The most difficult times can produce the greatest spiritual blessings. God truly knows just what we need at every moment!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

April 26, 2009 - Third Sunday of Easter, Year B—2003

basing on the homily of Father Alex McAllister SDS

Three sentences in today’s readings attracted my attention:


When Peter says in the Act of the Apostles:


The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified His servant Jesus, Whom you handed over and denied in Pilate's presence when he had decided to release Him. You denied the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. The author of life you put to death, but God raised Him from the dead; of this we are witnesses. Repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away (Acts 3; 13-14)


I see in this statement that Peter understood perfectly the lesson given by Christ in today’s Gospel:


It is written that the Christ would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.” (Luc 24, 47-48)


It can’t have been very easy for the disciples after the resurrection. They must have been very confused. It is one thing to talk about the resurrection in theory, but to actually experience someone rising from the dead must have been very bewildering. However, Jesus appears to them in different situations and explains what has happened in very simple terms, just as he does in today’s passage from St Luke’s Gospel.


The disciples are undergoing a learning process. And in any learning process confusion is an essential element.


Just look at how any small child learns something new. The child performs all kinds of experiments and is often very confused until, after repeated attempts and explanations by the parent, it all suddenly dawns on the child who in a moment of insight suddenly makes complete sense of the task at hand.


Actually, as we grow older we learn less and less. Sadly we lose the skills of learning and we often avoid situations where we might be on unfamiliar territory. We are afraid. We frequently chose to avoid learning something new, because it might be dangerous for us and for our convictions, for our habits and our style of life. By doing this we can close off whole areas of new experiences.


But Peter is learning and his lessons are going further and further until the final lesson on the cross, where he gave the ultimate testimony to his Master and Redeemer. We can also learn, but we have to be open to Christ’s teaching, even if it is difficult and if it demands a lot.


At Emmaus Jesus gave his Body and Blood as he celebrated the Eucharist. There the disciples encountered the Risen Christ: "they had come to know Jesus in the breaking of bread." (Lk 24, 25) "The Breaking of the bread" is an ancient name for the Eucharistic Sacrifice of the Mass and recorded in Scripture. Each of us relives the wonder and awe of Emmaus at every Mass. We "know Jesus the Lord" in the most perfect way outside of heaven itself as the priest, acting in the person of Christ, offers the Mass. Earth and heaven come together in Jesus the God-Man as he appears before us on the altar of sacrifice.  Thus, the place in which this event takes place becomes “house of God and gate of heaven”.


What we can learn from this lesson if we are seldom present?


The disciples were just like us, they were slow learners, and they found Jesus’ new ideas difficult to cope with—even while he was still with them. But then they went through the awful circumstances of his death and must have been cast into in the depths of depression. And as part of the shock of all this I’m sure everything that he ever taught them went right out of their heads.


We too are slow learners. Actually, many of us are Catholics out of habit rather than out of conviction. We come to mass, we say our prayers, we act in a moral way and we do our best to pass these values on to our children. But we go no further.


Yet the final words of Jesus in today’s Gospel are intended for us just as much as they were intended for the disciples: You are witnesses to this.


Each one of us has to make the transition from being what you might call a passive Catholic to becoming an active Catholic. We have to move beyond habit and become witnesses.


The witness has seen and heard and experienced the events to which he gives testimony. The witness speaks with authority and he speaks the truth. And as a result the witness is believable—that’s surely why the apostles were so effective on the Day of Pentecost.


We might be slow learners but what we have to do is simply realise that God has chosen us for this particular task—to be his witnesses. Then we have to give testimony.


And here we have the third passage from today’s readings, from Saint John:


The way we may be sure that we know him is to keep his commandments. Those who say, "I know him," but do not keep his commandments are liars, and the truth is not in them. But whoever keeps his word, the love of God is truly perfected in him.” (1 Jn 2:4-5)


And you might say: What do I know? How can I give witness? I know nothing? But you would be wrong. You know a great deal. You know about Jesus. You know His life story. And more importantly, you know that He died and rose again. And you know why He did this: In order to free us from our sins and open up for us the way to everlasting life. He did it out of love. And you know what we must do. We must love one another and we must stop sinning so that, in the words of St John, God’s love comes to perfection in us.


