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Author Topic: Receiving Communion after a wet dream  (Read 2773 times)

StabatMater

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Receiving Communion after a wet dream
« on: June 04, 2009, 07:44:am »
In  the Summa, St. Thomas says...

"At the same time a sense of decency forbids Communion on two accounts. The first of these is always verified, viz. the bodily defilement, with which, out of reverence for the sacrament, it is unbecoming to approach the altar (and hence those who wish to touch any sacred object, wash their hands): except perchance such uncleanness be perpetual or of long standing, such as leprosy or issue of blood, or anything else of the kind. The other reason is the mental distraction which follows after the aforesaid movements, especially when they take place with unclean imaginings. Now this obstacle, which arises from a sense of decency, can be set aside owing to any necessity, as Gregory says (Regist. xi): "As when perchance either a festival day calls for it, or necessity compels one to exercise the ministry because there is no other priest at hand."

I don't understand the reasoning behind this.  Aquinas says in the same section that one isn't barred from receiving Communion if the wet dream doesn't "proceed from mortal sin", which makes sense.  But then he goes on to say that a sense of decency still forbids it, and is "always verified".  Is it always wrong to receive after a wet dream, or should this conclusion just be dismissed as an oddity?
"Reputation is rarely proportioned to virtue." - St. Francis de Sales

Rosarium

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Re: Receiving Communion after a wet dream
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2009, 08:18:am »
In  the Summa, St. Thomas says...

"At the same time a sense of decency forbids Communion on two accounts. The first of these is always verified, viz. the bodily defilement, with which, out of reverence for the sacrament, it is unbecoming to approach the altar (and hence those who wish to touch any sacred object, wash their hands): except perchance such uncleanness be perpetual or of long standing, such as leprosy or issue of blood, or anything else of the kind. The other reason is the mental distraction which follows after the aforesaid movements, especially when they take place with unclean imaginings. Now this obstacle, which arises from a sense of decency, can be set aside owing to any necessity, as Gregory says (Regist. xi): "As when perchance either a festival day calls for it, or necessity compels one to exercise the ministry because there is no other priest at hand."

I don't understand the reasoning behind this.  Aquinas says in the same section that one isn't barred from receiving Communion if the wet dream doesn't "proceed from mortal sin", which makes sense.  But then he goes on to say that a sense of decency still forbids it, and is "always verified".  Is it always wrong to receive after a wet dream, or should this conclusion just be dismissed as an oddity?

Perhaps it is more of a cleanliness issue. Like, would it be proper to receive if one was all sweaty and dirty from hard work but had little chance to prepare for mass? Perhaps not, unless one was not in a better situation otherwise to receive. They didn't have the same bathing facilities at that time, so perhaps it was more of a personal cleanliness issue, than a moral one. If a person with leprosy or issue of blood can receive according to the advice, but a person who is temporily "dirty" (physically) should not, it is clearly not a prohibition.

didishroom

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Re: Receiving Communion after a wet dream
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2009, 08:31:am »
Those are good points, as the Church has only forbidden us to receive Communion if we are in a state of sin or not mentally prepared to receive. This thing about wet dreams could be just his opinion, as much of his Summa is-I think people put too much into Aquinas.
"We're from Jersey. Not New Jersey, just Jersey.  We curse a lot. We say "yo" and we say it often. We sure as hell don't pump our own gas. We know what real pizza tastes like and we know that a bagel is much more than a roll wit a hole in the middle. We judge people by what exit they are off the parkway or by what mall they live closest to. We drive SUVs and we tailgate any chance we get.  All good nights must end in a diner, preferably with cheese fries. It's a sub, not a hoagie or a hero. and I wash it down with soda, not pop.  I have a dawg, and I drink cawfee.  ..and New York City, is "the city." We know 65 mph means 80 mph."-Anon

Foolish then, is he who departs from the Vicar of Christ Crucified, who has the keys of the Blood, or who goes against him . . . Even though the pope were satan incarnate himself, I may not lift up my head against him, but I must always humble myself, and beg for the Blood as a mercy, for in no other wise can I obtain a part of it -St. Catherine of Sienna.


