Your Sunday Obligation
Any Catholic who was raised before the Modernist revolution of the 1960s can remember the stories of people who went into the confessional and confessed all kinds of horrible crimes while the priest listened calmly and mercifully advised the penitent what to do. But have someone confess they'd missed Mass on a Sunday or Holy Day of Obligation and all hell would break loose. When I was going to Catholic school it was reiterated over and over again that to miss Mass on any Sunday or Holy Day without a good reason, such as dying of cancer or something of the same gravity, was a mortal sin. I remember having Protestant friends who were amazed that I could not just skip going to Mass on Sundays. Going to Mass on Sundays and Holy Days was not only a sacred duty and grave obligation but was also an essential element of our Roman Catholic identity. It was in the same category as not eating meat on Fridays. I personally can count only 5 times that I have ever missed Mass on a Sunday and I had an excuse for most of those times: Maybe not as grave an excuse as dying of cancer but sufficient nonetheless.
So what has happened in the last 30 years to this same discipline that was so stressed before the "revolution"? Is going to Sunday Mass like not eating meat on Fridays? The complaints that I have often heard by "fallen away Catholics" is that they lost faith in the Church when one day it was mortal sin to eat meat on Friday and the next day it wasn't. According to them if eating meat on Friday was a mortal sin when they were growing up then how can it not be now? In the same way this mistrust of the institutional Church's ability to sanction a particular activity has run over into every area of Catholic practice. According to this new way of thinking, just because the Church says it's wrong doesn't mean it's wrong. They see that the Church was obviously "wrong" about saying it was a mortal sin to eat meat on Fridays, so she obviously cannot be trusted to direct our souls in all the other areas of life. This leaves everything up for grabs. The new-think says it's up to me to make my own decisions about what is right and wrong, good or bad for me.
Let me explain clearly what has really happened. Just as the liberals in the U.S. Government enslaved whole generations of people to the State by the welfare system under the guise of compassion, so too have the liberals in the Church misled Catholics in the last 35 years with false and harmful ideas which looked good at the time they were promoted. Under the concept that we, as Catholics, must take personal responsibility for our own spiritual life and relationship with God we were told by the modernists that the sanctions were being lifted on particular practices in order for us, as individuals, to act responsibly. In other words, we should not have to be forced to do what is good for us. "We are not children and therefore we should not be treated like children." "Why should we be forced to do what is right by means of coercion through sanctions ." This was the rationale. I am convinced that the apparent stripping away of all sanctions under the guise of spiritual adulthood was a deliberate attempt by the modernist establishment to undermine the cultural impact of the faith which ultimately separates us from the rest of humanity. There are two modernist principles at work here. First the modernists do not believe in the concept of Original Sin and since man does not have a "fallen" nature as such he does not need the coercion of law to force him to act properly. (This is the heresy of Pelagius) Secondly, they cannot stand uniformity of faith, doctrine, discipline and culture. They demand "plurality" and "diversity". For the modernists uniformity is merely rigidity and stagnation. Why? Because they do not believe there is any objective reality. Everything is subjective, relative, and personal. There really is no universal right or wrong and the Church has no authority to impose its standards on anyone. It can, according to them, suggest the best way of acting, etc. but it should never coerce people by the use of sanctions. If the Church does use sanctions, the modernists teach, these sanctions are truly meaningless and each person must do only what his/her conscience dictates.
This is exactly what has happened to the United States with the liberals. They have basically removed the teeth from the penal system in this country by getting themselves into positions of authority within each branch of government. Thus we have a nation terrorized by criminals who can act without regard to punishment because the law protects them more than their victims.
So in the Church a whole generation has been raised to think that each person can do whatever he chooses. It is this very attitude that is expressed in the word heresy, which comes from the Greek word "to choose". That is why Mass attendance is so low. There is no compelling reason for most Catholics to go. First, they are under the impression that to miss Mass is not a mortal sin but simply another legitimate choice to make in that particular circumstance. Second, the new rite is so lackluster and banal that it leaves one with a sense of emptiness and nonfulfillment. Third, in most cases the homilies or sermons are weak, pathetic, and essentially uninformative. The priests have no real enthusiasm or fire for what they claim to believe, and when they do they are usually modernists who are enthusiastically proclaiming an error opposed to the Church. In fact, by listening to their sermons an objective observer would think that these men either didn't believe anything at all or at least had no real love for the Catholic Faith. If they were really in love with Christ and His Church wouldn't they be bursting to share it with others? When the young see "Father Boredwithitall" giving a homily in which he himself can barely stay awake, is it any wonder that they don't go to Holy Mass?