These things are not complicated; we know them already. The lesson has been learned and we are no longer confused. Now we understand that we really are his witnesses and that our task is to bring Christ’s message to all we meet. But this does not mean that we have to go round knocking on doors or standing on the street corner blasting the Gospel at those who pass by. I don’t think so.


St Francis of Assisi had it right when he said: Preach the gospel all the time; use words only if necessary.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Divine Mercy Sunday

Spring is in the air. The snow is almost gone. The hockey equipment is put away and the baseball gloves and bats are out. The story is told of the young boy playing in his back yard. He has a baseball bat in one hand and a ball in the other.

He says out loud “I am the best batter in the whole world”. He then throws the ball way up in the air and as it comes down he takes a swing at it. He misses. Strike one.

He grabs the ball, says “I am the best batter in the whole world”, throws the ball in the air again and as it comes down he takes another swing at it. And misses. Strike two.

As he grabs the ball for a third time he says “I am the best batter in the whole world”, throws the ball higher in the air and swings at it as it comes down. He misses. Strike Three.

He stares at the ball lying on the ground. And with a big grin says “I am the best pitcher in the whole world”. This little boy is either an extreme optimist or not wanting to be disappointed - he denies the reality of his poor batmanship focusing our attention instead on the possibility that he struck out because of his great pitching.

This weekend we celebrate the Feast of the Divine Mercy Sunday. This is the day that the Lord wanted the Church to set aside as a feast day celebrating His Divine Mercy.

In today’s psalm the psalmist says “His steadfast Love endures forever” God’s mercy is without end. His mercy endures forever.

However, even though His mercy is without end He can only offer it to us. He cannot force us to accept His mercy – that would be a violation of our free will. And so He presents us through His Church with this great feast of Divine Mercy to draw our attention once again to His great love for us manifested through His Divine Mercy.

Like the little boy denying the reality of his poor batmanship we too sometimes deny the reality of God’s Mercy. Perhaps it’s because if we were to focus on His mercy it would mean that we have need His mercy. And we would only have need of His mercy if we were sinners and in need of His redemption.

Instead of focusing on ourselves as sinners we prefer to focus instead on God’s love – a love that we hope will not see our sins but rather will accept us as we are - sin or no sin.

The Church teaches us about the 4 last things – Death, Judgement, Heaven and Hell.

Death - because all of us will die. If a multimillionaire and I were to die at the same time – in an instant we would both stand naked before God. We cannot take anything with us except how we lived our lives.

At that time it won’t matter how many degrees or doctorates I may have. All of that is left behind. Because after death comes judgment – particular judgment – in which we will have to account instantaneously for how we lived our lives, how we obeyed the commandments of God.

It’s 7:30 now. At 7:31 I could be standing in front of God’s judgement seat, my earthly life all over, facing the awesome reality of Heaven or Hell for all eternity.

On the average, on our earth, about 120,000 people come before the judgment seat of God daily. There will be no more time for sorrow or repentance. It’s too late – we are fixed in place the instant we die.

After we are judged we are consigned to Heaven or Hell forever. Heaven is the place that is described in the bible as:

“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”— 1 Cor 2:9

If all of us were to die tonight – could we say that we are completely without sin, that we carry no attachment to sin – that we have loved as God commanded us to love, and that we have obeyed all of His commandments - How would we stand before the judgement seat of God right now –

Not all of us would be ready to enter Heaven – some of us would still have some attachment to sin – although not separated from him by Mortal or serious sin we have to be purged from all of our sinful attachements because the Bible says that nothing impure will enter heaven

“But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” Rev 21:27

For those who need to be made clean God’s Divine Mercy provides us with the cleansing, purging fire of purgatory where all attachments to sin are wiped away. Those who enter purgatory are assured of Heaven after they have been cleansed of all impurities and attachments to sin. Theologians tell us that the main suffering in purgatory is the temporary loss of the vision of God.

