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'Quick Help' Page: Can Unworthy Reception Of The Holy Eucharist Harm Recipients?

 

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Holy Eucharist

Holy Communion

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 Holy Eucharist

Failure to Discern the Real Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist

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Can unworthy reception of the Holy Eucharist harm recipients?

 

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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...

"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." (St. Paul, 1 Cor. 11:27-30)

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, die]."


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