A dilemma


I really need your help, it’s kind of an emergency…

Well, today my family and I are celebrating my birthday. My family is not Catholic. Today we’re sunday, and I didn’t go to Mass this morning because I came back from some volunteering I had to do very late yesterday, around 11 p.m. So this morning I slept in,and I just told myself that I would go to Mass in the afternoon. My extended family is now at home for by birthay brunch (like right now!), and my little 11-year-old cousin whom I love with all my heart just asked me to come to his hockey game this afternoon.The problem is, I would be missing Mass.

I don’t know what to do. My cousin really wants me to come and see him play. I’ve tried to tell him that Mass was sacred, but he doesn’t understand. I don’t want him to be disappointed. What do you think I should do? Do you think God would understand if I went to Mass tomorrow, given the circumstances? Or should I go today?

Thanks a lot!!

Do your nephew a favor and go to Mass. This will show him how responsibilities to God are top priority. When Mass is over you can still catch the end of his hockey game. I have gone to many youth hockey games, and they last between an hour and a half and two hours. After the game, you can take him out for a treat.

Yeah, I agree with this…alot.

God first. Your nephew might learn something important by watching you.

Pray for me,

I live in a big city. My cousin’s hockey game is outside the city and the mass is near my house. The game lasts only an hour. Besides, he’s not a Catholic, he doesn’t understand how “responsabilities to God are top priorities”. He’s just disappointed and he thinks that I love God better than him (which is true, but he would not understand if I told him that).

Please, I need some other advice to take my decision. Thanks.

Sorry, nobody is going to tell you to skip Mass for the game. You’ll be glad you did the right thing. God will make it all come out well.

You must meet your Sunday obligation to attend Mass. Deliberately choosing to not attend Mass so you can go to a hockey game instead is grave matter.

Choosing to do the right thing is sometimes difficult. I’m sorry. Do you recall that Jesus did say something about taking up a cross and following Him? He didn’t say that doing so would be easy.

Go to Mass, and trust in God. I’m sorry for the dilemma, but baltobetsy is right.

Ask him for his hockey schedule and plan to see the next game.

Don’t skip mass for anyone. God always comes first…

Yes, I know. But it’s incredibly hard. My family, especially my mother, are angry at me. They don’t understand my decision. It’s often like that. And 'm tired of feeling guilty and crying.

Is assisting at Sunday Holy Mass important and and serious to you…as the Catholic Church teaches? If it is…you have your answer.

Follow your conscience…if it is well formed…in accordance with the teachings of the Catholic Church…if it is not well formed…then follow the Church irregardless of your ill formed conscience. In other words…place your “bet” on “the guaranteed winning hand”…the teaching of the Catholic Church.

For your consideration…and…refresher…here are the five precepts of the Church from the Catechism…note how very few there are…but how very serious they are…“as serious as a heart attack”…also, note the use of the word “shall” in each precept…it is not a “have a nice day” gratuitous word. For example, in aviation…the failure to follow a “shall” precept or edict…means a catastrophic failure to the aircraft and imminent loss of life…like I said…“as serious as a heart attack…or worse”.

Pax Christi

2041 The precepts of the Church are set in the context of a moral life bound to and nourished by liturgical life. The** obligatory** character of these positive laws decreed by the pastoral authorities is meant to guarantee to the faithful the very necessary minimum in the spirit of prayer and moral effort, in the growth in love of God and neighbor:

2042 The first precept (“You shall attend Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation and rest from servile labor”) requires the faithful to sanctify the day commemorating the Resurrection of the Lord as well as the principal liturgical feasts honoring the mysteries of the Lord, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the saints; in the first place, by participating in the Eucharistic celebration, in which the Christian community is gathered, and by resting from those works and activities which could impede such a sanctification of these days.82

The second precept (“You shall confess your sins at least once a year”) ensures preparation for the Eucharist by the reception of the sacrament of reconciliation, which continues Baptism’s work of conversion and forgiveness.83

The third precept (“You shall receive the sacrament of the Eucharist at least during the Easter season”) guarantees as a minimum the reception of the Lord’s Body and Blood in connection with the Paschal feasts, the origin and center of the Christian liturgy.84

