Mass Requirements


#1

Greetings,

As someone who is just starting the RCIA program, I’m a bit put off by the strict requirements of having to attend weekly Mass. By weekly, I specifically mean Saturday or Sunday. I try and attend daily mass several times a week, following work, but according to my RCIA director, this means absolutely nothing, if Mass on Saturday or Sunday is missed.

I’ve come from a Protestant background which has often taught that Church is not REQUIRED, but rather, encouraged, based from some scripture (I cannot quote) which says that it is good to have fellowship with other believers, but does not specifically state "all good Christians must attend Church (Mass) on X Y Z days of the week…

My RCIA director has told me that somewhere it says that church is to be attended the first day of the week (Sundays). It doesn’t seem like something God would specifically mandate, however, given His openness with us. I mean, He doesn’t discriminate against sinners when it comes to salvation (as in who to forgive, etc - he forgives everyone), so I find it hard to believe His stance would be (okay, I’ve saved you, now report to Mass on Saturday or Sunday, or you’ve committed a mortal sin).

I feel great going to Mass during the week. I often skip town on the weekends, to recoup from the daily stresses of work. When I do go out of town, rest assured, I do spend a great deal of time in reflection, prayer, devotions, etc, so it’s not like I’ve blocked out God for the weekend… I just prefer to do Mass during the week. Am I such a bad person for wanting this? Am I condemning myself because of this? As I said, to me, God doesn’t come across as one to care WHEN we go to church, as much as that we DO, if it helps bring us closer to Him.

Your thoughts?


#2

Hi there!

I’m in RCIA as well and can totally relate to your question.I often go to Mass on Fridays because that is the best time for me and frankly, I feel more comfortable when the church isn’t full of people like on the weekend. I, too, find it hard to believe that missing Mass on Sunday is a mortal sin if you still regularly go there during the week. I recently had a talk with my priest about this. He explained that it is church law and that we are supposed to celebrate the Mass as a community and during the week there are only a handful there. He did, however, not believe that missing it ONCE is a mortal sin. He said if you would do this often it would tell of your flawed relationship with God and then it would be really serious. He wanted to ask the bishop though because I told him how often I read that (here).

So I still have a bit of trouble accepting this as a mortal sin but I do accept the teaching of the Church and that she is far wiser than me and so I will follow and obey.

Of course, there is a huge difference between a Protestant service and a Catholic Mass. In a Protestant service you worship God as a community and he is there among you. But thanks to the Eucharist you will receive Christ also into your body. He literally becomes a part of you! :slight_smile: And that is why Mass is so important. When you are away on weekends, isn’t there an opportunity for you to attend Mass as well? After all, it doesn’t take more than an hour.

I’m currently reading a book that I bought because of these questions I also had. It’s awesome and fittingly called “Do I have to Go?” by Matthew Pinto and Chris Stefanick. :smiley: It explains everything about the Mass and what happens there so that one will be asking “Why wouldn’t I go?” (from the back of the book). I would totally recommend you to get that book. It’s written for teens but so profound with facts and knowledge that you hardly notice it. The great thing is that it asks just the right questions in a direct way and then answers them.

All the best on your journey! :slight_smile:


#3

My husband and I are converts from evangelical Protestantism to Catholicism.

This is what it comes down to: authority.

When you are Catholic, you accept that the Catholic Church is Christ’s established Church here on earth, and that the Catholic Church has the mandate from Jesus to establish disciplines for Christians.

If you want a Biblical support for this, you have to look at the passage in Matthew 16: 13-20, especially v. 19, where Jesus tells Peter that “whatever you shall bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you shall loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.”

It seems pretty clear that Peter (the first leader of the Church) and the Church have the power to make declarations.

See also Acts 15, which describes the first Church Council, held at Jerusalem. The issue was whether Gentile believers have to be become Jews first before they can become Christians. The Church leaders didn’t have a Bible to look up the answer. THEY arrived at a conclusion without the help of a Bible, and the Conclusion of the Church was considered binding upon all Churches back then, even though they couldn’t point to a passage in the Bible and say, “Here’s what God says.”

So here’s the deal–if you become Catholic, you accept that you are no longer in charge of figuring out God’s will from the Bible. The Church has that authority over all Christians, and that includes the authority to set a mandate that all Christians will attend Mass on the Lord’s Day (or the Vigil Mass the evening before).

