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-   -   Why is it a mortal sin to miss Mass? (http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=21621)

Gene C. Nov 6, '04 1:48 pm

Why is it a mortal sin to miss Mass?
 
Hi all,

I won't repeat the question.

Thanks for your help,
Gene C.

trustmc Nov 6, '04 3:17 pm

Re: Why is it a mortal sin to miss Mass?
 
Hello Gene!

Please allow me to answer your very good question. I think it would help if I begin with what is a mortal sin.

Looking at 1 John 5:16: "If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask and God will for him give life to those who commit sin not leading to death. There are sins that lead to death; I do not say that he should make request for this."

Given that the writer was warning a community of believers (regarding one another as "brothers") it is obvious that saints this side of heaven can commit sins that lead to death. The Catholic Church calls these sins mortal sins, as opposed to venial sins which, though wrong, do not lead to death.

The inescapable truth of the gospel is that faith in Christ leads to eternal life. It follows then that mortal sins destroy this salvific faith thereby leading to death. With that said I should also mention that what the Church calls "being in a condition of mortal sin" is a different, though not unrelated, matter. This condition is the opposite of being in a state of grace, that is, being separated from God because of one's lack of faith in His Son, the resurrected Christ. Even after a faithful conversion to Christ, one is still free to abandon this faith and slip back into this state of mortal sin. And this can be caused by continuing to commit unrepented mortal sins.

Catholic Mass offers its participants a unique encounter with Christ through the Eucharist (John 6:32-58, 1 Cor 11:17-28). If you believe this and still decline to go to Mass, you damage your relationship with the Lord -- the same way a husband would damage his relationship with his spouse when he continues to avoid his wife's company. If this damage is not repaired, then it can later lead to an abandoment of faith in Christ.

Unlike Protestants who can be forgiven for their absence from the Mass by virtue of their ignorance of the Eucharist, Catholics are held to a higher standard by virtue of our knowledge of it -- the same way that the more Christians grow in Christ, the more aware they become of their sins. Knowing this and declining His company when we otherwise have the opportunity to seek it is tantamount to turning our back on Him which can lead to serious consequences if unrepented (Matthew 10:33).

Protestant Christians, like Catholics, are also subject to mortal sins in other ways too. When they refuse to attend their worship services, neglect their bible devotions, avoid accountability for their sins with one another or their pastors, or fail to commit acts of charity when called by our Lord, they -- like Catholics -- commit mortal sins and risk losing their faith in Christ.

Thankfully, Christ who knows our fallen nature all to well, not only atoned for our sins on the cross, but provides us with the sacraments of confession and penance for reconciliation whenever we commit mortal sins (1 John 1:9) and need to rebuild our faith. However, refusing to confess our mortal sins to those appointed by Christ has a greater potential to lead us into that "state of mortal sin," or lack of saving grace, we were once in before we came to believe in Jesus (John 20:21-23). Even Protestants understand the value of confession, though their methods of reconciliation, still effective in many ways, are nonetheless imperfect.

I hope I've answered your question, Gene. Feel free to write back for further information. :yup:

Captain Michael Trust
U.S. Army
Baghdad, Iraq

Br. Rich SFO Nov 6, '04 4:07 pm

Re: Why is it a mortal sin to miss Mass?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Gene C.
Hi all,

I won't repeat the question.

Thanks for your help,
Gene C.

The Church decided to keep the precept of the Sabbath in the "New Law". They changed however from honoring the Creation by resting on the seventh day, to recalling the Resurection on the "Eighth Day".

stbruno Nov 7, '04 9:31 am

Re: Why is it a mortal sin to miss Mass?
 
The third commandment given to Moses by God clearly instructs us to Keep holy the Lord's day. That's enough reason for me.That's why they are not called the ten suggestions!

AlanFromWichita Nov 7, '04 11:09 am

Re: Why is it a mortal sin to miss Mass?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by stbruno
The third commandment given to Moses by God clearly instructs us to Keep holy the Lord's day. That's enough reason for me.That's why they are not called the ten suggestions!

The Church herself does not consider this commandment absolute, in that she makes exceptions for those who are sick, without absolutely clear criteria for what divides being "too sick" from "not too sick" to go. It is left up to individual judgment of the believer.

The commandments also say not to kill, and Jesus personally interpreted that for us as not becoming angry with our brothers or calling them fools. Being angry at our brothers or calling them a fool should be a mortal sin. The commandments also say do not covet your neighbors goods, so that should be as well. When was the last time you heard that you should not take communion if you call your brother or sister a pejorative name? For that matter, simply "appearing" in Church would not seem to fulfill the requirement of keeping the Lord's day holy if one went while filled with anger and venom.

I think we need to hold ourselves to the high standard Jesus held us to, and not to those aspects of the Ten Commandments which are externally observable.

Alan

Teresa9 Nov 7, '04 12:18 pm

Re: Why is it a mortal sin to miss Mass?
 
:clapping: Well said Alan :tiphat:

God Bless you and much love and peace to you

Teresa

asquared Nov 7, '04 1:21 pm

Re: Why is it a mortal sin to miss Mass?
 
