The whole thing hinges on what (or rather, Who) the Eucharist is, and what we believe happens to us when we receive it (er, Him). The Eucharist is, of course, Jesus substantially present in the appearance of bread and wine, the true Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Himself, who is both God and man.The reception of communion is not, then, a ritual ceremony symbolizing our aspiration towards unity, nor is it an expression of the unity we already enjoy (whatever that may be), nor is it a ritual that heals the breaches of unity among us or between us and God. The reception of communion IS UNITY itself. It is the highest, fullest, deepest, richest, purest and most complete experience of the union of God and the human person, and in that, of the human person with all other persons partaking in that Communion, that we will have, can possibly have, this side of heaven.The Eucharist, and our reception of it, is the consummation, the summit, the absolute peak experience of unity with Jesus (and hence, God) and with one another possible in this world. That is what it IS, simply and utterly.Because of this, we cannot approach the Eucharist if our existing state of union with God or with neighbour is gravely deficient. You cannot attain the peak of the mountain if you are not on the mountain. You cannot be perfected in a unity that does not exist.