the contrary, the very nature of the Sacrament demands that its reception should produce rich fruits of Christian sanctity. Admittedly the congregation has been officially dismissed, but each individual, since he is united with Christ, should not interrupt the hymn of praise in his own soul, 'always returning thanks for all in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father.' The sacred liturgy of the Mass also exhorts us to do this when it bids us pray in these words, 'Grant, we beseech thee, that we may always continue to offer thanks...and may never cease from praising thee.' Wherefore, if there is no time when we must not offer God thanks, and if we must never cease from praising Him, who would dare to reprehend or find fault with the Church, because she advises her priests and faithful to converse with the divine Redeemer for at least a short while after Holy Communion, and inserts in her liturgical books, fitting prayers, enriched with indulgences, by which the sacred ministers may make suitable preparation before Mass and Holy Communion or may return thanks afterwards? So far is the sacred liturgy from restricting the interior devotion of individual Christians, that it actually fosters and promotes it so that they may be rendered like to Jesus Christ and through Him be brought to the heavenly Father; wherefore this same discipline of the liturgy demands that whoever has partaken of the [Eucharistic] Sacrifice of the Altar should return fitting thanks to God. For it is the good pleasure of the divine Redeemer to hearken to us when we pray, to converse with us intimately and to offer us a refuge in His loving Heart. Moreover, such personal colloquies are very necessary that we may all enjoy more fully the supernatural treasures that are contained in the Eucharist and according to our means, share them with others, so that Christ our Lord may exert the greatest possible influence on the souls of all. Why then, Venerable Brethren, should we not approve of those who, when they receive Holy Communion, remain on in closest familiarity with their divine Redeemer even after the congregation has been officially dismissed, and that not only for the consolation of conversing with Him, but also to render Him due thanks and praise and especially to ask help to defend their souls against anything that may lessen the efficacy of the Sacrament and to do everything in their power to cooperate with the action of Christ who is so intimately present. We exhort them to do so in a special manner by carrying out their resolutions, by exercising the Christian virtues, as also by applying to their own necessities the riches they have received with royal Liberality. The author of that golden book The Imitation of Christ certainly speaks in accordance with the letter and the spirit of the liturgy, when he gives the following advice to the person who approaches the altar, 'Remain on in secret and take delight in your God; for He is yours whom the whole world cannot take away from you.'" (Pope Pius XII, "Mediator Dei", 1947 A.D.)

Also See: The Holy Eucharist (Gen'l. Info.) | Holy Eucharist (Catechism of the Council of Trent) | Holy Eucharist / Mass (Basics / Misc.) | Necessity of Receiving the Holy Eucharist | Frequent Communion | Praise / Benefits of the Holy Eucharist & Mass | The Real Presence / Transubstantiation | Spiritual Communion | Communion of the Laity Under One Species | Holy Communion Should Be Denied to Those Who Obstinately Persist in Manifest Grave Sin | The Holy Eucharist Should Be Handled Only By Priests | Communion in the Hand: Why Not? | Communion Under Both Species: Is it Required? | Lay 'Eucharistic Ministers': Why Not? | Reverence / Proper Behavior (Mass / Holy Eucharist) | Proper Behavior in Church | Free Resources (Incl. Fliers) | Reverence / Honor to God (Topical Scripture) | Fear of God / Fear of the Lord (Topical Scripture) | Viaticum | Mass / Holy Eucharist Prayers | Latin Mass / Catholic Tradition | Church Talk: 'Favorite Roman Catholic Churches' | Church Talk Reflections | The Importance of Being Catholic: Combating Religious Indifferentism / No Salvation Outside the Church

Note: Categories are subjective and may overlap. For more items related to this topic, please review all applicable categories. For more 'Reflections' and for Scripture topics, see links below.