We are separated from Him until we are cleansed. They also tell us that the cleansing fires of purgatory are real – the physical suffering there is greater than anything we could ever experience on earth.

It is only endured by the fact that we know that eventually once we are cleansed we will be in the presence of almighty God. That is why we pray for the souls in purgatory – so that their suffering might be lessened.

And then there is Hell. This also is a reality and a real possibility for unrepentant sinners.

We sometimes wonder and question why the church especially under Pope John Paul II has declared so many saints to be in heaven. Well, there is a real process in which the Church basically asks God to confirm that so and so is in Heaven. And when this process is complete, the Church declares this person as being a saint in Heaven.

The Church has never however declared that any particular person is in Hell. The Church confirms what the Bible teaches. There is a Hell and people do go there for all eternity.

In fact the Bible speaks more often about Hell than it does about heaven.

“Strive to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. Luke 13:24

And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Matt 10:28

You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell?
Matt 23:33

For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment;
2 Pet 2:4

Theologians tell us that the fires of Hell are real. Again the main punishment is the loss of God for all eternity. The physical suffering is more than we could ever imagine or experience on earth and it is never ending. It is for all eternity.

God does not consign us to Hell – we freely choose it ourselves. The main way we do this is by turning away from God and focusing on ourselves. Lucifer was the first of God’s creatures to do this – and now he sits in Hell as Satan – the prince of Darkness and he’d like nothing better than to have us join him there.

If we deny the existence of Hell then we deny the need for a Redeemer. We deny the need for Jesus to have died on the cross. We also deny Free will – since if we deny the existence of Hell we deny the possibility of our being able to choose to go there.

That would mean that we would all go to Heaven like little robots – no choice whatsoever.

It’s amazing how many times we turn away from God’s Mercy. Think, when was the last time we went to confession. In His mercy, God gave us this sacrament when Jesus told His disciples “Whose sins you forgive they are forgiven them”.

Do you remember the Charlie Major Hit in the 90’s

It goes something like this

I had a friend
He didn't make it home last night
He went out on the town
And he had himself a time
When it was time for leaving, he was much too tight
He climbed behind the wheel and it cost him his life
He thought he knew better, the odds he could beat
He said, "I'll make it alright, don't you worry 'bout me"

It can't.. It can't happen to me
I got an angel watching over me
It can't .. It can't happen to me
It's always someone else, you see
It can't … it can't happen to me
It can't happen to me

I knew a young man
He had it all going his way
But he carried with him
A deep seeded pain
He stepped over the line to find some escape
They found him one night - Lying face down in the rain
He thought he was stronger - the odds he could beat
He said, "I'll make it alright, don't you worry 'bout me"

Visiting people in the hospital in Calgary, Edmonton, Red Deer or Rocky over the past few years you’d be surprised how many people seem to have that attitude.

It can’t happen to me – I’m going back home soon.

In our formation as Deacons we are taught that our primary function is not to just bring Holy Communion to the sick but rather to prepare them if we can for the reality of eternity. Pray with them, invite them and prepare them to receive the sacrament of the sick from the priest. We used to call it the last rites.

When I ask them if they would like to see a priest, to be anointed, or to go to confession and then to receive our Lord in Holy Communion - I don’t know how many times I’ve heard people say “Oh, I won’t be here that long – I expect I’ll be out of here and back home within a few days. Thanks for asking. I’ll come around and see Father then.”

It has happened that they are often right about one thing – they are not around for that long – the next time we see them is usually at the funeral. They had the opportunity to avail themselves of God’s mercy – to make things right with God but they turned Him down. I’ll decide when I die – I’m not ready to go just yet.

