Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Homily I Wish I Would Have Heard Growing Up

You can't receive the Eucharist if you've:

1) Missed a weekend or Holy Day Mass
2) Having sex outside of marriage with yourself (masturbation) or someone else
3) desecrated the Eucharist
4) haven't been to confession in a year
5) Use artificial birth control - condoms, pills, patches, IUD's, etc
6) sponsor or help in any way with an abortion or any destruction of an embryo
7) Murder
8) Hate/Anger
9) Lust after someone
10) Pride, Greed, Sloth, Envy

etc. etc.  The list is not exhaustive, and any sin that we have meditated on before hand, understood its gravity, and still chosen to do it can be a deadly sin.

Don't step out of bounds...and by all means...if you do...get back in bounds through confession!  Don't desecrate the Eucharist and receive it as some sort of prize you've earned simply by showing up for Mass!


  1. In that list of reasons you can't take communion, could you please elaborate a little more on hate/anger, lusting after somebody, also pride/greed/sloth/envy? Who doesn't get angry about something every week? What single person doesn't lust after somebody??? Or hating something? It almost seems like you'd have to go to confession every single weekend.....

    Another question: Suppose I missed Mass on one particular weekend because I just didn't feel like going. The Church says I have to go to confession before receiving communion. But let's say that on the Monday following Sunday Mass, I feel bad about skipping church. From Monday through the next Sunday, I beg God for His forgiveness every single night and tell Him how sorry I am for skipping Mass. Why would that not be sufficient enough to take communion? Does God not forgive people for mortal sins outside the confessional? If He does not, then how do protestants get to Heaven? They NEVER go to confession.

  2. Briefly, you can receive forgiveness outside of confession if you contrition is perfect. Meaning it is motivated purely out of love for God, as opposed to shame, fear, etc. Problem is, one usually can never be really sure their contrition is perfect. The Sacrament is good news in that Our Lord is mercififul, but also in two specific ways. 1. Imperfect contrition is sufficient for absolution and 2. Absolution by a priest is a judicial act. An ruling in a manner of speaking that Our Lord said He would honor. (Binding and loosing and all that). With the Sacrament, you never have to wonder or second guess.

    1. Ok. Thanks! So how about #8 to 10 of Fr. Hollowell's list? Maybe you could elaborate a little more on them? It would seem that I would have to go to confession every single weekend due to #8. As for #9; what single person doesn't "lust" over somebody? If you ask me, that's kind of unfair, really.

    2. This is my understanding about what the Church teaches on the above questions. However, I am obviously not the Pope speaking ex cathedra so I could be wrong.
      First of all, in order for a sin to be mortal, it must meet three conditions:
      (1 ) Mortal sin is a sin of grave matter
      (2) Mortal sin is committed with full knowledge of the sinner
      (3) Mortal sin is committed with deliberate consent of the sinner

      On #8, first, I think what Fr, is talking about, is hate defined as wishing someone to go to Hell, which of course is a grave sin against Charity. Simply saying "Argh, I hate this phone" is not a mortal sin. As for anger, I believe it depends on the degree of anger for it to fall under mortal sin or not. For example, someone getting angry to the point of beating someone would be a mortal sin but flaring up at someone and then controlling it and no let it go any farther I think wouldn't be mortal.

      On #9 to Lust after someone is always a mortal sin. The Catechism of the Catholic Church #2351 says: "Sexual pleasure is morally disordered when sought for itself, isolated from its procreative and unitive purposes." Just because a ton of people fall in this area does not make it any less of a Sin. There are many people who do go to Confession every week because impurity is a weak spot for them. God gives us the Grace through Confession to become stronger in this. Many saints went to Confession once a week or more and we are all striving to be Saints!
      As for #10, again, I think it depends of the gravity. You could say someone is being slothful if they are just wasting, which wouldn't be a mortal sin, or someone could be depriving their Boss of Thousands of dollars by being Lazy on the job and that would be a much more grace matter.

      Also, what Scott said above ^ is very correct. However, another requirement for Perfect Contrition, on top of sorrow for sin purely out of love for God, is that one must also have the intention of going to Confession at the next possible time.
      This is a very good sermon of the subject:

      Hope this helps! :)

    3. So Fr. Hollowell, how do Protestants get to heaven then without ever going to confession? Why should Catholics have to do MORE to get into Heaven when Protestants obviously do less and still get in Heaven??? I'm baffled.

    4. The only place we KNOW and are GUARANTEED Christ's Grace comes to us is through the sacraments.

    5. But that doesn't answer the question at hand. How do Protestants get to Heaven if they've never had the sacraments? If they do get there, why do they get to go to the same place(Heaven) after never ever confessing their sins in a confessional? I know it's Catholic teaching that Protestants do get into Heaven....but why is it fair that they get to do less, while the Catholic is required to do more and still get to the exact same place?!?!?!?

    6. It isn't Catholic teaching that every Protestant gets to Heaven, nor is it Church teaching that any Protestant gets to Heaven, nor is it Church teaching that every Catholic necessarily gets to Heaven either. The only people the Church says are in Heaven are the saints. The Church admits there are likely many other saints besides the ones who have been declared, but other than the declared saints, we don't know who is and who isn't in Heaven.

      You are taking this question from the completely wrong angle - it isn't about "what's the minimum I have to do to get in" - the life of Christ, His Church, the Sacraments, etc. is about joy, peace, and happiness (even amidst great sufferings at times).

      The Church says "you want to be here in the Church because this is where you will be the MOST fulfilled, the MOST happy, the CLOSEST to our Lord."