From what I have read, the Catholic Church bases this mandate on the Commandment that says, “Remember the Sabbath Day, to keep it holy.” (The Sabbath Day for Christians is the Lord’s Day, or Sunday.) Interesting, isn’t it–the Catholic Church actually takes the Bible literally! And I thought only evangelical Protestants did that! :slight_smile:

If you are unwilling to yield to that Church authority and accept the Church’s discipline of attendance at Mass on the Lord’s Day, then you might want to reconsider whether you are ready to become Catholic. At any rate, you will want to do some studying on the Authority of the Holy Catholic Church vs. the Authority of the Individual Believer, or the Authority of the Local Pastor.

As an ex-evangelical Protestant, I can testify that not being in charge anymore has been wonderfully liberating. I trust Jesus and I trust His Church. I have plenty of freedom to make up my mind about various things–e.g., when I am out of town, which parish will I attend Mass at–delightful. I don’t feel in the least bit oppressed and harangued by the Catholic Church–I feel free to live my life without having to worry about being in or out of God’s will.


#4

With all due respect, I think your pastor is mistaken. Missing once can indeed be a mortal sin if all the conditions for mortal sin are present: serious matter, knowledge, and full consent of the will (i.e., you must know it is a sin, and commit it freely). If you have a serious reason (e.g., illness) you are not obligated to attend Mass. If you have a personal reason (e.g., travel to a place where Mass is unavailable, work hours making all available Mass times impossible for you) you should get a dispensation from your pastor beforehand.

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

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.

Thanks, Cat, for your great answer. You seem to “get it” better than a lot of cradle Catholics.


#5

Well, I do think he was talking generally but we mostly talked about my case (depression and insomnia) so I could rest assured that I wouldn’t sin. But please don’t think that he encouraged to miss Mass.


#6

Hello all,

Thank you for your replies. I can certainly see where authority plays a role in this.

I have a few more thoughts. At the end of the day, it is the individual, not the Church, whom gets a person to Heaven. The reason so many of my previous churches as ENCOURAGED, but not REQUIRED, people to attend, is just for that very reason. They would rather people come out of desire, to honestly seek out The Lord, as opposed to just blindly coming every Sunday, dozing off, playing on their phones, thinking about lunch, etc.

When I go to Mass during the week, it’s nice. There are less people, yes, which allows me to better focus. It also allows me to de-stress from work. It’s quiet. It’s cool (temperature). It’s peaceful. I feel a real connection with those around me, and when I say and receive “peace be with you” with those around me, it feels sincere.

When I go to Mass on Saturdays or Sundays, it’s overcrowded. People are still coming into Mass after it’s been going for 20 minutes or more, and people are in the isles trying to cram people into pews. There are lots of screaming children. There are lots of people obviously not interested in being there. It is considerably warm, due to all of the bodies in one place. It is extremely distracting, and of course, due to being on the weekend, makes it all the more easier to think about “hmmm, what can I do tonight” (Saturday) or “hmmm, I wonder what’s for brunch? I wonder if the game will be on today?” (Sunday).

I prefer to go to Mass during the week, and I cherish the times I go, and I really give myself to the Lord. I would hope that this pleases Him more, than say, if I just showed up on weekends with hundreds of other people, many of whom are in “zombie mode”, not really paying attention, and coming up with every excuse, mentally, as to why the environment isn’t especially comfortable.

So let’s say I only go to weekend Mass a dozen or so more times in my lifetime, but spend the rest of my life going to weekly Mass as often as possible. I also take the quiet moments, including those on the weekend, in prayer, in solitude with The Lord, talking to Him, sharing with Him my deepest desires (not that he doesn’t already know them), and really doing everything I can to craft that INDIVIDUAL relationship… when I do pass on from this life, will God say to me “You did not attend Mass/Church on the weekends. Depart from me, I do not know ye.”, or will he embrace me with open arms, for having come to Him as a child in need of a Father, and taking Him with me wherever I go, whenever, not just leaving Him inside of the Church building, like so many others?

Think about it.


#7

I wholeheartedly agree with you about mass during the week versus mass on Saturday/Sunday. Since pretty much everyone who attends mass during the week is there fully voluntarily, the tone of it tends to be very reverent and due to the logistics of fewer people it feels more personal as well as quiet. I’ll admit my least “favorite” is the crowded Sunday mass. However, I don’t presume to know what God will say when I (with God’s grace) show up at the Pearly Gates.

