posted Monday, 2 Apr 2018
Bishop Mark Davies (courtesy Diocese of Shrewsbury)
Bishop Davies said that mortal sin, or ‘a lifestyle in contradiction with our Christian calling’, must be confessed and repented before receiving the Eucharist
Receiving Holy Communion is “the most radical call to holiness” that any person can encounter, the Bishop of Shrewsbury will say in a pastoral letter this coming weekend.
Bishop Mark Davies will warn them against viewing the Blessed Sacrament in terms of “secular inclusiveness” as this diminishes its true significance to little more than a “token of our hospitality”.
Catholics must realise instead that through the Real Presence, the gift of Christ’s Body and Blood is the means to become the saint each of us is called to be.
Holy Communion restores strength to the faithful, breaks disordered attachments, separates Catholics from sin and helps them root their whole lives in Christ, the bishop will say.
Catholics must also repent of any mortal sin or lifestyle which contradicts their calling as Christians before they can receive Communion, Bishop Davies will remind his diocese.
“We see why we can never approach Holy Communion casually, still less if we have not confessed and repented of any mortal sin or of a lifestyle in contradiction with our Christian calling,” the bishop will say.
“The Apostle Paul urged the first Christians to examine themselves carefully before receiving Holy Communion because anyone who did so in an unworthy state would, he said, be ‘guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord’.
“The Church calls us to frequent Holy Communion, prepared by the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation so that we might become holy, might become saints. The Second Vatican Council urged us to ‘frequent’ both these two Sacraments eagerly and devoutly as the path to holiness.”
“Let us ask ourselves how we seek to receive Him with the deepest reverence and love, and how we spend the precious moments after receiving Holy Communion,” he will add.
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The Conversion of the Samaritan Woman: John 4, 28: “The woman therefore left her water-jar and went away into the town, and said to the people, ‘Come and see a man who has told me all that I have ever done. Can he be the Christ?’
The Greek verb, “apheken” [αφηκεν], is her putting down the water pot. The different nuances of the verb suggest that it could mean the conversion of the woman from her profligate way of life and the achievement of the state of grace which enables her to hear the revelation “I, who speak with thee am he” (that Jesus is Messias). To leave the water-jar (which is the same word used for the water jar used in the marriage feast of Cana for the conversion of water to wine).
Notice that αφηκεν can mean:
1) to send away 1a) to bid going away or depart 1a1) of a husband divorcing his wife 1b) to send forth, yield up, to expire 1c) to let go, let alone, let be 1c1) to disregard 1c2) to leave, not to discuss now, (a topic) 1c21) of teachers, writers and speakers 1c3) to omit, neglect 1d) to let go, give up a debt, forgive, to remit 1e) to give up, keep no longer 2) to permit, allow, not to hinder, to give up a thing to a person 3) to leave, go way from one 3a) in order to go to another place 3b) to depart from any one 3c) to depart from one and leave him to himself so that all mutual claims are abandoned 3d) to desert wrongfully 3e) to go away leaving something behind 3f) to leave one by not taking him as a companion 3g) to leave on dying, leave behind one 3h) to leave so that what is left may remain, leave remaining 3i) abandon, leave destitute
The Samaritan woman became morally good in the conversion away from herself that consisted in telling the truth about herself as living in the state of sin. She left that state on the occasion of her confession to Jesus and intention to break with her fornication symbolized in the word “leaving” the water pot.