Top | Reflections: A-Z | Categ. | Scripture: A-Z | Categ. | Help

Holy Communion Should Be Denied to Those Who Obstinately Persist in Manifest Grave Sin

Also See:  Holy Eucharist / Holy Communion (Topic Page)

"Can. 915 Those upon whom the penalty of excommunication or interdict has been imposed or declared, and others who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin, are not to be admitted to Holy Communion." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 855 § 1 All those publicly unworthy are to be barred from the Eucharist, such as excommunicates, those interdicted, and those manifestly infamous, unless their penitence and emendation are shown and they have satisfied beforehand the public scandal [they have caused]. § 2 But occult [secret] sinners, if they ask secretly and the minister knows they are unrepentant, should be refused; but not, however, if they ask publicly and they cannot be passed over without scandal." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

"The two sacraments of the Eucharist and Penance are very closely connected. Because the Eucharist makes present the redeeming sacrifice of the Cross, perpetuating it sacramentally, it naturally gives rise to a continuous need for conversion, for a personal response to the appeal made by Saint Paul to the Christians of Corinth: 'We beseech you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God' (2 Cor 5:20). If a Christian's conscience is burdened by serious sin, then the path of penance through the sacrament of Reconciliation becomes necessary for full participation in the Eucharistic Sacrifice. The judgment of one's state of grace obviously belongs only to the person involved, since it is a question of examining one's conscience. However, in cases of outward conduct which is seriously, clearly and steadfastly contrary to the moral norm, the Church, in her pastoral concern for the good order of the community and out of respect for the sacrament, cannot fail to feel directly involved. The Code of Canon Law refers to this situation of a manifest lack of proper moral disposition when it states that those who 'obstinately persist in manifest grave sin' are not to be admitted to Eucharistic communion." (Pope John Paul II, 2003 A.D.)

"A distinction must be made among sinners: some are secret; others are notorious, either from evidence of the fact, as public usurers, or public robbers, or from being denounced as evil men by some ecclesiastical or civil tribunal. Therefore Holy Communion ought not to be given to open sinners when they ask for it. Hence Cyprian writes to someone (Ep. 61): 'You were so kind as to consider that I ought to be consulted regarding actors, and that magician who continues to practice his disgraceful arts among you; as to whether I thought that Holy Communion ought to be given to such with the other Christians [Catholics]. I think that it is beseeming neither the Divine majesty, nor Christian discipline, for the Church's modesty and honor to be defiled by such shameful and infamous contagion.' But if they be not open sinners, but occult [secret], the Holy Communion should not be denied them if they ask for it. For since every Christian, from the fact that he is baptized, is admitted to the Lord's table, he may not be robbed of his right, except from some open cause. Hence on 1 Corinthians 5:11, 'If he who is called a brother among you,' etc., Augustine's gloss remarks: 'We cannot inhibit any person from Communion, except he has openly confessed, or has been named and convicted by some ecclesiastical or lay tribunal.' Nevertheless a priest who has knowledge of the crime can privately warn the secret sinner, or warn all openly in public, from approaching the Lord's table, until they have repented of their sins and have been reconciled to the Church; because after repentance and reconciliation, Communion must not be refused even to public sinners, especially in the hour of death. Hence in the (3rd) Council of Carthage (Canon 35) we read: 'Reconciliation is not to be denied to stage-players or actors, or others of the sort, or to apostates, after their conversion to God.'... But the secret sinner ought rather to prefer infamy than approach the Lord's table unworthily." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

Also See: The Holy Eucharist (Gen'l. Info.) | Holy Eucharist (Catechism of the Council of Trent) | Holy Eucharist / Mass (Basics / Misc.) | Holy Communion | The Real Presence / Transubstantiation | Penance / Confession (Gen'l. Info.) | A Single Unrepented Mortal Sin Is Sufficient to Condemn a Soul to Hell for All Eternity | Tough Love in the New Testament | The Holy Eucharist Should Be Handled Only By Priests | Lay 'Eucharistic Ministers': Why Not? | Reverence / Proper Behavior (Mass / Holy Eucharist) | The Importance of Being Catholic: Combating Religious Indifferentism / Do All "Good People" Go To Heaven? | Reverence / Honor to God (Topical Scripture) | Fear of God / Fear of the Lord (Topical Scripture) | Sin (Topical Scripture) 

Note: Categories are subjective and may overlap. For more items related to this topic, please review all applicable categories. For more 'Reflections' and for Scripture topics, see links below.

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The Holy Eucharist Should Be Handled Only By Priests

Also See:  Holy Eucharist / Holy Communion (Topic Page) | Priests (Topic Page)

Note: For More on This Topic, Try Here (Holy Eucharist / Mass, Gen'l. Info.)

"To touch the sacred species and to distribute them with their own hands is a privilege of the ordained" (Pope John Paul II, 1980 A.D.)

"There is nothing which belongs more to the Church and there is nothing Jesus Christ wanted more closely reserved for its shepherds than the dispensation of the sacraments He instituted." (Pope Gregory XVI, "Commissum Divinitus", 1835 A.D.)

