There’s a sense of personal desecration with sin. While I may not live a consecrated religious life, there are times when I have been “set aside” for the intention of divine worship. There’s times I’ve been infused with Supernatural Grace – but my sin spoils that. For too many years, I pretended it wasn’t the case.
You might notice in churches around the world that the communion lines are much longer than the confession lines. While it’s not something to be proud of to abstain from communion, it’s a testament to our fellow brothers and sisters.
Please don’t misread the following as a sort of self-aggrandizing trophy for doing what I’m supposed to. It’s an encouragement for other sinners like me to do the same – and a reminder to myself to continue to be honest with myself.
The following is my observations following a mass back in November of 2014:
Through my time, though sometimes infrequent at Adoration, I have come to a deeper sense and belief in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Today I took a step forward in this – with action.
I used to choose not to believe some of what we’ve been told. I didn’t go to confession much, and my recent return is not yet a trend. Yet there I was, week after week receiving communion [not in a state of grace]. Eventually, I knew better, and I still went.
“Whoever, therefore, eats the Bread of the Cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the Body and Blood of the Lord. Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup” – 1 Cor 11:27-28
Today, my new page – a step forward. In a sense, the opposite of a step forward. Through my day, I didn’t make the time I knew was needed [to go to confession] and indeed wanted to go to confession. Determined to break the cycle of condemning myself by blaspheming the Body of Christ; I was firmly resolved not to partake in communion.
It wasn’t at all like I imagined. I pictured the shame and embarrassment of not going up many times over the years. What I experienced was powerful, and almost overshadowed my sense of shame.
As it turns out, I was filled with a sense of conviction. I was doing the right thing. Doing what’s right no matter whom is watching or not watching (which is one definition of integrity). That said, I almost felt a sense of pride in the integrity, as my Lord surely saw also. I had to quickly remind myself the reason I abstained. My sinfulness drove a wedge between God and myself. Pride is far from appropriate – but there is a sense of satisfaction in conviction and integrity that sustained me in my embarrassment.
Praise and blessings to our God of Mercy. He gives gifts to us that we don’t deserve, and can not earn! Is that not a simple definition of mercy? We receive gifts of love and forgiveness we can not earn or deserve.
Thank you Lord for conviction today. May I come running back to Your table soon!