Unworthy Reception of the Holy Eucharist
Receiving the Holy Eucharist Unworthily
Harm From Unworthy Reception of Holy Communion
Not Discerning the Real Presence of Christ in the
Failure to Discern the Real Presence of Christ in the
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Question / Issue:
Can unworthy reception
of the Holy Eucharist harm recipients?
Answer / Resources:
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St. Paul teaches that
the Holy Eucharist must be received worthily by the faithful, who must discern
the Body and of the Lord. He says that those who receive the Holy Eucharist
unworthily will have to "answer for the body and blood of the Lord" and that the failure to discern the body of Christ
in the Holy Eucharist is the reason that many were ill and dying...
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." (St. Paul, 1 Cor.
As the Catechism of
the Council of Trent states...
"[F]or 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
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 sleep [that is,
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