Friday, October 21, 2022
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Sunday, October 16, 2022
Who May Receive Holy Communion?

If someone is planning to receive our Lord in Holy Communion at Mass, there are several requirements to keep in mind:

1. You must be a baptized Catholic who has already made his/her First Holy Communion.

2. You must not have ANY mortal sin on your soul that has not been absolved in Sacramental Confession. To receive Holy Communion in the state of sin without SACRAMENTAL confession is a sacrilege and a most serious sin. You will get no graces from Holy Communion if you do - only the most severe punishments. This was made manifestly clear in Canon 856 of the 1917 Code of Canon Law. St. Cyril of Alexandria explains further the gravity when he says, “They who make a sacrilegious Communion receive Satan and Jesus Christ into their heart.  Satan, that they may let him rule, and Jesus Christ that they may offer Him in sacrifice to Satan.”

3. Observe the Eucharistic Fast before Holy Communion

4. Pay attention at Mass and be especially devout from the time of the Offertory through the Consecration and until the Priest's Communion at the end of the Canon.

5. Approach Holy Communion reverently, dressed modestly and desiring to receive our Lord who you profess is present in the Eucharistic Host in His Body, Blood, Soul, AND Divinity under the appearance (but not substance) of bread. You must receive Holy Communion reverently as well.

6. And you must approach the Sacred Altar with a proper intention. We must have a “right and pious intention.” St. Pius X lists several intentions which are not right and pious. They include approaching the altar to receive “through habit, or vanity, or human reasonings.” Thus, receiving Holy Communion just because everyone else is receiving or because we do so only to appear holy to others is not with the right intention. On the contrary, St. Pius X summarizes a right and pious intention as one that seeks “to satisfy the pleasure of God, to be joined with Him more closely in charity and to oppose one’s infirmities and defects with that divine remedy.”

Beyond these necessary conditions, St. Pius X set forth, especially for those who sought to receive Holy Communion very regularly – even daily – more perfect dispositions to strive for when he wrote: “It is especially expedient that those who practice frequent and daily communion be free from venial sins, at least from such as are fully deliberate, and any affection thereto.” As theologians have commented subsequently, there is a difference between venial sins that are fully deliberate and those venial sins that are not fully deliberate, and which we frequently call imperfections. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2022
Observe the Anniversary of the Consecration of a Church

Consecration Cross on the Wall at St. John Cantius (Chicago, IL)

Traditionally, the anniversary of the consecration of a diocese’s cathedral is observed as a significant feastday in churches throughout the diocese. Written in 1908, the Catholic Encyclopedia underscores the importance of this anniversary:

“The anniversary of the consecration is kept solemnly as a double of the first class with an octave each recurring year, until the church falls into ruin or is profaned...Besides the anniversary of the consecration of individual or parish churches, the anniversary of the consecration of the cathedral of a diocese is celebrated as a double of the first class with an octave by the secular clergy living within the limits of the cathedral city...” 

Sadly, Pope Pius XII in "Cum nostra hac aetate" on March 23, 1955, abolished 15 Octaves in addition to the Octave for the Dedication of a Church, and particular octaves for patrons of various religious orders, countries, and dioceses. While the 1962 Missal retains the actual anniversary day of a church or the cathedral as a First-Class Feast, few observe these venerable observances any longer. If more people were to keep the anniversary of our parish and our cathedral as days of celebration in our families, would that not bring us in greater connection to the Church as a whole? How many of us even know the anniversary date when our parish or cathedral was consecrated?

One venerable tradition connecting us to the consecration is the lighting of the consecration crosses. Each of the twelve places on the wall which were anointed as part of the consecration candle on the spot which are lit on the anniversary of the consecration. 

Catholic churches are no ordinary buildings. We do not honor churches because they are museums or art galleries or works of art in themselves. Catholic churches are specifically consecrated and set aside for the worship of the True God alone.

It is so important that we honor and protect Catholic churches and help fund the construction of beautiful ones since God Himself dwells in them. He is truly present on the altar and in the tabernacle. For this reason, Catholics should piously make the sign of the Cross even when they drive past one, out of respect for the Real Presence. And we should visit them and pray before our Lord present in the Tabernacle whenever possible. Honor God by honoring that which is consecrated to Him. Honor your parishes and help us build up the kingdom of God brick by brick as we rediscover our venerable traditions.


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