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 Post subject: Communion and Perfect Contrition
PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2018 11:45 am 
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Let's start with the obvious; you can not without further sin receive the Eucharist in a known state of mortal sin.

Now there is a permission to my understanding that where neccesity for reception exists, and there is no access to a confessor before you receive; you must make an act of perfect contrition and receive. Going to confession as soon as you can afterwards.

So I said to my friend I think the circumstances in which one (being a lay person) receive are very rare so an act of perfect contrition would sufficient rarely.

He however believes that by not receiving you cause scandal (making others think you're in mortal sin) which is a sin; so one should make a perfect act of contrition and receive (presumably under penalty of sin)

Who is right?

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 Post subject: Re: Communion and Perfect Contrition
PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2018 12:23 pm 
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He is not entirely right. It's not a matter of scandal to others; it's that you aren't forced into a public manifestation of conscience. Let's say Timmy and his date got a little too passionate at the 8th grade dance Saturday night and touched things that shouldn't be touched. If he doesn't go to Communion on Sunday, his mother will go ballistic on him then and there. At least according to what I was taught, this is a situation in which he may attempt that act of perfect contrition and then receive. I think he'd be better off to take his lumps, but I don't know that he's required to.

Another situation is a priest who is in a state of mortal sin (let's hope it's garden-variety mortal sin and not the stuff of headlines) but has to celebrate Mass for the good of the faithful. He must make his best attempt at a perfect aoc and then go ahead and celebrate.

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 Post subject: Re: Communion and Perfect Contrition
PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2018 12:37 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
He is not entirely right. It's not a matter of scandal to others; it's that you aren't forced into a public manifestation of conscience. Let's say Timmy and his date got a little too passionate at the 8th grade dance Saturday night and touched things that shouldn't be touched. If he doesn't go to Communion on Sunday, his mother will go ballistic on him then and there. At least according to what I was taught, this is a situation in which he may attempt that act of perfect contrition and then receive. I think he'd be better off to take his lumps, but I don't know that he's required to.


Yikes for Timmy.

But what is the case for Timmy receiving.

Is it not wrong for his mother to police him or anyone else's going to communion (except perhaps she knows something the priest ought but does not)?

But say it's inevitable, Timmy still could have either (a) not fasted or (b) committed a different mortal sin. Further say Timmy not refrains not because of (a) or (b) but because he feels he's not prepared well enough. Perhaps he wasn't really focusing at mass or just was snoozing during the prayers at the faithful. I have arrived late to daily mass before and even though it's not a sin; I still refrain from communion because I don't feel ready.

Since Timmy could refrain for all these reasons it would appear refraining does not entail a public declaretion of conscience.

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Another situation is a priest who is in a state of mortal sin (let's hope it's garden-variety mortal sin and not the stuff of headlines) but has to celebrate Mass for the good of the faithful. He must make his best attempt at a perfect aoc and then go ahead and celebrate.


Two clear cases seem to be (1) a priest obliged to say mass and (2) a member of the faithful who has not received all year in the last week of Easter. Granted neither can confess before Mass.

I am not sure about a priest saying daily masses though

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 Post subject: Re: Communion and Perfect Contrition
PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2018 1:29 pm 
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Daily Mass can't be canceled readily. If you mean a private Mass, then he'd probably better get to confession first.

Sadly, Mom is not likely to assume that he ate or that there is some other innocent reason. One way or another, Timmy is going to get grilled.

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 Post subject: Re: Communion and Perfect Contrition
PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2018 1:38 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Daily Mass can't be canceled readily. If you mean a private Mass, then he'd probably better get to confession first.

Sadly, Mom is not likely to assume that he ate or that there is some other innocent reason. One way or another, Timmy is going to get grilled.


So is it (a) the belief that not receiving will lead to mom finding out about the sin or (b) fear of the temporal punishment the mother will inflict that gives Timmy a "grave reason" to receive without confession?

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 Post subject: Re: Communion and Perfect Contrition
PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2018 1:43 pm 
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(a)

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 Post subject: Re: Communion and Perfect Contrition
PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2018 8:37 pm 
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Is it because (a) Timmy's mum will know that he committed some mortal sin, or (b) Timmy's mum will know what mortal sin he committed

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 Post subject: Re: Communion and Perfect Contrition
PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2018 8:43 pm 
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I don't recall having it explained to us in that much detail. From what I can recall, I would guess that it's (b).