If desire has equal power with actual Baptism, you would then be satisfied to desire Glory, as though that longing itself were Glory!-St. Gregory Nazianzen.

lamentabili sane

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Re: Receiving Communion after a wet dream
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2009, 09:01:am »
Those are good points, as the Church has only forbidden us to receive Communion if we are in a state of sin or not mentally prepared to receive. This thing about wet dreams could be just his opinion, as much of his Summa is-I think people put too much into Aquinas.

Quote from: Code of Canon Law (1917)
"The study of philosophy and theology and the teaching of these sciences to their students must be accurately carried out by Professors (in seminaries etc.) according to the arguments, doctrine, and principles of St. Thomas which they are inviolately to hold." CIC 1366, 2.
"One who lived practicing the vice of sodomy will suffer more pain in Hell than anyone else, because this is the worst sin that there is" - St. Bernadine of Siena

 “The faithful ears of the people are holier than the lips of the priests.” - St. Hilary

Lagrange

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Re: Receiving Communion after a wet dream
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2009, 09:03:am »
In  the Summa, St. Thomas says...

"At the same time a sense of decency forbids Communion on two accounts. The first of these is always verified, viz. the bodily defilement, with which, out of reverence for the sacrament, it is unbecoming to approach the altar (and hence those who wish to touch any sacred object, wash their hands): except perchance such uncleanness be perpetual or of long standing, such as leprosy or issue of blood, or anything else of the kind. The other reason is the mental distraction which follows after the aforesaid movements, especially when they take place with unclean imaginings. Now this obstacle, which arises from a sense of decency, can be set aside owing to any necessity, as Gregory says (Regist. xi): "As when perchance either a festival day calls for it, or necessity compels one to exercise the ministry because there is no other priest at hand."

I don't understand the reasoning behind this.  Aquinas says in the same section that one isn't barred from receiving Communion if the wet dream doesn't "proceed from mortal sin", which makes sense.  But then he goes on to say that a sense of decency still forbids it, and is "always verified".  Is it always wrong to receive after a wet dream, or should this conclusion just be dismissed as an oddity?

Sorry, but is Aquinas talking about wet dreams in this extract? He makes reference just to "leprosy or issue of blood'' that are more medical conditions than anything else. I think there was recommendation not to receive communion for example if one had the habit of often vomiting blood or things of this sort - because the Host might not yet have evaporated (i.e.: cease to have the appearance of bread) when the vomiting occurs.

Anyway, assuming he is talking of wet dreams, Aquinas does not seem to say there is anything inherently wrong with receiving communion after one. Only that perhaps it may be somewhat inappropriate or ill-fitting.

Remember, there hasn't been - until recent times - a universal consensus as to when it is appropriate to receive holy communion. Everyone has always accepted that being in a state of grace for example is absolutely necessary. But still, some inclined to a position that one should truly make it a 'special occasion' only after intensified preparation - which was perceived to be mitigated if it was 'commonly' received whenever the opportunity arose. This approach of spiritual guidance was forcefully dropped by St Pius X - state of grace is all that is necessary; other factors should not prevent reception of communion (which is after all, not a reward for holiness; but a means towards it).
Saint Thomas Aquinas' simple yet profound advice concerning sanctity (said to his sister): "Will it"


jovan66102

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Re: Receiving Communion after a wet dream
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2009, 09:04:am »
Those are good points, as the Church has only forbidden us to receive Communion if we are in a state of sin or not mentally prepared to receive. This thing about wet dreams could be just his opinion, as much of his Summa is-I think people put too much into Aquinas.

Quote from: Code of Canon Law (1917)
"The study of philosophy and theology and the teaching of these sciences to their students must be accurately carried out by Professors (in seminaries etc.) according to the arguments, doctrine, and principles of St. Thomas which they are inviolately to hold." CIC 1366, 2.

Was it Trent or First Vatican that placed the Summa alongside Holy Scripture on the Altar during their sessions?
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didishroom

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Re: Receiving Communion after a wet dream
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2009, 09:05:am »
Trent...but obviously not everything Aquinas wrote is doctrine or must be held.
"We're from Jersey. Not New Jersey, just Jersey.  We curse a lot. We say "yo" and we say it often. We sure as hell don't pump our own gas. We know what real pizza tastes like and we know that a bagel is much more than a roll wit a hole in the middle. We judge people by what exit they are off the parkway or by what mall they live closest to. We drive SUVs and we tailgate any chance we get.  All good nights must end in a diner, preferably with cheese fries. It's a sub, not a hoagie or a hero. and I wash it down with soda, not pop.  I have a dawg, and I drink cawfee.  ..and New York City, is "the city." We know 65 mph means 80 mph."-Anon

Foolish then, is he who departs from the Vicar of Christ Crucified, who has the keys of the Blood, or who goes against him . . . Even though the pope were satan incarnate himself, I may not lift up my head against him, but I must always humble myself, and beg for the Blood as a mercy, for in no other wise can I obtain a part of it -St. Catherine of Sienna.


