Taking Holy Communion after Accidental Profanity
#1
Hi everyone!. My first post here.

Can one take Holy Communion after accidental profanity or accidental use of the Lord's name in vain?

On Saturday I went to confession. After wards I used profanity in my head out of pure habit. I thought the following: "There is no way I am going to stop going to f****** Church." Is this a mortal sin?

I didn't mean to use a curse word to describe Church but it just popped into my head. Regardless, on Sunday, I partook in the Eucharist because I didn't mean to even THINK such a thing.

But I was worried I had committed a mortal sin before Communion, which is itself a mortal sin. I must advise that I suffer from OCD scrupulosity so I don't trust my own judgment! My confessor knows I'm scrupulous.  I'm just afraid my parish priests are too forgiving.

I have lived a profane and licentious lifestyle for 20+ years so, although I no longer utter profanity or blaspheme out loud, in my thoughts I use them, fairly unintentionally. I also habitually say things in my head like "Oh my" "Oh dear", and "Oh my ---", and "Oh dear ---" which I consider to be using the Lord's name in vein.


Thank you.

**I edited this comment because I was not reverential enough of Mass. I shall confess this sin.
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#2
If it was an accident, you obviously did not intend it so I would not worry about it. I also suffer from scrupulosity, so I know how difficult it is when you get caught in a negative feedback loop. If you haven’t already, I would sit down with your confessor or an understanding priest and discuss any fears you might have about this. Swearing is indeed a difficult habit to get rid of; I suffer from it as well.

By the way, welcome to the forum. God bless you for being so conscientious about partaking in the Holy Eucharist. So many other Catholics receive communion heedlessly after committing egregious mortal sins, and don’t give a second thought to it.
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When I was a kid my parents moved a lot, but I always found them.
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#3
(03-31-2021, 02:03 PM)SacraCor714 Wrote: If it was an accident, you obviously did not intend it so I would not worry about it.  I also suffer from scrupulosity, so I know how difficult it is when you get caught in a negative feedback loop. If you haven’t already, I would sit down with your confessor or an understanding priest and discuss any fears you might have about this. Swearing is indeed a difficult habit to get rid of; I suffer from it as well.

By the way, welcome to the forum. God bless you for being so conscientious about partaking in the Holy Eucharist. So many other Catholics receive communion heedlessly after committing egregious mortal sins, and don’t give a second thought to it.

Thank you for your kind words. I have to get over these things. I found a Catholic therapist to help me also.

As a 21-year lapsed Catholic, I'm practically a convert. And you know what they say; converts make the best Catholics! But seriously, I came back to the Catholic Church looking for spiritual guidance and structure in an ever more libertine world where there is little. This isn't a joke for me or a weekend activity. I am trying to change and become as holy as our Lord Jesus Christ will allow me to.
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#4
Welcome to the one true faith! This forum will be an invaluable tool for you. The people here are very kind and supportive. Again, welcome!
St. Joseph, Terror of Demons, Pillar of Families, Glory of Domestic Life, Pray for Us!

When I was a kid my parents moved a lot, but I always found them.
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#5
Quote:Can one take Holy Communion after accidental profanity or accidental use of the Lord's name in vein?

On Saturday I went to confession. After wards I used profanity in my head out of pure habit. I thought the following: "There is no way I am going to stop going to f****** Church." Is this a mortal sin?

I didn't mean to use a curse word to describe Church but it just popped into my head. Regardless, on Sunday, I partook in the Eucharist because I didn't mean to even THINK such a thing.

There are three conditions required for mortal sin:

1. An act of grave matter, that is...
2. Committed with full knowledge and...
3. Deliberate consent

Point 2 means you need time to weigh up the choice and then choose to do it anyway - this act was instantaneous, not weighed up.  Choosing means you'd have progressed to point three, deliberate consent.  So, you would have weighed up offending God, then have done it anyway, knowing it was wrong.  You've said twice you 'didn't mean' to curse or think the curse.  So, you aren't meeting two of those conditions, so this was Venial.  Your normal prayers would clean this up, and, remember, you can always make an act of perfect contrition.