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 Post subject: Re: Communion and Perfect Contrition
PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2018 7:30 am 
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What if Timmy knows he doesn't have perfect contrition?

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 Post subject: Re: Communion and Perfect Contrition
PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2018 7:37 am 
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Then he's like everyone else, because absent divine insight, you can't know for sure.

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 Post subject: Re: Communion and Perfect Contrition
PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2018 7:54 am 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Then he's like everyone else, because absent divine insight, you can't know for sure.


But is there not a difference between not knowing for sure that you have perfect contrition and being fairly sure you don't?

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 Post subject: Re: Communion and Perfect Contrition
PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 12:10 pm 
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What exactly is required for perfect contrition? It doesn't seem (a) that any sort of emotion of contrition is necessary, nor that (b) one must be completely free from all attachments to sin (since this is not necessary as such for the forgiveness of sin in confession - though it is necessary for entrance into heaven, of course).

Is it just the will to sin no more (whether mortally or venially) motivated by charity, or is it something else?

[The "motivated by charity" part seems essential for perfect contrition - which is why it seems that someone who has made an act of perfect contrition can receive the Eucharist without having gone to confession and without committing the sin of sacrilege, since this would require that they are in a state of grace.]

Finally, if this is so, how can we be counselled to "make an act of perfect contrition"? I can certainly make an act of contrition, but it seems that without the sacrament of confession, I have no way of knowing - not even with moral certitude - that my act of contrition is perfect.

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 Post subject: Re: Communion and Perfect Contrition
PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 1:59 pm 
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Quote:
Is it just the will to sin no more (whether mortally or venially) motivated by charity, or is it something else?
Substitute "love for God" for "charity" and I think you're there.

One can never have an absolute certainty, and even moral certainty can be hard to obtain (a scrupulous person, for example, will probably never get even to moral certainty). The attempt to make an act of perfect contrition is therefore a non-ideal stopgap.

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 Post subject: Re: Communion and Perfect Contrition
PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 7:19 pm 
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Norwegianblue wrote:
Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Then he's like everyone else, because absent divine insight, you can't know for sure.


But is there not a difference between not knowing for sure that you have perfect contrition and being fairly sure you don't?

I mean, if you don't even try, of course you can be sure you don't. But I doubt there is a feeling associated with being perfectly contrite.

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 Post subject: Re: Communion and Perfect Contrition
PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 7:21 pm 
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ThomisticCajunAggie wrote:
Is it just the will to sin no more (whether mortally or venially) motivated by charity, or is it something else?

It's the will to sin no more out of the love of God - and includes at least the implicit desire to confess one's sins when possible.

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 Post subject: Re: Communion and Perfect Contrition
PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2018 12:11 pm 
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Peregrinator wrote:
ThomisticCajunAggie wrote:
Is it just the will to sin no more (whether mortally or venially) motivated by charity, or is it something else?

It's the will to sin no more out of the love of God - and includes at least the implicit desire to confess one's sins when possible.

Right. I know that includes the desire to confess when possible.

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 Post subject: Re: Communion and Perfect Contrition
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2018 3:02 am 
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One reason why I think everyone going up every Mass has been unhealthy in many respects. Of course frequent communion is in itself good. But the new norm puts undue pressure.

I have known plenty of parents who, also, do not know where to draw the lines. I would think that confession (other than teaching them how to and to prep) and whether to go to communion should be off limits. I knew a parent that who determine when her kids should or shouldn't go (e.g she would bar them if they didn't turn in a homework assignment). Sometimes parental concern is too much

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 Post subject: Re: Communion and Perfect Contrition
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2018 9:14 am 
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I (somewhat) agree with PED. I don't think it is a good idea for parents to decide whether or not their kids receive Holy Communion at a particular time, but I have made my kids go to confession when they were younger. Once they get to be 12 or so then it's up to them.

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 Post subject: Re: Communion and Perfect Contrition
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2018 8:08 pm 
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Peregrinator wrote:
I (somewhat) agree with PED. I don't think it is a good idea for parents to decide whether or not their kids receive Holy Communion at a particular time, but I have made my kids go to confession when they were younger. Once they get to be 12 or so then it's up to them.

Oh, I have no issue with saying to Billy, you are going to Confession on X date. I meant, the parents determining when to go up for communion, or (just as bad, or worse) grilling them on details of their confession. Reminding a child to remember to bring up punching her sister is one thing, etc

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