"For just as temple, altar, vessels, and vestments need to be consecrated, so do the ministers who are ordained for the Eucharist; and this consecration is the sacrament of Order." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"[A]lthough those [in minor] Orders are entrusted with certain spiritualities, they are not admitted to the immediate handling of sacred things, as those are who are in sacred Orders." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"[L]aymen are officially incompetent to dispense any sacrament: and that they can baptize in cases of necessity, is due to the Divine dispensation, in order that no one may be deprived of spiritual regeneration." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

 "One must not forget the primary office of priests, who have been consecrated by their ordination to represent Christ the Priest: for this reason their hands, like their words and their will, have become the direct instruments of Christ. Through this fact, that is, as ministers of the Holy Eucharist, they have a primary responsibility for the sacred species, because it is a total responsibility." (Pope John Paul II, 1980 A.D.)

"To safeguard in every possible way the dignity of so august a Sacrament, not only is the power of its administration entrusted exclusively to priests, but the Church has also prohibited by law any but consecrated persons, unless some case of great necessity intervene, to dare handle or touch the sacred vessels, the linen, or other instruments necessary to its completion. Priests themselves and the rest of the faithful may hence understand how great should be the piety and holiness of those who approach to consecrate, administer or receive the Eucharist." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"Can. 1306 § 1 Care should be taken lest a chalice, paten, or, before cleansing, purificators, palls, and corporals that were used in the sacrifice of the Mass are touched by any other than by clerics or those who have custody of these things. § 2 Purificators, palls, and corporals used in the sacrifice of the Mass shall not be put into the hands of the laity, even religious, unless they have first been washed by a cleric constituted in major orders; and the water from this first washing shall be put into a sacrarium or, in its absence, into a fire." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

"We must also visit churches frequently and venerate and show respect for the clergy, not so much for them personally if they are sinners, but by reason of their office and their administration of the most holy Body and Blood of Christ which they sacrifice upon the altar and receive and administer to others. And let all of us firmly realize that no one can be saved except without the holy words and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ which the clergy pronounce, proclaim and minister. And they alone must administer [them], and not others." (St. Francis of Assisi) (emphasis added)

"It must be taught, then, that to priests alone has been given power to consecrate and administer to the faithful, the Holy Eucharist. That this has been the unvarying practice of the Church, that the faithful should receive the Sacrament from the priests, and that the officiating priests should communicate themselves, has been explained by the holy Council of Trent, which has also shown that this practice, as having proceeded from Apostolic tradition, is to be religiously retained, particularly as Christ the Lord has left us an illustrious example thereof, having consecrated His own most sacred body, and given it to the Apostles with His own hands." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"The dispensing of Christ's body belongs to the priest for three reasons. First, because...he consecrates as in the person of Christ. But as Christ consecrated His body at the supper, so also He gave it to [the apostles] to be partaken of by them. Accordingly, as the consecration of Christ's body belongs to the priest, so likewise does the dispensing belong to him. Secondly, because the priest is the appointed intermediary between God and the people; hence as it belongs to him to offer the people's gifts to God, so it belongs to him to deliver consecrated gifts to the people. Thirdly, because out of reverence towards this sacrament, nothing touches it, but what is consecrated; hence the corporal and the chalice are consecrated, and likewise the priest's hands, for touching this sacrament. Hence it is not lawful for anyone else to touch it except from necessity, for instance, if it were to fall upon the ground, or else in some other case of urgency." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

Also See: Communion in the Hand: Why Not? | Lay 'Eucharistic Ministers': Why Not? | The Holy Eucharist (Gen'l. Info.) | Holy Eucharist (Catechism of the Council of Trent) | Holy Eucharist / Mass (Basics / Misc.) | Holy Eucharist / Mass & Priests | Communion of the Laity Under One Species | The Real Presence / Transubstantiation | Reverence / Proper Behavior (Mass / Holy Eucharist) | Priests & Vocations Section | Priests & Vocations (Reflections) | Proper Behavior in Church | Latin Mass / Catholic Tradition | Free Resources (Incl. Fliers) | Reverence / Honor to God (Topical Scripture) | Fear of God / Fear of the Lord (Topical Scripture)

Note: Categories are subjective and may overlap. For more items related to this topic, please review all applicable categories. For more 'Reflections' and for Scripture topics, see links below.

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