Also note that you label this as happening out of pure 'habit'.  From the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2352, Paragraph 2, discussing how Priests weigh up culpability for sin in their Penitents:

"To form an equitable judgment about the subject's moral responsibility and to guide pastoral action, one must take into account the affective immaturity, force of acquired habit, conditions of anxiety, or other psychological or social factors that lessen or even extenuate moral culpability."

You already meet two of the conditions that lessen culpability for what is already a venial sin.

I was afflicted with Scruples for a couple of years as part of the Contemplative Trials, so, if you do have Scruples, I understand that even though I've clearly laid out the teachings of the church, you'll still have doubts and want reassurance from someone else.  The Redemptorist Order are the Specialists in treating this, so I'd point you towards their 'Scrupulous Anonymous' newsletter, and their writings or talks on the subject.

Note also you're 'trying to become holy'.  Two concepts that might help lessen your fear - and any push into defective Legalism - are the Law of Gradualness, discussed by St Pope John Paull II in 'Familiaris Consortio':

Hence, the law of graduality, properly understood, has its origin in the very reality of human psycho-moral development. As in most areas of human development, so too in the moral sphere, maturity manifests itself through a gradual process—“steps”—toward an ever deeper appropriation of right moral behavior as instantiated in concrete choices and actions. In the Christian context, it articulates the gradual nature of conversion. Genuine conversion places us necessarily on a course that intends steady progress—notwithstanding human weakness and occasional moral failures—toward an ever more consistent and holistic embrace of the truth of Christ’s moral teaching.

Meaning, you are on a progressive journey as a convert.  You won't be instantly perfect.  This isn't to negate the new moral reality, but more to suggest that it's a learning process, and sometimes you will make the wrong choices on the path to learning.  That's what the Sacrament of Reconciliation is for.  Don't judge and condemn yourself to a standard that God doesn't expect of you.

Converts to the faith are to be led and assisted in appropriating the new moral requirements of life in Christ in progressive steps of gradual conversion and exigency, assuring them of God’s mercy, presence, and grace, safeguarding against their discouragement, accompanying them in a step-by-step renewal of life, but without diminishing the full import of the moral requirements.

There's a good podcast series called 'Begin Again' on DiscerningHearts.com about learning to accept discouragement in progress by Fr Timothy Gallagher on the teachings of Ven. Bruno Lanteri.  I'd suggest a listen.

The second concept you could search for is 'Freedom for Excellence', which is along similar lines:  a steady progression towards God, allowing for failures.

I'd also point out that you are in the First Spiritual Age:  the Purgative Way.  Growth in the Virtues comes during the Second Spiritual Age: The Illuminative Way, which are taught by direct infusion by the Holy Spirit during a type of prayer known as Contemplation, (which replaces the Meditation of the Purgative Way).  This is impossible to describe in human language and can only be described in metaphor.  What you focus on where you currently are is cultivating a regular prayer life, regular meditation via spiritual reading, obedience, humility, and mortification (willfully putting to death your vices)*.  If you work hard at this, in about six months, you'll experience utter failure in attempting to Will this change in your behaviour, and God will reach down and pull you into the Dark Night of the Senses, and start what is known as the Passive Purgation of the Senses.  God will make you into the New Man, not your own Will.  Jesus lays this out in the bible when the apostles ask "Then, Lord, who can be saved?" out of frustration.  Jesus tells them what is impossible for man, isn't for God.

If you want to speed through this First Age, I would point you to the Universal Doctor of the Church, Saint Therese of Lisieux and her book, 'The Story of a Soul.'  Buy the ICS translations by Marc Foley, OCD.  She sings of God's Mercy and Fatherhood, but, particularly, her 'Little Way of Trust and Love' is how best to navigate the Purgative Way, because the various metaphors she uses - a parent coming down the stairs to help their struggling child who can't navigate even the first step, or a mighty eagle swooping down to pick up a fledgling, unable to fly - are talking about God recognising your humility and acceptance of your own weakness and inability to change, and pulling you into the Illuminative Way.