Sometimes we hear of lay ministers bringing sick people Holy Communion – often without giving them the opportunity to cleanse themselves through sacramental confession to be washed by Christ.

This is really a tragedy because Holy Communion is not magic. It can and should bring solace and comfort to the soul that is prepared to receive our Lord. Food for the journey. On the other hand it can bring sacrilege and false hope to the one that is not prepared.

The Pastor of this parish has the care of the Blessed Sacrament. One should never bring Holy Communion to anyone without the permission of the Pastor.

Isn’t it funny how we sometimes criticize the church for canonizing so many people. Yet, we ourselves canonize far more than the church ever has or ever will canonize.

At least at most every funeral that I’ve ever attended I hear the words so and so is “Safe in the arms of Jesus” or “Gone home to be with our Lord” or their suffering is finally over. Is it? Is it really? The bible and the Church both tell us that this is not the reality.

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” Matt 7:21

“Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matt 18:3

“Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” John 13:8

The feast that we celebrate today was instituted at Christ’s command for this purpose.

Jesus told St. Faustina that this Feast of Mercy would be a very special day when "all the divine floodgates through which graces flow are opened". (Diary 699)

Our Lord made a great promise to all those souls who would go to Confession and then receive Him in Holy Communion on the Feast of Mercy, on the Sunday after Easter, which is now called Divine Mercy Sunday throughout the Catholic Church.

Jesus promised that "The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain the complete forgiveness of sins and punishment."(Diary 699) He went on to say "I want to grant a complete pardon to the souls that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion on the Feast of My Mercy." (Diary 1109)

We want to encourage everyone to take advantage of this incredible promise and the additional Plenary Indulgence on this great Feast of Mercy "Divine Mercy Sunday".

We want you to benefit fully from these promises, and we also want you to notify all of your family and friends about them too and urge them to return to the practice of their faith!

The Image of The Divine Mercy, which Our Lord requested to be solemnly blessed and venerated on this day, is on display in our church. Pope John Paul II said that the image portrays the Risen Jesus Christ bringing Mercy to the whole world.

Our Lord said "I want the image to be solemnly blessed on the first Sunday after Easter, and I want it to be venerated publicly so that every soul may know about it. I promise that the soul that will venerate this image will not perish". (Diary 341, 48) Please take the time to visit with this Image of The Divine Mercy and venerate Jesus.

Jesus said to St. Faustina "I am offering people a vessel with which they are to keep coming for graces to the fountain of mercy. That vessel is this image with the signature: Jesus, I trust in You". (Diary 327) "The two rays denote Blood and Water.

The pale ray stands for the Water which makes souls righteous. The red ray stands for the Blood which is the life of souls. These two rays issued forth from the very depths of My tender mercy when My agonized Heart was opened by a lance on the cross. …Happy is the one who will dwell in their shelter, for the just hand of God shall not lay hold of him." (Diary 299)

About the feastday "Divine Mercy Sunday", Jesus said "…tell the whole world about My inconceivable mercy. I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially poor sinners.

On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon the souls who approach the Fount of My Mercy. On that day all the divine floodgates through which graces flow are opened.

Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet.... Mankind will not have peace until it turns to the Fount of My Mercy". (Diary 699)

Our Lord said "When you go to confession, to this fountain of My mercy, the Blood and Water which came forth from My Heart always flows down upon your soul…" and "Every time you go to confession, immerse yourself entirely in My mercy with great trust, so that I may pour the bounty of My grace upon your soul.

When you approach the confessional, know this, that I Myself am waiting there for you. I am only hidden by the priest, but I Myself act in your soul. Here the misery of the soul meets the God of mercy" (1602). Make your confession before Me.

The person of the priest is… only a screen. Never analyze what sort of a priest that I am making use of; open your soul in confession to Me, and I will fill it with My light." (1725)

This Sunday afternoon we will celebrate the solemn blessing of the image of Divine Mercy and the praying of the Divine Mercy Chaplet.

This will take place at 3 o’clock during the hour of Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Everyone is cordially invited to come and participate.

