Oh sister! I know this isn't relevant to this post but I didn't know where else to ask. I go to a Catholic high school and we have a monthly school mass, which is a good thing except that the Eucharist is profained. At every mass our priest says only practicing Catholics in a state of grace may receive and every time we have non-Catholics and others receiving unworthily even putting the Eucharist in their pocket. I have a Jewish friend who did this and I explained that it's wrong but she said that her parents tell he she must receive and that she plans to do so at the next mass. What can I do? Is there any one i can pray to for understanding?
I can certainly understand you're feeling disconcerted. It's a very unfortunate set of circumstances. Poor Father. He must be giving his little speech because he knows this is happening. I've never heard a priest at a Mass give a "here's who can receive" speech at Mass that I can recall. Still, he can't run around being the Eucharist Police. We don't show denomination ID's or go take off our shoes and go through soul x-ray equipment at the Communion rail.
Most of us don't even have a Communion rail anymore.
That's okay. Jesus didn't have one either.
So let's examine our dilemma. Why are only practicing Catholics in a state of grace allowed to receive the Eucharist? Because we understand exactly what we are receiving: the actual Body and Blood of Christ. Because of that, we are able to have the proper adoration and respect for what's really going on.
Supposedly. Come on. You know we've seen it all. People line up for Communion, in quiet prayer (or not), and then walk away, parents dragging little kids who are crying and whining, people fussing around with coats and kneelers, now we see people checking their text messages, we've always had people who jump up before the Mass is over so they can get their car out of the parking lot before the rush that makes them wait in line to get out of the church and out of the parking lot. And people who receive the Sacred Body of Christ and run right out and sin.
Let's put this in a little perspective. You're not wrong to feel the way you do. But this is Jesus we're talking about. He is much less judgmental than the rest of us. I'll bet He doesn't actually mind being in someone's pocket so much. As it is, He rides all around in little tins as He is brought to hospitals and nursing homes and battle fields.
Of course He would love our full attention, but He surely understands the state of any person's soul at any given moment. What He thinks of all of that is up to Him and not us.
Here are a couple of things you could do:
1. Be very glad so many non Catholics are coming to Mass. That is truly remarkable. Something wonderful is at work. Be extra nice to them. We want them to understand that the basis of our faith is compassion.
2. You might talk to Father, or write him a note, asking if he could perhaps give a short explanation as to why only practicing Catholics in the state of grace can receive. That might help a little.
A note of caution! When I was quite young, I stopped going to Communion for quite a long time because the priest gave a whole sermon about how people who don't really understand the Eucharist shouldn't go. I believe he even read a passage from Paul. It was during Holy Week, I remember that much.
I was spooked. I certainly didn't understand it. The Eucharist is the actual Body and Blood of Christ? Good luck understanding that one. It was a long time before some kind old nun explained to me that the opposite of faith is not lack of faith. The opposite of faith is certainty.
Now I have faith, sometimes with full understanding and sometimes with almost none.
If I were you, I would definitely have another chat with that Jewish girl, in no small part because I am a nosy old buzzard who wants to know why her parents want her to go to Communion. Someone is very confused. Or very hopeful.
Oh! And...who to turn to for intercession? Going with St. Paul on this one. For one thing, he's a convert himself and for another, he fully agrees with you about who should not be going to Communion.