The Negative Effects the Devil Brings to Those Who Receive Communion in the Hand


The topic of how to receive Holy Communion has been a subject of ongoing discussion within the Catholic Church. For centuries, the traditional way to receive the Eucharist was on the tongue. However, after the Second Vatican Council, permission was given for the faithful to receive Communion in the hand, and many have adopted this practice. While the Church considers both ways valid, concerns have been raised about potential risks tied to receiving Communion in the hand, particularly the opportunities it may provide for the Devil to sow discord and disrespect.

Official Church Teaching on Receiving Communion

Before delving into the subject, it is essential to clarify the Church’s official stance. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: “To respond to this invitation we must prepare ourselves for so great and so holy a moment” (CCC 1385). There’s no explicit prohibition against receiving Communion in the hand in the Catechism. The Code of Canon Law also affirms the discretion that the local bishop has in determining the appropriate posture for receiving Communion (Can. 915).

Thus, it’s clear that receiving Communion in the hand is not against Church teaching. However, this does not necessarily mean it is without any potential drawbacks.

The Devil’s Tactics: Sowing Disrespect and Irreverence

While the Church allows for Communion to be received in the hand, there are concerns about how this practice can be manipulated by the Devil to sow irreverence. Satan has been described in the Bible as the “father of lies” (John 8:44). His primary aim is to separate us from God, and he uses deception as a key tactic.

One could argue that receiving Communion in the hand might lessen the sense of reverence and sacredness. The act of receiving Communion directly on the tongue inherently promotes a posture of submission and humility, reflecting what the Bible suggests when it says, “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you” (James 4:10).

Risks of Profanation

There is also a practical concern. When Communion is received in the hand, there is a greater risk of fragments falling and being disrespected or profaned. According to Catholic belief, every particle of the Eucharistic bread is the Body of Christ. Thus, even the smallest fragment should be treated with the utmost reverence.

The Church’s official teaching is clear on this. The Catechism states: “Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord” (CCC 1385). Receiving Communion in the hand can make it easier to overlook a fragment, thus potentially committing an act of irreverence, which is exactly what the Devil seeks to promote.

Theological Opinions: A Word of Caution

It should be noted that linking the act of receiving Communion in the hand directly to the work of the Devil is largely a matter of theological opinion rather than universal Church teaching. While there are concerns about potential irreverence, these do not necessarily imply that the Devil is directly involved. The Church does not explicitly teach that receiving Communion in the hand is an avenue for the Devil’s work.

Final Thoughts: A Call for Reverence and Discernment

The Church allows for both ways of receiving Communion, on the tongue and in the hand, acknowledging the validity of both. However, this freedom comes with the responsibility to approach the Sacrament with deep reverence.

It’s not so much the posture that we should be concerned about but the disposition of our hearts. The Devil seeks any opportunity to drive a wedge between us and God. Whether we receive Communion on the tongue or in the hand, we should do so with the utmost care, always conscious of the great mystery we are participating in, for “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9).

While it may be a theological opinion rather than a universal Church teaching that receiving Communion in the hand can give the Devil an opportunity to sow discord and irreverence, it is a viewpoint worth considering. We should all strive to approach the Eucharist with the reverence and respect that this most holy Sacrament deserves, ever vigilant against the subtle traps and deceptions that the Devil may lay before us.

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Note: While content aims to align with Catholic teachings, any inconsistencies or errors are unintended. For precise understanding, always refer to authoritative sources like the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Always double-check any quotes for word-for-word accuracy with the Bible or the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

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