God’s Divine Mercy is being offered to you. You can accept it and place all your trust in Jesus or like some who think they can predict the future; you can defer it until later.

Please don’t reject the Mercy of Christ at the time it is offered to you – the reality is that you may never get a second chance.

Deacon Bernie Ouellette

Friday, April 17, 2009

Controversy: Development and Peace Funding Pro-Abortion Groups

The CCODP has always been driven by political ideology; in fact, by a political ideology of the left, even more so than by its Catholic religious motivation. To this, I will return in a moment. Meanwhile, it should have been extra careful in choosing foreign partners not involved in activities opposing the Church’s pro-active family policies. But D&P, unlike the American Catholic Relief Services, does not check with local bishops in foreign countries (something, by the way, that would outrage Canadian bishops if this happened in their own dioceses).

Of the $438,000 (Cdn) given to Mexican “projects” in 2007-2008, only $50,000 went to the Mexican branch of Caritas, the international Vatican relief organization which now operates in over 150 countries, principally through on-the-spot local Caritas groups who remain in existence from year to year to help the poor and to channel international aid when disasters strike, like hurricanes, floods and famines. The rest of the Canadian funding goes to “partners” who, as it now turns out, are almost exclusively devoted to leftist political causes (, March 11, 2009). Over the projected five-year period 2006-2011, five Mexican abortion-advocating groups stand to receive a total of $850,000 (Cdn).

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Sunday - April 12, 2009

I heard of a TV reporter interviewing a group of understandably excited youngsters in New York City's Rockefeller Center. He chose one six year old and asked patronizingly, "What does the Easter bunny mean to you?" The boy without a second's hesitation replied, "Jesus died for our sins and then rose from the dead."

The stuttering reporter quickly asked, "But what does that have to do with the Easter bunny?" The boy said very resolutely, "Nothing."

The question of the reporter can be changed and we can ask: “What does the Resurrection of Christ have to do with my life?”

Will the answer be a similar reply of “absolutely nothing”? Jesus Christ is risen, but in my daily life He has been already dead for a long time.

Our faith is deeply rooted and finds its real meaning in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

St Paul says that, if Christ is not risen, then all our believing is in vain.

This is certainly the central truth of Christianity. But are we as resolute and sure as the boy was when he responded at Rockefeller Center?

Before the Gospel is proclaimed, the ancient sequence Victimae Paschali of Easter Sunday is read or sung. The Sequence (Sequentia) is the liturgical hymn of the Mass, which occurs on four feasts: Easter, Pentecost, Corpus Christi and Our Lady of Sorrows. This sequence, Victimae Paschali is attributed to Wipo of Burgundy, who was chaplain of the German Emperor Conrad II during the 11th century.

Easter Sequence:

laudes immolent Christiani.

CHRISTIANS, to the Paschal Victim
offer sacrifice and praise.

Agnus redemit oves:
Christus innocens Patri

The sheep are ransomed by the Lamb;
and Christ, the undefiled,
hath sinners
to his Father reconciled.

Mors et vita duello
conflixere mirando:
dux vitae mortuus,
regnat vivus.

Death with life contended:
combat strangely ended!
Life's own Champion, slain,
yet lives to reign.

Dic nobis Maria,
Quid vidisti in via?

Tell us, Mary:
say what thou didst see upon the way.

Sepulcrum Christi viventis,
et gloriam vidi resurgentis:

The tomb the Living did enclose;
I saw Christ's glory as He rose!

Angelicos testes,
sudarium et vestes.

The angels there attesting;
shroud with grave-clothes resting.

Surrexit Christus spes mea:
praecedet suos in Galilaeam.

Christ, my hope, has risen:
He goes before you into Galilee.

Scimus Christum surrexisse
a mortuis vere:
Tu nobis, victor Rex miserere.
Amen. Alleluia.

