The #1 prayer request we receive at Immaculate Heart Radio is listeners asking us to pray for their children who have fallen away from the Catholic faith. Fallen-away Catholics make up 10% of the U.S. population, and only 30% of Americans who were raised Catholic are still practicing. Chances are you or someone you know has children who have fallen away from the faith over the years.
This leads to a common scenario in which children who are no longer practicing Catholics or who have converted to a different faith occasionally accompany their parents to Sunday Mass. This is a wonderful thing – until the child receives Communion without first going to Confession.
This puts the parent in a difficult position. Should they tell them they must not receive the Eucharist if they are not in communion with the Church? What if that strains the relationship, or pushes the child further from the Church? Recently, a listener called in to Heart to Heart with Mother Miriam asking if she should tell her four non-practicing children not to receive the Eucharist unless they have first gone to Confession. Mother Miriam responded:
“Not one of them should receive the Eucharist, because it dishonors the Blessed Sacrament. It is called Communion because the Host needs to be received by those who are in communion with the Catholic Church. And if they are not, it is a sacrilege for them to receive the Blessed Sacrament.
So you must tell them that they are not to receive the Eucharist. You must do the same for your son who goes to Mass every so often. He must not receive the Eucharist if he has not gone to Confession. He must know that if he considers himself Catholic, to not be at Mass every single Sunday is a mortal sin. It separates his soul from God. And if he goes the following Sunday, having been absent the Sunday previous, and he goes to receive Communion, tell him he is committing a sacrilege – mortal sin on top of mortal sin.
We must take the Eucharist very seriously. Very seriously. For God’s honor, we must. You’re afraid of what your children think of you more than you’re afraid of God. You’re not alone in this – many people are. But you’re afraid of the relationship with your children more than you love the honor of God. Now you may not be conscious of that, but I’m saying that to you now.
We’re afraid to tell our children because we’re afraid they’ll come against us. We’re afraid we’ll turn them away altogether, they’ll be offended, and they won’t go to church at all. And we cater to them rather than honoring God. They must not receive the Eucharist.
The only thing that’s going to bring people to the Church, or back to the Church, is the truth. Nothing else. Lies and compromises will never bring them back to the Church. And so it can’t be a matter of what you believe or what you think, but what the Church teaches.
Say it to them with love, with patience. Say, ‘You know, children, I’m always learning about the Catholic faith, because nobody is always there totally, this side of heaven. And I’ve recently learned that apart from being a faithful Catholic, which means never missing Sunday Mass, and going to Confession, and truly living a fully Catholic life, one must not receive the Eucharist.’
You’ve got to speak the truth to them. What they do with it is between them and God, but you must do it. Put on your soldiers clothes, put on the full armor of God, and in full love tell them what they need for their salvation.”
Listen to the full conversation below:
Heart to Heart with Mother Miriam airs weekdays from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Pacific on Immaculate Heart Radio.