First Holy Communion
When Paul was seven years old, he made his First Holy Communion in New York City. From that day forward he became a very close friend of Jesus. He went to Holy Communion every day with his mother, receiving with the intention of converting his father, who had been away from the Church for a very long time.
It’s For Dad
One day the pastor asked Paul why he received Holy Communion every day, Paul answered, “I receive Holy Communion every day because I want to please Jesus, and because the Archbishop wants us to go often.” Then Paul began to cry. When Father asked him why he was crying, Paul said, “Father, there’s another reason why I go to Communion so often. It’s for my father. He doesn’t go to church, Father.” The priest replied, “I know that, Paul, but as long as you’re asking Jesus to help your father in your Holy Communions, I’m sure he’ll come back to God.”
One day at the dinner table, Paul asked his father, “Dad, why do you want me to eat every day?” His father replied, “That’s a foolish question, Paul. You know that if you don’t get food, you’ll die.”
“I understand that, Dad. But Father told us that if we don’t receive the food of Holy Communion, our soul can’t live either. Dad, is your soul alive?”
Paul’s father became very angry, and without another word, left the room.
The next year, Paul became very ill. He suffered like a little martyr for an entire month. During that month, the priest brought him Holy Communion every day. On Holy Thursday, lying in bed, Paul received Holy Viaticum—the last rites. But even this didn’t move the boy’s father. Calling his father to his side, Paul whispered, “Dad, I’m going to die.”
“Why do you say that, Son?” asked his father.
“Because I told Jesus that He could take me out of this world, if He wanted to, if only you would not lose your soul.”
“Don’t worry, Paul; you’ll get well again.”
Paul was unconvinced. “Dad, will you do me a favor before I die? Will you please make a good confession and return to Communion for my sake, Dad?”
Death of a Saint
Paul hardly finished that last beautiful word, when his head dropped. Church bells were ringing all over the city for Mass on this feast of the Holy Eucharist, and since Paul’s mother had already left for Mass, she didn’t know that her boy was already in the arms of his best Friend, Jesus.
Paul lay dead before his father. This was too much—that his little boy should offer his life to save his father’s soul. He fell to his knees, took Paul’s cold hand and kissed it while tears filled his eyes in sorrow for his sins.
Paul’s father went to confession that very day. On Easter Sunday, as he knelt to receive Communion, he heard his son’s voice telling him, “Dad, take my place during Communion time.” His father has received Communion every day since.
The Eucharist is certainly food for our soul, and It is certainly our way to salvation (John 6:53-58), so we should receive Communion as often as possible. However, there is a way that Communion can lead us down the road to eternal damnation in hell, and I fear that the vast majority of Catholics are on that road.
Paul VI’s Wisdom
More than fifty years ago, Pope St. Paul VI said, “In today’s way of thinking, people are no longer regarded as sinners. They are categorized as being healthy, sick, good, strong, weak, rich, poor, wise, ignorant; but one never encounters the word sin. The human intellect having thus been detached from divine wisdom, this word “sin” does not recur because we have lost the concept of sin.”
Long and the Short of It
Paul’s father’s sin was to be away from the Church. Unfortunately, today’s Catholics apparently don’t think they sin at all… or very little. I can’t and won’t judge the state of anyone’s soul, but I can make logical deductions based on what I hear and see Catholics do and say… as well as the realization of my own proclivity to sin. No matter what parish I’ve been to over the years, I’ve observed nearly every Catholic going to Communion, yet the confession lines are extremely short or non-existent. And we don’t have to actually see confession lines to know there’s a problem. Sixty years ago, every Saturday priests would be on duty for up to eight hours hearing confessions, but today the average time a priest sets aside for confessions is fifteen minutes a week. Catholics no longer have a sense of sin!
When one receives Communion in a state of mortal sin, one condemns one’s soul to hell. Catholics no longer seem to realize that. Maybe they just don’t care. I tend to think they do care, but just don’t know or understand, because they’ve been so poorly instructed in the faith.
If you are aware of grave sin, you must go to confession before presenting yourself for Communion, or you will commit the additional mortal sin of sacrilege. Some of the most common sins committed are: artificial contraception (90% of Catholics surveyed), viewing pornography (in national surveys, 70% of Catholic men admit to this), any sexual activity outside of Matrimony (masturbation, adultery, fornication, homosexual), intentionally missing Mass on Sunday and Holy Days, and immodest dress that causes scandal (most especially women).
As I said, I think Catholics just don’t know or understand, because they’ve been so poorly instructed in the faith for the last fifty years. I can help with that, though. I host free webinars every single week. All attendees seem to be in agreement of two things: they are learning things they had no idea the Church teaches, and the way these teachings are presented is anything but boring. So visit JoeSixpackAnswers.com to get on the list for webinar invitations. Then you can learn all the “secrets” of the Catholic faith.