KITCHEN TABLE CHATS

Pull up a chair in my domestic church and let's chat!

I have worn many labels (Not in any particular order): Catholic, Wife, Mom,Gramma, Doctor, Major, Soccer Mom, Military Wife, Professor, Fellow.

All of these filter my views of the world. I hope that like St. Monica, I can through prayer, words and example, lead my children and others to Faith.
"The important thing is that we do not let a single day go by in vain without putting it to good use for eternity"--Blessed Franz J├Ągerst├Ątter

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

It's An Opportunity!

I am just now catching up on my favorite blogs after Christmas activities and guests kept me from the computer for a while. Jimmy Akin has a lively discussion on why or why not we should get two-for-one credit by attending Mass on Sunday, Christmas Eve or Sunday, New Year's Eve.( The answer is we should be attending Mass twice on these weekends!) However, the comment below pushed my buttons!

Why do so many people make their best efforts to avoid going to
Mass?

And why do we (including the Church!) use terms like "obligation"
when referring to the honor and privilege and celebration of Mass, as if
it is this terrible, awful burden that we must endure?
But the fact is,regardless of whatever terms the Church uses, you are not "obligated" to do anything with respect to God. Do whatever the hell you
feel like doing. You don't "have" to go to Mass both Sunday and Monday. Sit at home watching TV and drinking beer and eggnog if you want. Nobody is forcing you to do anything.

Now, of course, if you don't want to spend an hour or two with Jesus, if you don't want to receive Jesus' gift of His Body on the day of giving, you just may end up
finding out that, in the end, He won't oblige you to spend eternity with Him
either.

If you love someone, of course you want to spend time with him or her, and you don't consider it an "obligation."

Exactly! As Catholics we can get so tied up over the rules that we develop a check-list mentality to our faith. We try to meet the minimum requirements to keep ourselves out of Hell. I heard a priest address this at one of the school Masses a couple of years ago and his analogy really resonated with me. Who sets out to be a "C" student? No one. We hope to be an "A" student, though sometimes, in spite of our best efforts we fall short. So why are we satisfied with being a "C" Catholic? Are we trying to just squeak by and get into Heaven by the skin of our teeth? Or are we trying to make the God's honor roll? This isn't meant to be a discussion of salvation by works vs grace. Rather this is a push for us to remember that just as we want to excel in our earthly endeavors we should want to excel in our spiritual endeavors as well. So get rid of the word obligation when thinking about your acts of faith. Consider New Years weekend as an opportunity for twice the grace!

3 comments:

Michelle said...

I agree, Denise, but...

...we're God's children after all, and He knows to treat us like children by giving us some pretty clear guidelines about what He expects from us. I'm sure, as a mom, you don't just hope that out of love your children would just know that keeping their rooms clean, helping with dishes, or doing their homework were the expected minimum standards. We have to tell them exactly what we expect and know that over time and as they mature, they will, hopefully, choose to do more out of love.

Rosemary Bogdan said...

Good point, Michelle. Denise, I love the picture of Mary and the sparkling star!

ReneeSuz said...

I think it might vary from one diocese to the next. In the Archdiocese for Military SErvices we were "obligated" to go to Sunday Mass (on Sat evening or Sun morning) and then again for Christmas (Sun evening or Monday).

but Jan 1st is not a holy day of obligation this year because it falls on a Mondy... our family will go to Mass on Sunday morning and then we will go to a 430 vigil that night (the only Mass available) becuase my dh is leading the singing and I work at the chapel.....