I do know that we are to keep holy the Sabbath and Holy Mother Church (given to us as a guide by our Lord) states that the primary way that we do that is to attend Mass where we receive the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord and Savior as a community. I have an obligation, not only to myself but to my fellow Catholics to attend. Catholics, although concerned about personal salvation, are more concerned about the salvation of all of us. I’m probably not explaining that right, but as a Catholic we strive to help not only ourselves to heaven but everyone. Going to Sunday mass isn’t just about me. It is about my brothers and sisters in Christ, and those not yet blessed to know our Lord. It is philosophically very different from Protestantism. So those people who are half paying attention in the pews need you. They need to see your devotion to our Lord. They need help to open their eyes. You may be that instrument to help them see. That is why you need to attend on Sundays even though it may not “feel” as nice as the mass during the week, you are worshiping our Lord in a special way. It may not be benefiting you in the ways you want, but it will certainly benefit your brothers and sisters in Christ. That is why we are universal. We are not supposed to just care about ourselves, but everyone else as well.


#8

It makes more sense if he was talking about a specific case with extenuating circumstances. Thanks for clarifying.

If he were talking generally, I would be more concerned.


#9

What is there to think about?

The Virtue of Obedience: Our Duty, Our Crown


#10

Hello there. I would like to give you a brief reply: Sunday is the day we should reserve for the Lord. And there is no better way to spend time with our Lord than to meet Him in the Holy Mass, along with the rest of the community.


#11

II. THE PRECEPTS OF THE CHURCH
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

For your consideration:

-Sunday obligation is not just for Holy Mass…it is also for the sanctification of the Holy Day.

-Note that the Church has only five precepts (CCC 2141-2143)…and in them it requires us to (3rd Precept) receive the sacrament of Eucharist…only 1x per year (Easter Season) and confess our sins (2d Precept) in the sacrament of Reconciliation…only 1x per year…and yet…yet…the Church (1st Precept) requires us to attend Mass every Sunday (and on all Holy Days of Obligation)…also this precept is much broader than Holy Mass…it is in the context of us being required to sanctify the whole day – not just to rest from servile work but spend some time doing something that will sanctify the day…i.e., not just resting and being a couch potato is required every Sunday…why?A Fathers of Mercy priest (I can’t recall his name)…said that sin (esp mortal sin) weakens and can/will destroy the theological virtues of “hope” and “love” (charity)…but the first theological virtue of “faith” can only be destroyed by not participating in weekly Sunday Mass…(this is not dependent on receiving Holy Communion…but obviously always great spiritual benefit to do so when we are in a worthy state to do so). Think about it…our faith – what we profess “….We believe in***….one, holy, Catholic, and apostolic Church***…” will wither and die if we don’t attend the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass every Sunday…in my book…my faith needs this without fail!

So the Catholic Church in her Divine Wisdom as the Bride of Christ…His Body…(led by the Apostles teaching of what Jesus told them to do and continually led by His Holy Spirit)…makes Sunday the Holy Day…Par Excellence…a requirement to participate in the only event in the history of the world and the history of mankind that really matters…(the unbloodied representation of ) the Sacrifice of Our Lord Jesus Christ on the Cross at Calvary…and His Resurrection on Easter Sunday!

Also, remember it is Our Lord Jesus Christ the High Priest and the Victim–the Lamb of God…who is celebrating your particular Holy Mass…the priest is always in persona Christi in the Liturgy…that means that it is Jesus himself who is telling you to attend Mass on every Sunday…without fail (unless absolutely impossible for significant reasons)…and as Jesus told the Seventy Two disciples as he sent them out on mission…

[INDENT]

Luke 10: 16 (NIV)
16"He who listens to you listens to me; he who rejects you rejects me; but he who** rejects me rejects him who sent me**."

[/INDENT]Lastly, the first…requirement and response…for each of us to God’s unmerited gift of grace which enables us to say…“I believe”…that is, to have the the theological virtue of …“Faith”…is obedience…always and everywhere in all matters of faith and morals…obedience to Christ (His Apostles in His unified and holy Church)…is imperative…without it…we are simply looking for “cheap grace”…we are a spiritual accident looking for a place and time to happen…"! (paraphrasing Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Lutheran Priest…executed/martyred by Hitler near end of WW-II).

