Your Sunday Obligation


Anthony Gonzales


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? =