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Anonymous wrote:

[Four days earlier from Anonymous]
Hi, guys —

  • Would God accept my Confession, if I committed a mortal sin and still received
    Holy Communion with the intent that I would confess that sin and other mortal sins
    when I could?
  • Will God understand that I couldn't find any way to get to Confession before going to Mass or receiving Holy Communion?


  { Would God understand receiving Holy Communion with a mortal sin since I can't confess now? }

Mary Ann replied:

Dear, Anonymous —

God certainly understands when we can't get to Confession. However, receiving Communion while in a state of grave sin is another sin of sacrilege, because we haven't yet been reconciled to the Body of Christ in the sacrament.

So, yes, God wants you to confess all your sins. However, he does not want us to commit sins with the thought that we will make it "right" later in Confession. That attitude could mean that we are not sincere in our contrition; and sins confessed without contrition, are not forgiven.

God bless.

Mary Ann

John replied:

Anonymous —

God will always forgive us so long as we are sincere in our repentance. However, it's not a good idea to receive Communion when you know you are in a state of mortal sin. There is no rule that says we have to receive Communion every Sunday or every time we go to Mass. So if we are conscious of mortal sin, we should not receive the Eucharist.

That said, you should discuss this with a priest or spiritual director. If the sin is a habitual sin, then the force of habit may mitigate your culpability.

We are not priests so we can't really advise you. All we do is tell you that, as a rule, you should not receive Communion if you are in a state of mortal sin. As regards to God forgiving us, the only time God can't or won't forgive us, is if we don't repent and ask for forgiveness.


Anonymous replied:

What if I am really sorry and had no choice but to receive Holy Communion because my mom was telling me to and I didn't want to tell her about the mortal sins.

I don't really want to disrespect God but I don't know what to do.


John replied:

Anonymous —

I certainly understand your embarrassment, but that's not really an excuse. You don't need to tell your mother what the sin is, nor do you have to tell her you are in mortal sin.

All you need to do is say you're not properly disposed to go to Communion today. You don't owe her any further explanation. She should respect that. If she presses you, tell her it's between you and God and she should be happy that you know and respect your faith enough to want to respect God and His instructions.


Mike replied:

Dear Anonymous,

First, for the record, on your previous question, I would tend to side with Mary Ann's view.

On this question, in addition to what my colleague, John has said, I would suggest you say to your mother:

Mom, I'm not properly disposed to receive Holy Communion today, so I'm saying a Spiritual Communion in the pew. I plan on getting to Confession over the next few days.

This is how you say a Spiritual Communion, or how I was taught:

Spiritual Communion

O Lord Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar.
I love you (above all things with all my mind and my heart) and I long for You in my soul.
Since I cannot receive You now sacramentally, at least come spiritually into my heart.
I embrace myself entirely to You and unite myself wholly to You.
Never permit me to be separated from You.

Optional add-on: Come Lord Jesus and glorify Yourself through my weak body.


A nice way to finish this would be to say a few Our Father's, Hail Mary's and Glory Be's.

IMPORTANT WARNING: A Spiritual Communion was never intended to replace receiving the Blessed Sacrament on a weekly basis. A strong effort should be put forward to find a compassionate [Confessor|priest] who can hear your Confession on any Sunday where you are not properly disposed to receive the Blessed Sacrament.

We can't forget the "shock and awe" of what we have been blessed with as Catholics. Through the Blessed Eucharist we receive each Sunday:

  • we partake in Divine Nature, and
  • are con-substantial (of one substance) with the Lord.

In our sex-saturated, materialistic culture, it is something we need.


Paul replied:


Everything my colleagues said is good advice, but if:

  • embarrassment with your mother is your urgent problem
  • you don't want to commit an objective sacrilege, and
  • you don't feel ready to stand up to her in a straightforward way about this

then here are two practical suggestions to get you by as a possible "quick fix":

  1. Sit to the side of your mother from which you would end up being in back of her in the Communion line. Then cross your arms and bow your head for a blessing from the priest rather instead of receiving Communion. The priest will simply bless you on the head and mother won't see it.

  2. "Mistakenly" eat a little something right before going to Mass so that the excuse to your mom for not receiving, could be that you couldn't break the one hour-fast rule before receiving Holy Communion. This would not be a lie.

    By the way, if you weren't aware, Church law states that we should not receive Communion if we have eaten anything within an hour before receiving Holy Communion, with the exception of water and medicine. Your mother is probably aware of this rule.

You would then need to figure out creative ways of getting to Confession regularly if family members or friends won't take you.

Maybe the parish has a service that transports the elderly to [Mass and/or Confession].
Those too young to have their license should fit into this too.



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