When we ignore Jesus’ own words…his Truth… in Luke 10:16 (above)…then…on the throne of our heart where Jesus resides in us…we are really saying to him…(paraphrasing Prof Peter Kreeft, Boston College):"…Ah…excuse me Jesus…but you are sitting on my throne…"!
Likewise…when we ignore the Catholic Church’s teachings (clearly spelled out in the Catechism)…we are saying:"…Ah…excuse me Peter (Benedict XVI)…but you are sitting in my Chair (ex cathedra)…!

We become like Prof. Kreeft says of the Kennedys…there are lots of Kennedy Catholics,but not may Catholic Kennedys… or we become like Boston College…where BC stands more accurately for Barely Catholic…! In my own words…we become cafeteria Catholics…a sad caricature of a Catholic…we do damage to ourselves and sadly others as well…and especially to all who died as martyrs (especially all the Apostle) for this Catholic faith…so that they could hand on to us this incredible fullness of everything that Christ himself wanted us to give us…we break faith with all of them…we disparage their ultimate sacrifices…of blood and suffering for us.

Lastly…the late Pope John Paul II, the Great, always said that the Church only proposes…it never imposes (in all matters of faith and morals)…but the “punch line” of this statement is that in all matters of faith and morals the Catholic Church proposes the objective Truth…and Truth is not something…Truth is someone…it is a person…Our Lord Jesus Christ…

John 14:6 (NIV) 6Jesus answered, "I am the way and** the truth** and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

…if we reject the Church’s teachings…we are rejecting Truth himself…it is that simple!

As I said…I offer this simply for your consideration.

Pax Christi


#12

Nice as feelings can be, they are subjective. And we also are rational beings; we are supposed to be able to master our feelings when they need to be mastered, not to let them dictate to us whether we ‘choose’ to obey a teaching or not.

Is the Mass only, or majorly, about what we ‘experience’, whether we ‘feel’ more or less reverent, etc.? While this plays a part in us as individuals overall the Mass is about the Sacrifice of Jesus and our participation in that sacrifice whether or not at that particular time we happen to ‘feel’ as if we are participating to our fullest, best extent.

Make no mistake, I am not advocating for ‘zombie’ mode’. . .but it isn’t an either/or situation where EITHER the OP goes to the quiet daily Mass where he feels–feels!–that he ‘pleases God better’ OR he goes to the nasty overcrowded weekend Mass where he feels (that word again) that he just doesn’t give or experience the Mass the way he wants to.

It is a both-and. Yes, by all means continue with the daily Mass where the OP has the experience that uplifts him and gives him a focus on God. . .AND --continue with the weekly Masses which are required.

Remember how Jesus said, “Saul, Saul, it is hard for you to kick against the goad?” This is such a huge sticking point for most Protestants–and some Catholics too apparently, as some of my own family are extremely sporadic in THEIR attendance, sadly; often people in the U.S. especially have had had ‘personal judgment’ stamped into them from birth, and hate and despite the idea of ‘blind obedience’ to ANY authority. (of course, obedience to the Church is not blind, but I’m sure they’ve been told it is). It won’t be easy but it is so worth it to obey. Believe it or not, the more one does obey the Church, the freer one becomes. Instead of constantly having to judge and rejudge for oneself with each separate opportunity being a case in which the judgment is done ‘from scratch’ and each ‘circumstance’ must be weighed over and over–one has an authority, one submits, and one ‘gives over’ to Christ knowing that one has ‘chosen well’.


#13

So basically what it comes down to is… God doesn’t specifically say we have to attend Mass on Sundays (which by the way, what about all the Catholics who go on Saturday night? Wouldn’t that be wrong?), however, since he gave the Church the authority to evangelize and organize and orchestrate, I have to do whatever they say.

This doesn’t sound right at all. I want to go to Church, because God PERSONALLY invites me to, not because some Church says “Well God said we have the power, and we say DO IT!”. It all comes down to the right reasons. The thing is, if the Church says to go to Mass on Sunday, but you show up and you’re not feeling it, you might as well NOT BE THERE. At the end of the day, it’s not our attendance at Church which brings s closer to God, it’s what we did while we were there, or if not, it’s what we did in our ordinary times, in reflection, prayer, devotion, etc. I realize the Church mandates we go and partake in the Eucharist (which I can’t even do yet), however, if you just show up for the body and blood, but merely think of it as “snack time” or otherwise are not focused on what’s going on, your consumption of the body and blood can’t be too valid, in God’s eyes, if you’re not actively dwelling on what you’re doing. I’m more likely to focus on The Eucharist during the week, as opposed to on Sunday, when I’m in a line of several hundred people, and they’re trying to get everyone in and out as quick as they can…

I feel more comfortable going during the week, and I feel that in doing so, I am not disobeying The Lord. On the contrary, I feel as though He would be pleased by my efforts, to not just go once a week, on Sunday, with the party crowd, but in quiet solace with a few other members of the congregation, 3-4 times a week.

