Good morning!

As the world and church goes mad about the Coronavirus I feel personally to see it all with a bit of perspective!

Under bishops’ advice people are no longer shaking hands at the sign of peace to the relief of many who very much dislike all other human beings but themselves and their own families!

Next precaution is receiving Holy Communion on the hand and not on the tongue and while of course I understand the measurement I can’t help but wonder why while the dangers of catching the Coronavirus are suddenly highlighted, the dangers of receiving Jesus without at least minimal spiritual preparation are so often ignored or minimised!

Now don’t get me wrong! Every single one of us including me fall short of perfection so there would be nobody going to Holy Communion if we were to push this too far!

However, God isn’t asking us to stop sinning overnight, He’s asking us to be aware of our sins and so as we approach Him in communion, to do it with humility, honesty, love, respect, trust and truth!

With this type of inner disposition Jesus can act on our hearts far more freely!

To go up unprepared would be like arriving at your wedding dressed in a dirty suit!

The lack of preparation is both disrespectful and presumptuous and is what we call a sin of omission!

Of course push this to the other extreme and we’d all be wearing mantillas on our heads and would be afraid to receive communion at all!

And so the important thing becomes finding the middle ground which is why a good spiritual director and good spiritual books can help!

We live in very different times to the early church and so we must be careful not to take every word of the desert fathers or the saints as absolute truths and thus becoming policemen of other people’s lives!

We must not jump to the automatic assumption that unmarried couples or gays are all living in mortal sin and if we see them receiving communion that it is our job to judge them!

We are not the judge and Jesus is very aware of the ignorance that a lot of people are in when they receive him unprepared!

Those of us who know better are not called to lording it over the others but we are called to praying for the others and teaching them if the opportunity arises!

Without the grace of conversion we could be in their position and we wouldn’t like to be accused and judged for something we didn’t even know we were doing!

This type of hardness of heart can be a far greater sin than what we consider to be the obvious ones!

And so today and this week as we take some precautions about not catching the coronavirus, let us also take some spiritual precautions so we neither offend God by being prideful in arrogant or lazy and indifferent as we receive Jesus in communion!

Rather, let us be honest with ourselves and Him and then receive Him humbly, confidently and boldly with maximum trust in His love and ability to transform our lives!

Have a wonderful day and may every communion and prayer you make be fruitful and honest and draw God’s grace more and more into your lives and into those you love!

I guess I should mention that if you do feel that you have offended God in the past by your attitude in receiving communion, despair not! He is forgiving! Go and talk to a priest and receive the healing sacrament of confession and start again!

God bless your week!

Michael