Sunday, February 28, 2010

Precepts of the Catholic Church, part IV

Again this week, I’d like to continue with the series about the precepts of the Catholic Church.

The following inset quotes are from the Catechism of the Catholic Church

The third precept ("You shall receive the sacrament of the Eucharist at least during the Easter season") guarantees as a minimum the reception of the Lord's Body and Blood in connection with the Paschal feasts, the origin and center of the Christian liturgy.
There was a time when people, instead of going to confession and trying to change their lives would stay in the state of sin and not go to communion. There were others who were so conscience of their sinfulness that they never felt worthy to  eceive our Lord in communion. Most people have no problem with receiving communion once a year today. There is more of a tendency to go to communion while in the state of mortal sin. This, too, is a serious matter. See last week’s
2043 The fourth precept ("You shall observe the days of fasting and abstinence established by the Church") ensures the times of ascesis and penance which prepare us for the liturgical feasts and help us acquire mastery over our instincts and freedom of heart.
The rules for fasting and abstinence were in the bulletin last week and again this week. Fasting helps us learn to control our desires for a greater good.

The fifth precept ("You shall help to provide for the needs of the Church") means that the faithful are obliged to assist with the material needs of the Church, each according to his own ability.
This precept ties in greatly with the whole idea of almsgiving. While the requirement is to give to our ability, we need to be careful that we don’t under estimate our ability. Often times we have the ability to support the church to a greater degree, but we tend to keep the money for activities that we enjoy. When we look at where our money goes, it gives us a sense about our priorities.

The sixth precept that is often added is to follow the laws of the Church in regards to marriage.
This precept would dictate that we would be married in the Church. If there are impediments to our marriage, we would take care of those as quickly as possible so as to allow us to be married in the Church. If there are issues that stand in the way of meeting this precept, I encourage you to come in and talk with me.

My goal by posting these precepts and comments is to help all of those in the parish reflect a little bit upon what we should be doing as we live out our faith. In addition to these basic precepts, we also need to be looking at the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.
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