Daily Lenten Reflection—Sacramental Easter Duty

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“Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself.” (1 Corinthians 11:27-29)

The second precept of the Church requires that Catholics confess their grave sins at least once per year. This requires sacramental confession to a priest and can be done at any time during the year, as long as this enables the person to keep the third precept, which to receive Holy Communion at least once per year during the Easter season.

We are at that time of the year when Catholics are encouraged to make their confession so as to worthily receive Holy Communion at Easter. These are just minimums—any Catholic who loves God will desire to more frequently participate in these sacraments.

St. Paul warned the Corinthians, with cause, about abuses of the Blessed Sacrament. Worthy reception of Holy Communion does not require perfection, but it requires two minimum qualifications. First, one must be properly disposed and in a state of grace, that is, not have any mortal sins that are not absolved through confession. Second, one must believe what the Church teaches regarding the Real Presence of the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament—the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ under the appearances of bread and wine.

Lent is a time for deepening our faith; growing closer to the Lord. It is not meant to be a temporary focus on God and His love, but rather the start again of something new and lasting. Let us resolve to seek healing and forgiveness in Confession so as to worthily receive our Lord this Eastertide. And then, transformed by His love, let us take that love to others in His name.

Remember, you are dust, and to dust you will return. Repent and believe in the Gospel.

Editor’s Note: This concludes our Daily Lenten Reflections for 2015.

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About the Author

Deacon Mike Bickerstaff Editor-In-Chief, ICL

Deacon Michael Bickerstaff is the Editor in chief and co-founder of the The Integrated Catholic Life.™ A Catholic Deacon of the Roman Rite for the Archdiocese of Atlanta, Deacon Bickerstaff is assigned to St. Peter Chanel Catholic Church where he is the Director of Adult Education and Evangelization.

He is a co-founder of the successful annual Atlanta Catholic Business Conference; the Chaplain of the Atlanta Chapter of the Woodstock Theological Center’s Business Conference; and Chaplain of the St. Peter Chanel Faith at Work Business Association and co-founder and Chaplain of the Marriages Are Covenants Ministry, both of which serve as models for similar parish-based ministries.

He and his wife have two married children and three grandchildren.

NB: The views I express on this site are my own. I am not an official spokesman for either my parish or diocese.

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