That Christ is truly risen
from the dead we know.
Victorious King, Thy mercy show!
Amen. Alleluia.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Holy Thursday – April 10, 2009

There is a difference between the Protestant and Lutheran communities and the Catholic Church concerning the understanding of the Holy Communion. Protestant and Lutheran communities understand Communion as a commemoration, sign and symbol, whereas for the Catholic Church it is the real presence of Jesus Christ Himself.

Its identity: Christ really present

As a sacrament, the Eucharist has a double aspect: it is both a sign and the reality signified by it, both a remembering of the past and a making-really-present: “When the Church celebrates the Eucharist, she commemorates Christ’s Passover, and it is made present: the sacrifice Christ offered once for all on the Cross remains ever present” (C 1364).

Here the three meanings of “present” come together: Christ in the Eucharist is 1) present, not absent, but really here; 2) present, not past, but happening now; and 3) presented as a gift (a “present”), really given; offered, not withheld.

Christ is “present in many ways to his Church” (C 1373) but “[t]he mode of Christ’s presence under the Eucharistic species [forms, appearances] is unique. It raises the Eucharist above all the sacraments as ‘the perfection of the spiritual life and the end to which all the sacraments tend’ [St. Thomas Aquinas]. In the most blessed sacrament of the Eucharist ‘the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ and, therefore, the whole Christ is truly, really, and substantially contained.’‘. . . [I]t is presence in the fullest sense . . . Christ, God and man, makes himself wholly and entirely present’ ” (C 1374).


God performs a miracle in each Mass. In fact, there has never been a miracle as great as this anywhere on earth for 2000 years. And it happens in every Catholic Church every day!

“‘It is not man that causes the things offered to become the Body and Blood of Christ, but he who was crucified for us, Christ himself. The priest, in the role of Christ (IN PERSONA CHRISTI), pronounces these words, but their power and grace are God’s. This is my body, he says. This word transforms the things offered’ into a person of Christ” (St. John Chrysostom; C 1375). “This change is not like natural changes, but is entirely supernatural, and effected by God’s power alone” (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae III, 75, 4).

Such a miracle is beyond the power of man, but not beyond the power of God. “. . . Could not Christ’s word, which can make from nothing what did not exist [Gn 1], change existing things into what they were not before? . . .” (St. Ambrose; C 1375).

Following the Knights of Columbus web page: How Catholics Worship

Let us see what the Scriptures say about the Holy Eucharist?

Mt 26:26-28

While they were eating, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples said, "Take and eat; this is my body."

Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins.

Mk 14:22- 24

While they were eating, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, and said, "Take it; this is my body."

Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, and they all drank from it.

He said to them, "This is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed for many.

Luc 2:19-20

Then he took the bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body, which will be given for you; do this in memory of me."

And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which will be shed for you.

1 Cor 11:23-25

For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over, took bread, and, after he had given thanks, broke it and said, "This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me."

In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me."

And St. Paul adds immediately a very serious warning:

1 Cor 11; 26-31

For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.

Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord.

A person should examine himself, and so eat the bread and drink the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself.

That is why many among you are ill and infirm, and a considerable number are dying. If we discerned ourselves, we would not be under judgment;

15. Who may receive the Eucharist?

Christ intended this holy banquet for everyone, but not everyone is ready (see Christ’s parables of the wise and foolish virgins and of the man with no wedding garment in Mt 25:1-13 and 22:1-14).The Catechism specifies four qualifications.

1) We must be prepared. There are certainly occasions when one should not receive the Eucharist, and Catholics should not be encouraged to receive it as a matter of course, without faith, understanding, or examination of conscience.“[W]e must prepare ourselves for so great and holy a moment” (C 1385), as we would prepare ourselves deeply and seriously for a wedding (see 1 Cor 11:23-29). It is not to be treated trivially, like any other moment. “Bodily demeanor (gestures, clothing) ought to convey the respect, solemnity, and joy of this moment . . .” (C 1387). The sense of the sacred is expressed by distinctions, by differences: this is not ordinary; in fact this is not like anything else in the world.

