Dr. Martin Luther addressed the question of our feelings in regard to the Sacrament.  He clearly taught that someone who willfully and without repentance planned to continue on in sin should not commune.  He also taught that our feelings should not be the chief guide in receiving or not receiving this gift. 

The Sacrament is instituted for the very purpose of giving us comfort and strength.  Therefore you should let nothing keep you from it.  If you feel your weakness, blessed are you; for you must indeed feel your shortcomings.

The best preparation is that a soul, deeply moved, by sins, death and temptations, hungers and thrists for healing and strength.

Luther was well aware of the effect that the struggle between faith and our sinful nature has upon our feelings.  He also wrote: You say: What shall I do if I am so sluggish and cold that I have no desire for Communion and yet distinctly feel that I need it, when in spite of this the Gospel and the Sacrament are simply tasteless to me and all the sparks in my heart are entirely extinguished?  Answer: Nevertheless, you should not stop.  You are not yet lost, for you still have these feelings...for you would love to burn (with zeal).  This therefore, you should do: Place the Word of God before you, go and listen to it where it is preached, read it, write it, or sing it too: Only see to it that you use it and deal with it.  Then you will certainly, without fail, feel something.  And thus go to the Sacrament and say: Lord, I am a lazy jackass, and so I come that You may help me and ignite my heart. - You need not deliberate how you may prepare yourself to receive the Sacrament worthily; for if you feel that you would like to be helped and if the need presses you, you are already prepared to go to the Sacrament.

The above thoughts are taken from What Luther Says, paragraphs 2531, 3535, and 2532, pages 816, 817.

Luther Memorial Chapel & University Student Center | 3833 N Maryland Ave | Shorewood, WI  53211
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