2043 The fourth precept (“You shall observe the days of fasting and abstinence established by the Church”) ensures the times of ascesis and penance which prepare us for the liturgical feasts and help us acquire mastery over our instincts and freedom of heart.85

The fifth precept (“You shall help to provide for the needs of the Church”) means that the faithful are obliged to assist with the material needs of the Church, each according to his own ability.86
The faithful also have the duty of providing for the material needs of the Church, each according to his own abilities.87



Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work;** but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work.90**
2181 The** Sunday Eucharist is the foundation and confirmation of all Christian practice. **For this reason the faithful are obliged to participate in the Eucharist on days of obligation,unless excused for a serious reason (for example, illness, the care of infants) or dispensed by their own pastor.119 Those who deliberately fail in this obligation commit a grave sin.

That will likely be the case in the future with many other topics as well and not with just your family, but with our secular society in general. As Catholics, we go against the tide regarding divorce, birth control, abortion, same sex marriage, etc., etc., etc.

I’m sorry you find yourself in this dilemma. It is difficult to be counter cultural today, especially for one so young. But, I think you know the right thing to do. Again, I’m sorry for your upset.

By loving God more than your family and what is called ‘human respect’, you are loving your family truly and best.

There’s a great lesson in this. Keep at it! :slight_smile:

I would go to Mass, as there are other hockey games to attend. I would explain clearly to your cousin that you have a big responsibility to fulfill today, that I cannot make it to the game in time, but that you will make up for it some other way, like treating him to ice cream after the game.

It seems like you are looking for someone to tell you to do what you know is wrong! All of us have told you to do the right thing - go to Mass.

Missing Mass to go to a game would be a mortal sin. Your family may not understand that, but you surely do. Do the right thing.

Hope you learned the lesson of putting God first and catching a nap later. 11pm is not all that late for a young person. Next time get up go to Mass and plan on resting later.

That being said it is difficult when your parents do not practice the faith. Sorry that part is such a struggle for you .

I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but your comment hurt me a bit. Who are you to decide what time is late and what time is not? Some people need a lot of sleep to be able to get through the day. I suffer from anemia, so I’m always tired.

And yes, it is difficult that my parents don’t practice the faith, especially because I’m only nineteen and still living at home. That’s why I’m often confused about what to do regarding faith matters.

I went to mass two hours ago. I tried to talk to God about everything that happened today, but I couldn’t help but being angry. I’m angry at my mother for disagreeing with my decision, and I’m really mad against the commandment to keep Sunday holy. I’m also scared that my little cousin will like me less. And I love that little boy, he’s my ray of sunshine. I tried to talk to him and to explain what the situation wa,s but he didn’t seem really interested.

I would like to explain properly to my mom why I chose to do this, but I don’t know how.

The thing is, my family doesn’t understand this. Quite the contrary, they think I love them less by leaving them to attend Mass.

Does he understand this?
“Oh, I’m sorry. I have other plans.
Next time, please, ask me earlier, ok?
Like I need a little notice - and I’d love to come sometime.”

Hope that you understand that if your relative broke his leg at a soccer
game and only you had wheels to drive him to the Emergency Center,
then your missing Mass would not be an issue. You’d drive him to
give assistance in an emergency. You do know that, huh?

A priest I listen to a lot says to never give people what they want… you give them what will truly make them happy.

Sometimes those two things coincide, sometimes they don’t.

At the end of their lives, before God, they won’t be happy and you won’t be happy that you skipped mass for a hockey game.

We love everyone best by loving God first. Then God takes care of the rest. If we love people before God, then even the love we have for the people is spoiled, and if we could see clearly would make no one truly happy at all.

One of the chief spiritual battles… I know you’re just starting… but one of the chief… is against what is called ‘human respect’. That’s what people expect of you, versus what God expects of you. It’s one that comes up again and again in the spiritual life.

And if we want to be truly happy ever after, we have to choose, ‘what makes God happy is what makes everyone truly happy ultimately and what should right now if they saw clearly.’

If feelings are hurt you do your best to deal with that… that’s part of the spiritual battle! Don’t think the devil makes it easy on people… this temptation will come up again and again.

And learning how to navigate it best, through prayer and forethought, is what each person has to develop the virtues to do. :smiley:

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