You'll know when this happens: you'll start finding it impossible to meditate, which will at first horrify you, but understand, God has something far better in mind for you. Take courage: you're beginning a great adventure.

----------

* As a Scrupulant, you need to mortify ('crucify') your fear of God's punishment if you transgress the ultra-legalistic letter of the law.  I have to run off to work, but I have an experience very early in the Purgative Way that clarified the letter and the spirit of the Law are two different things, and can write it up if you're interested.
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#6
Thank you very much, Macksbeard. This is a lot to digest. But I will. I've only been back for 6 weeks or so after my 21 year lapse. So you can imagine my current state. Surprisingly, scrupulosity aside, I'm doing okay. I matured over the past two years and started making some changes on my own.
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#7
Excerpt, Catechism of Saint Pius X:


Quote:29 Q. What is required for a sin to be mortal? A. For a sin to be mortal three things are required: (1) Grave matter, (2) Full advertence, (3) Perfect consent of the will.
30 Q. When is the matter to be considered grave?
A. The matter is grave when the thing under examination is seriously contrary to the laws of God and His Church.

31 Q. When is there full advertence in sinning?
A. Full advertence in sinning is had when we know perfectly well that we are doing a serious evil.

32 Q. When is perfect consent of the will verified in sinning?
A. Perfect consent of the will is verified in sinning when we deliberately determine to do a thing although we know that thing to be sinful.
Is the remark (1) seriously contrary to the laws of God and His Church, did you (2) know perfectly well when thinking it that you were doing a serious evil, and (3) did you deliberately determine to do it, despite already knowing it was sinful?

If the answer to any of these questions is "No," then it was not a mortal sin.

If you are not certain of the answer:

Quote:80 Q. If a penitent is not certain of having committed a sin must he confess it?

A. If a penitent is not certain of having committed a sin he is not bound to confess it; and if he does confess it, he should add that he is not certain of having committed it.

If you are not certain that you had full advertence or deliberate consent, you are not bound to confess it.
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#8
Hi Vir, welcome.

Is there a specific reason that you worry that you can't trust the advice of your confessor? If not, I think it's good to try to be very open with your confessor and submit your judgment to his.
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#9
This is published by the Redemptorists, "The 10 Commandments for the Scrupulous".  Have a read.

https://scrupulousanonymous.org/wp-conte...s_2013.pdf

A lot of the issue with Scruples is not understanding who God actually is, based upon who we think he is, (or have often been instructed by Poor Educators or Well-Meaning Parents to believe he is).  God very much loves a flawed soul possessed of a Good Will, and tailors his healing and forgiveness weighing up our failings and .  So part of your journey is going to be to learn to trust God, despite how many times you appear to fail Him.  You get up again.  You go to Confession.  If you don't give up on Him, he is always there, ready to forgive, like the Father in the story of the Prodigal Son.  Whilst God's Justice exists, it's far outweighed by God's Mercy, and the Mystic Saints understand this, deeply.

Blessed Julian of Norwich compared the soul to a Servant set out on a difficult task by a Good King.  On the way, the Servant trips and falls into a pit.  The King, loving his Servant had followed him the entire time, expecting him to fall due to the difficult nature of the task.  The King has pity on his Servant, because he understood the Good Will he has for his King, so he reaches down and offer his hand to pull his Servant out of the pit...

... but the Servant doesn't take his hand.  He doesn't even see his hand and has forgotten all about the King.  Why?  He's too busy wrapped up in his own misery, trapped by his own pain, lying in the pit, feeling very sorry for himself.

The Sacrament of Confession is the King's Hand, always ready to pull you out of the pit when you truly fall.  This is how much God loves you.  But Scruples is like digging a pit based upon your own misunderstandings and expectations of holiness and throwing yourself into it.

Here's some of the Mystic's understanding of God.  I'd suggest you read them slowly-and-prayerfully whenever you feel tempted to worry.