So, does this give those who don't go to Mass any excuse? Absolutely not! First they are obliged to go to Mass under the pain of mortal sin not only because the Church has required it but because God Himself has required it. "Thou shalt keep holy the Lord's day." This is in spite of the modernists' lies to the contrary. Secondly, we do not go to Mass to "GET" something out of it we go to "GIVE" something to God, i.e., our adoration, submission, and obedience. We go to Mass in order to show God that we love Him above all things in heaven and on earth and to demonstrate our realization that He is Sovereign over us.. However unappealing the Mass may have become since they changed the rite it does not excuse any Roman Catholic from failing to attend every Sunday and Holy Day of Obligation. Thirdly, we should be so filled with the love of God that we can't wait to go to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. (I remember hearing about a Catholic who invited a Protestant to Mass. Afterward the woman was filled with questions. Finally, she asked her friend what it meant when the priest lifted up the host. Her friend explained that when the priest said the words, "This is my Body" and "This is my Blood," that the bread and wine actually became the living Jesus Christ, His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. "What?" The Protestant exclaimed. "Are you telling me that you really believe that's Jesus?" "Absolutely!" Said the Catholic. "We believe that with our whole heart." The Protestant replied, "If I believed that I would be here every day as often as I could. I would crawl up to the altar on my knees to really receive Him in communion.") Now if ,an unbeliever ,can see the significance of what we as Roman Catholics claim to possess how is it that we can be so nonchalant about this most precious gift? Finally, it must be emphasized that it is impossible to please God without true worship and adoration of Him. On Sundays we either worship the one true God in the manner that He Himself has required or we worship the god of sleep, the god of football, the god of sloth or whatever gods we place in greater importance than God Himself. Your actions will speak louder than your words. You may protest that you love and worship God but if your actions say otherwise your words are merely empty babel.
Let me reassure any Roman Catholic who reads this that if you fail to go to Mass on a Sunday or a Holy Day of Obligation without a reasonable excuse you have committed a mortal sin and your soul is dead and rotting within you. The fetid stench of your putrescent soul reeks before the angels. You are a walking corpse and will remain so until you confess your sin before a duly authorized priest who can give you absolution. [How's that for "Fire & Brimstone"?] But seriously, this mortal sin is not caused by the fact that you did not go to Mass but rather because that you chose some creature or comfort as more important to you than giving God His proper due. You cannot be absolved of the obligation to adore God as He Himself has commanded. The person who deliberately misses Mass has not only broken the 3rd Commandment but also the 1st by worshipping the false god of Self. Do not be deceived or deluded into thinking that you can deliberately miss Holy Mass. This is the way in which God Himself has given us to worship Him. We cannot tell Him how we will worship Him, He tells us!
Let me make an analogy. Our relationship with God is like a marriage. In marriage there are two very important elements, communication and physical intimacy. If the married couple has only one and not both of these elements the marriage is incomplete and unnatural according to God's original intention for this sacrament.. Imagine a marriage where the only time the couple expressed themselves and their relationship was in the conjugal act. On the other hand, a couple could be great communicators but if they never fulfill their love by expressing it in the marriage act their marriage would be incomplete. Finally, there are those married couples who neither communicate nor have intimate physical relations. The Mass contains both the element of communication and the element of physical intimacy. Now it is true that one can pray and read the Scriptures outside of Mass but if one never fulfills his/her love by uniting physically with Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament the relationship with Him is, at best, incomplete.
So it is, that each one of us, as a Roman Catholic is called and ultimately commanded to adore the Blessed Trinity in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass at least every Sunday and Holy Day of Obligation. If we deliberately choose not to do so we slap God in the face. He died for us on the Cross that we might have the ability to choose eternal life. We claim that we wish to live with Him for all eternity, yet we can't drag ourselves out of bed on a Sunday morning to be with Him for less than an hour.
Have you ever really loved someone? What was it like? For 99% of the human race when they are "in love" they can't stop thinking of the one they love. They long to be with their loved one every chance they get. They are constantly thinking of new ways that they can show that person how much they really love him or her If we can do this with mere creatures who are just dust in the wind how much more should we feel and act this way toward our Creator and Savior who loves us infinitely more than could another human being? =