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Spiritual Preparedness for Partaking of the Holy Communion PDF Print
Written by H.G. Bishop Youssef   
Wednesday, 29 August 2007
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Spiritual Preparedness for Partaking of the Holy Communion
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Most Biblical writers referred to the term "spirit" as the inner nature of man. St. Mark describes the human Spirit's propensity for readiness saying, "the spirit is indeed willing but the flesh is weak" (Mark 14:38).

In this verse, the spiritual attitude of the disciples is described as eager, ready and willing to serve. Fatigue might have overtaken the spiritual preparedness of the disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane when they were told to continue watching and praying. However, Physical fatigue eventually won over their will. This sluggish state fell on them right after the Lord's Supper during which Judas had actively planned to betray the Lord Jesus Christ. Did this overriding physical fatigue serve to make them weak also during the arrest and trials of the One they had left every earthly thing to follow Him?

How can we guard against such similar fatigue that may affect our spiritual life; hindering our desire to become worthy of partaking in the Holy Communion? Do we seriously consider the honor and sacrifice of the Mystery of the Holy Communion? Ignatius, a bishop of the Church of Antioch ardently told his listeners, "I desire the bread of God, the Heavenly Bread, the Bread of Life-which is the flesh of Jesus Christ, the Son of God And I desire the drink of God, namely His Blood, which is incorruptible love and eternal life."

The first step towards guarding against spiritual fatigue and desiring to be worthy of the Holy Communion is to thoroughly examine your spiritual growth. Do you have a special place for prayer and self examination? The Lord Jesus Christ had chosen the Garden of Gethsemane as a special place for prayer and privacy. There, in the Garden He refused to succumb to His physical feelings and submitted to His Fathers' plan. "Nevertheless not what I will but what Thou wilt" (Mark 14:35-36).

Self examination should begin by recalling all our sins before us. David the Prophet and King said, "My sin is before me continually" (Psalm 51:3). St. John Chrysostom emphasizes and adds to this by saying, "Examine yourself; if you remember your sins, God will forget them; but if you forget them, God will remember them."

Examine yourself immediately after having sinned, and repent accordingly. Also at the end of each day examine yourself to begin a new life the very next day. Prior to participating in the Mystery of Confession, examine yourself carefully so that your confession may be considered complete before God. Before receiving Holy Communion, examine yourself once again by questioning your worthiness of partaking in the Lord Jesus Christ's Body and Blood.

It is always beneficial to end self examination with a personal prayer, lifting your heart up to the Lord asking for forgiveness and thanking Him for His love and mercy. Ask for strength to overcome life's challenges knowing that comfort and salvation can only be found through the Lord Jesus Christ.

St. Clement of Rome during the first century taught, "Let us draw near to Him with holiness of spirit, lifting up pure and undefiled hands unto Him."

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 29 August 2007 )
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