Let's look at what is going on when I deliberately miss Mass. First I have to think up my excuse. I'm too tired, too busy, too lazy, whatever it is, I have to choose something personal to put ahead of God's commandment. God has told us, through His church, how we are to worship Him, but I decline. So I have offended God deliberately. I have decided to reject the most supreme gift anyone could be given, the intimate union with Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. I would rather nourish my body on whatever I eat at home than on the food Christ gives me. I have blown off my family, the Catholic Church, the mystical body of Christ, his foundation on earth, not to mention withdrawing myself from participation in my parish community. My own company is preferable to that of my fellow Catholics. Well it's all about me, isn't it.

AlanFromWichita Nov 7, '04 7:00 pm

Re: Why is it a mortal sin to miss Mass?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by asquared
My own company is preferable to that of my fellow Catholics.

:rotfl:

Ain't that too often the truth!

Luckily I finally found a few others who often stay five minutes after Mass and visit every Sunday. Normally by the time I finish playing a postlude and put my music away everybody's gone, except for the few I just mentioned. Before that I lost out on the only real "fellowship" part surrounding the Mass, the chance encounters in the race to the parking lot.

Alan

jeffreedy789 Nov 7, '04 7:08 pm

Re: Why is it a mortal sin to miss Mass?
 
' think we need to hold ourselves to the high standard Jesus held us to, and not to those aspects of the Ten Commandments which are externally observable.'

i think we need to be held to both.

and i think we need to be held to both by our own consciences, and by the church.

Gene C. Nov 9, '04 12:04 pm

Re: Why is it a mortal sin to miss Mass?
 
Hi Captain Trust,

First, let me say that I feel that you and all the other military personnel in Iraq are defending American and that the invasion of Iraq is part of the larger war on global terrorism. Your hard work and sacrifices are much appreciated, even here in the red state known as New York.

Grace and peace to you and all the troops in harm's way,
Gene C.
New York City

Gene C. Nov 9, '04 12:07 pm

Re: Why is it a mortal sin to miss Mass?
 
Hi all,

Thanks to everyone for helping me work through this issue.

Let me expand it a bit. I understand that mortal sin cuts one off from the eternal life that is in Christ. What I am having a hard time understanding is the mortal sin of missing Mass, even only once without good reason, can send one to eternal punishment if not repented of and confessed.

I much appreciate your replies on this,
Gene C.

mhansen Nov 9, '04 3:17 pm

Re: Why is it a mortal sin to miss Mass?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Gene C.
Hi all,

Thanks to everyone for helping me work through this issue.

Let me expand it a bit. I understand that mortal sin cuts one off from the eternal life that is in Christ. What I am having a hard time understanding is the mortal sin of missing Mass, even only once without good reason, can send one to eternal punishment if not repented of and confessed.

I much appreciate your replies on this,
Gene C.

There is no way to understand it, because it's an example of institutionalized guilt at its finest. Jesus was, and is, far more merciful than a lot of people would have you believe, and I seriously doubt that if it were that easy to find yourself in the flames of Hell, He would even bother coming here and suffering all He did in the first place. We can never be "good enough" to earn our way to Heaven, so it's time we stopped acting like we can, and turn instead to the mercy of God. Too many people in the Church would have us live our lives as nervous wrecks, instead of basking in the love and liberation Christ gave us.

The only thing I will agree with is that the persistent avoidance of Mass and the Sacraments can indeed danger your faith, to the point that you may lose it.

mhansen Nov 9, '04 3:44 pm

Re: Why is it a mortal sin to miss Mass?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by stbruno
The third commandment given to Moses by God clearly instructs us to Keep holy the Lord's day. That's enough reason for me.That's why they are not called the ten suggestions!

Interesting observation, but I would like to ask you a few questions, if I may. How are we able to basically twist what was the Sabbath of the OT into what we have now, with Sunday Mass? The Sabbath would have been on a Saturday, not Sunday. Did God give us permission to change the day? The Commandment states we are to keep it holy by resting. Where does Mass come into this? In the Bible (anybody out there read this anymore?), Paul states, "Let no man therefore judge you in meat or in drink or in respect of a festival day or of the new moon or of the sabbaths" (Col 2:16) Jesus Lorded Himself over the Sabbath. He stated that "the Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath." (Mar 2:27) That sounds pretty clear to me that what we have in the present day are laws of men, and not of God.

Also, God did not stop at ten Commandments when He gave the Law to Moses. How do we decide which to keep, and which not to? Why just ten? Did He not give hundreds more? I will list some, if I may, from the Book of Exodus:

"Whoever curses his father or mother shall be put to death."

"For six years you may sow your land and gather in its produce. But the seventh year you shall let the land lie untilled and unharvested, that the poor among you may eat of it and the beasts of the field may eat what the poor leave."

"When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she shall not go free as male slaves do"

All of this comes directly after the Ten Commandments in Exodus, with no break. I should note that they are prefaced by the Lord saying, "These are the laws you shall lay before them." So, they too come from God.

My point is this: Christ came and gave us two commandments. TWO. To love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, and mind, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. Let's not forget these.


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