This does not mean we must judge ourselves to be holy before we can receive. Just the opposite: the precondition is not worthiness but unworthiness and humble acknowledgement of it: “Before so great a sacrament; the faithful can only echo humbly and with ardent faith the words of the Centurion . . . ‘Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul will be healed’219” (C 1386).The Church’s liturgy tells us to say (and to mean) those words before we receive Communion.

2) We must be in a state of grace. “Anyone conscious of a grave sin must receive the sacrament of Reconciliation before coming to communion” (C 1385).

3) We must fast. “To prepare for worthy reception of this sacrament, the faithful should observe the fast required in their Church220” (C 1387). In the Latin Church, this is fasting from all food and drink except medications and water for at least one hour before receiving communion.

4) We must be in communion with the Catholic Church to receive her Eucharist. At present, intercommunion with non-Catholic Christians in the Eucharist is not possible because union in doctrine and authority is, sadly, lacking. For the Church to offer communion to those who do not believe what she teaches or accept her authority would be a false sign, a lie of “body language.” For this sacrament signifies oneness: union with Christ and with his Church (St. Paul says we are “one body” because we all partake of this “one bread”). We may not signify Church unity when it does not exist; that would make the sign a countersign. This does not mean that all other churches’ celebrations of the Eucharist are invalid.

The Orthodox churches, “‘though separated from us, yet possess true sacraments’” (C 1399). “A certain communion in sacris [in the sacred things of the Church], and so in the Eucharist, ‘given suitable circumstances and the approval of Church authority, is not merely possible but is encouraged’238” (C 1399). “Ecclesial communities derived from the Reformation and separated from the Catholic Church, ‘have not preserved the proper reality of the Eucharistic mystery in its fullness, especially because of the absence of the sacrament of Holy Orders.’239 It is for this reason that, for the Catholic Church, Eucharistic intercommunion with these communities is not possible” (C 1400). “Only validly ordained priests can preside at the Eucharist and consecrate the bread and the wine so that they become the Body and Blood of the Lord” (C 1411).

Protestants do not have priests who can consecrate the Eucharist; therefore they do not have the Eucharist – though they have Christ and salvation through faith, hope, and charity. They are Christians, but “separated brethren.”

following the Knights of Columbus web page: How Catholics Worship

It is not to cause the sentiment of guilt, but to clarify our present situation.

Let us see only one thing ... MARRIAGE

Let us see what the Scriptures say about the marriage and divorce?

Mt 5:31-32

"It was also said, 'Whoever divorces his wife must give her a bill of divorce.'

But I say to you, whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful) causes her to commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

Mt 19:9

I say to you, whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful) and marries another commits adultery."

Mk 10: 9-12

What God has joined together, no human being must separate."He said to them, "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery."

Luc 16:18

"Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery, and the one who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.

1 Cor 7: 10-11

To the married, however, I give this instruction (not I, but the Lord): a wife should not separate from her husband --and if she does separate she must either remain single or become reconciled to her husband--and a husband should not divorce his wife.

11. The indissolubility of marriage

“Indissolubility” means permanence, until death. The human marriage covenant can no more be dissolved than God’s covenant, for God designed it to be the image of that covenant (see paragraph 5 and C 1643) and the image of His own Unity

“Thus the marriage bond has been established by God himself [not by the Church] in such a way that a marriage concluded and consummated between baptized persons can never be dissolved. This bond, which results from the free human act of the spouses and their consummation of the marriage, is a reality [not just an ideal or an intention], henceforth irrevocable . . . .The Church does not have the power to contravene this disposition of divine wisdom” (C 1640). No one should say, “I disagree with the Church about divorce,” but “I disagree with Christ about divorce.”

following the Knights of Columbus web page: How Catholics Worship

And we say everything is OK.

How we can pretend that everything is OK and approach the Holy Eucharist knowing that: “whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord ...” knowing that “anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself ...”?