A Question and Answer on the Eucharist

Ss. Barsanuphius and John ca. 6th cent.

Q: A certain Christ-loving man asked the same Elder: Should one be curious about the Mysteries? And is a sinner who approaches them condemned as unworthy?

A: When coming into the holy temple to receive the Body and Blood of Christ, and when receiving Them, pay heed to yourself that you unfailingly believe the truth of this [Sacrament]. But as to how this happens, do not be curious, as it has been said: “Take, eat, this My Body and Blood.” The Lord gave them to us for the remission of sins (cf. Matt. 26:26-28 and Mk. 14:22-24). We have hope that he who believes thus will not be condemned, but he who does not believe is already condemned. And thus, do not forbid yourself to approach, condemning yourself a sinner, but recognize that a sinner who approaches the Savior is vouchsafed the remission of sins. (Guidance Toward Spiritual Life 460)

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