If desire has equal power with actual Baptism, you would then be satisfied to desire Glory, as though that longing itself were Glory!-St. Gregory Nazianzen.

lamentabili sane

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Re: Receiving Communion after a wet dream
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2009, 09:11:am »
Trent...but obviously not everything Aquinas wrote is doctrine or must be held.

Quote from: Code of Canon Law (1917)
"The study of philosophy and theology and the teaching of these sciences to their students must be accurately carried out by Professors (in seminaries etc.) according to the arguments, doctrine, and principles of St. Thomas which they are inviolately to hold." CIC 1366, 2.
"One who lived practicing the vice of sodomy will suffer more pain in Hell than anyone else, because this is the worst sin that there is" - St. Bernadine of Siena

 “The faithful ears of the people are holier than the lips of the priests.” - St. Hilary

Lagrange

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Re: Receiving Communion after a wet dream
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2009, 09:12:am »
Those are good points, as the Church has only forbidden us to receive Communion if we are in a state of sin or not mentally prepared to receive. This thing about wet dreams could be just his opinion, as much of his Summa is-I think people put too much into Aquinas.

Quote from: Code of Canon Law (1917)
"The study of philosophy and theology and the teaching of these sciences to their students must be accurately carried out by Professors (in seminaries etc.) according to the arguments, doctrine, and principles of St. Thomas which they are inviolately to hold." CIC 1366, 2.

That doesn't mean every single opinion or conclusion drawn by Saint Thomas *must* be accepted. E.g.: His views on ensoulment were based on faulty scientific knowledge. It just means means that his method must be given prominence in the seminaries - I'd say it calls for the holding of the more fundamental aspects of his theology (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomism#Distinctive_ideas) , not the more remote conclusions, e.g.: Aquinas argues that the Incarnation would never have occured had there not been Original Sin - other schools of thought hold otherwise; the relationship between free-will and grace, again, differing viewpoints in the Church.
Saint Thomas Aquinas' simple yet profound advice concerning sanctity (said to his sister): "Will it"

lamentabili sane

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Re: Receiving Communion after a wet dream
« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2009, 09:16:am »
Those are good points, as the Church has only forbidden us to receive Communion if we are in a state of sin or not mentally prepared to receive. This thing about wet dreams could be just his opinion, as much of his Summa is-I think people put too much into Aquinas.

Quote from: Code of Canon Law (1917)
"The study of philosophy and theology and the teaching of these sciences to their students must be accurately carried out by Professors (in seminaries etc.) according to the arguments, doctrine, and principles of St. Thomas which they are inviolately to hold." CIC 1366, 2.

That doesn't mean every single opinion or conclusion drawn by Saint Thomas *must* be accepted. E.g.: His views on ensoulment were based on faulty scientific knowledge. It just means means that his method must be given prominence in the seminaries - I'd say it calls for the holding of the more fundamental aspects of his theology (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomism#Distinctive_ideas) , not the more remote conclusions, e.g.: Aquinas argues that the Incarnation would never have occured had there not been Original Sin - other schools of thought hold otherwise; the relationship between free-will and grace, again, differing viewpoints in the Church.

This is a far cry from saying, "I think people put too much into Aquinas"...

Quote from: 1917 CIC
"The study of philosophy and theology and the teaching of these sciences to their students must be accurately carried out by Professors (in seminaries etc.) according to the arguments, doctrine, and principles of St. Thomas which they are inviolately to hold." CIC 1366, 2.
"One who lived practicing the vice of sodomy will suffer more pain in Hell than anyone else, because this is the worst sin that there is" - St. Bernadine of Siena

 “The faithful ears of the people are holier than the lips of the priests.” - St. Hilary