Here's Lord Jesus, talking to Servant of God, Sister Benigna Cosolata Ferrero:

 [Image: lmljp3.jpg]

Saint Therese of Lisieux, writing to Fr Maurice Belliere, who was afflicted with a mistrust in God's mercy due to his sins:

[i]“You love St. Augustine, St. Magdalene; these souls to whom “many sins were forgiven because they loved much”. Me too, I love them; I love their repentance, and especially… their loving audacity! When I see Magdalene come forward in the midst of the numerous guests, showering the feet of her adorable Master with her tears, that she’s touching for the first time, I sense that her heart has understood the abysses of love and mercy of the Heart of Jesus and that, total sinner that she is, this Heart of love is not only disposed to pardon her but still more to lavish upon her the benefits of his divine intimacy, to lift her up to the highest summits of contemplation. Ah! my dear little Brother, since it was given to me also to understand the love of the Heart of Jesus, I admit to you that has chased away all fear from my heart. The memory of my faults humiliates me, it brings me to never lean on my strength, which is only a weakness, but even more this memory speaks to me of mercy and love. How—when you throw your faults with total, filial trust in the burning all-consuming brazier of love—how wouldn’t they be consumed without coming back?”[/i]

Notice what she says about 'audacity'.  You can love God with Confidence that you are loved, despite your many faults and failings, and this is what speeds you towards God.

Here's Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, speaking about the 'Canticle of Canticles', with the Bride (the metaphor for our soul) preparing to meet the bridegroom (the prefiguring metaphor for Jesus):

"What?  When thou art fit only to hide thyself, dost thous seek the light, and though more deserving of correction than favour, dare to run unto the Bridegroom?  Wonderful it will be if you do not find a Judge to condemn you instead of a husband to receive you.  Happy is he who shall hear his soul replying to these reproaches:  'I do not fear because I love, and also I am loved; nor could i have loved unless He first loved me.  Let those fear who have no love; but for the soul that loves there is nothing to be feared.  How can those who have no love do otherwise than be under constant apprehension of injury?  But because I love, I no more doubt that I am loved than I doubt of my own love; nor can I possibly fear his countenance, whose affection for me I have assuredly felt... Not only has He sought me, as unhappy as I am, but has caused me to seek Him...  He sought me when I contemned [rejected or ignored] Him, why should he contemn when I see him?"

I would suggest you pray this prayer by Saint Claude de la Colombiere each day, the final paragraph of which predates St Therese by 200 years, but could be right out of her writing.

An Act of Confidence in the Goodness of our Lord

Lord, behold a soul that is in this world to exercise Thy admirable mercy and to make it shine before Heaven and Earth. Others glorify Thee by manifesting the strength of Thy grace by their fidelity and constancy. As for me, Lord, I will glorify Thee by making known Thy infinite Goodness toward sinners, proclaiming that nothing can exhaust it and that there is no relapse, no matter how vile and ignominious, that should make a sinner despair of pardon.

If I have greviously offended Thee, my adorable Redeemer; it would be even worse were I to hurl at Thee the horrendous insult of considering the goodness of Thy Heart insufficient to pardon me!

It is in vain that Thy and my enemy prepares new nooses of despair. He will cause me to lose everything before I lose the hope I have in Thy mercy.

Even if I were to fall a hundred times, and even if my crimes were to be a hundred times more horrendous, I would still hope in Thee!
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#10
(03-31-2021, 05:19 PM)Marmot Wrote: Hi Vir, welcome.

Is there a specific reason that you worry that you can't trust the advice of your confessor? If not, I think it's good to try to be very open with your confessor and submit your judgment to his.

I have no specific reason per say other than different priests may have different opinions. For example some say you can do work on Sunday if it doesn't prevent you going to Mass and some say NO unnecessary work whatsoever. I was wondering if this was one of those case.

I've only been back to the faith for 6 weeks so I am learning abut different people's attitudes and opinions.

**I edited this comment because in my original remark I don't think I was giving priests or their opinion enough respect. I shall confess this irreverence.
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