The authority Christ gave to his Church to judge is most often exercised by declaring God’s forgiveness in absolution. However, a priest, acting under the authority of the bishop, may suspend a person from receiving Communion because of scandalous and unrepented sin, in order to draw them to repentance and restoration.
Yes. God created all things and called them “very good” (Genesis 1:31). However, through sin, evil and death have come into the world and corrupted it. Adam and Eve rebelled against God, thus bringing upon all humanity pain, toil, alienation from God and each other, and death. I have inherited this fallen and corrupted human nature; consequently, I too sin and fall short of God’s glory. Because of sin, those apart from Christ are spiritually dead, separated from God, under his righteous condemnation, and without hope.
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns. The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts. The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.
No. I have no power to save myself, for sin has corrupted my conscience, confused my mind, and captured my will. Only God can save me.
I wrote this post about 5 years ago, marked it private to review and edit. And, obviously, I never published it. It represents an appeal to reason and conscience rather than to scripture or some other ancient teaching.
The image of the cross immediately brings to mind that sacrifice. That symbol has been imbued with a power beyond mere words. Likewise the bread and wine of communion have been imbued with power. Jesus said we must eat his flesh and drink his blood.
A time to mourn
Some pained reflections on Ireland