Just my feelings, though.


#14

The whole idea of not wanting to be there somehow invalidating the whole purpose of the Mass is itself invalid.

The idea is not whether we ‘want to’ go see God. The fact is that the authority of GodO rests not only, and not solely, with the Bible (meaning, that we do not have to read in the Bible that "thou shalt go to Mass on Sunday–and FYI, we can go on Saturday because by Jewish measurement of days a day started on the SUNDOWN preceding the day (and this is still the case today). We have a heritage built on the fulfillment of Judaism; therefore, the sundown preceding is legally the ‘day’ itself. )

Of course we should want to go see God. But many will have trouble being obedient to that, and thus, they need (at first at any rate) to be under compulsion to go in order that by the frequent reception of Mass and due obedience, they will be guided to right thinking.

So, if your child told you he was tired of going to school except on the days he FELT like it, would you say, “of course my child, I understand that you won’t get anything out of class unless you are in a mood to learn”??? No, you would say, "my child, you are required by the due and proper laws to attend class whether or not you personally ‘feel like it’ as it is necessary for your wellbeing to be able to have the opportunity to gain an education.


#15

“jasphair” I’d like to suggest that you pick up a copy of the “Catechism of the Catholic Church” (CCC). Most bookstores carry it, in their “Religion” section. This is the OFFICIAL teaching of the Catholic Church. You can trust whatever it says within those pages… to any questions you may have. Always remember that the Teaching Magisterium of the Catholic Church (aka The Pope, Cardinals and Bishops… who are inspired by the Holy Spirit) is absolute. You can trust what the Teaching Magisterium puts forth, because it is inspired by the Holy Spirit. So, go grab a copy of the CCC and start readin’! :thumbsup:

God bless you. And all who are in RCIA. May your journey to full communion in the Catholic Church be a joyful one.

MarieVeronica


#16

Jasphair (and others with similiar views),

Do you love God?

Keep his commandments.

This includes going to church on Sundays

or Saturday observance:

The 1983 Code of Canon Law simply states: “The precept of participating in the Mass is satisfied by assistance at a Mass which is celebrated anywhere at a Catholic rite either on the holy day or on the evening of the preceding day.”

It’s not really open to debate. Please don’t let this be a hang up for you in your quest to Join The Catholic Church. As others have said it is about obedience. But, it is really more so about LOVE.

I ask again do you love God? :slight_smile:

– Cadian :knight1:


#17

For liturgical purposes Sunday begins with First Vespers on Saturday evening, so the Mass on Saturday evening fulfills one’s Sunday obligation.

This doesn’t sound right at all. I want to go to Church, because God PERSONALLY invites me to, not because some Church says “Well God said we have the power, and we say DO IT!”. It all comes down to the right reasons. The thing is, if the Church says to go to Mass on Sunday, but you show up and you’re not feeling it, you might as well NOT BE THERE.

What kind of invitation are you looking for? A voice from heaven? Or perhaps an invitation in the form of the Church saying “come to Mass on Sunday”? That IS an invitation from God.

What do you mean by “not feeling it”? We can’t rely only on our feelings. Take a mother who loves her daughter. The daughter is sick and calls for her mother in the middle of the night. Do you think the mother feels like getting up and taking care of her child? And yet she does get up – not because of how she feels but because her actions show her love.

Rather than saying that you might as well not be at Mass if you don’t actually feel like going, I would put it the other way. You truly show your love for God by going to pray and worship him when you would just as soon stay home. Like the mother who gets up with her sick child, you are showing your love and commitment through your actions.

I feel more comfortable going during the week, and I feel that in doing so, I am not disobeying The Lord. On the contrary, I feel as though He would be pleased by my efforts, to not just go once a week, on Sunday, with the party crowd, but in quiet solace with a few other members of the congregation, 3-4 times a week.

It’s great that you want to attend daily Mass and no, that’s certainly not disobeying God. Daily Mass is a very different experience, usually with a small number of adults. No crying babies, no fidgety children, no disabled adults, none of the messiness of being part of a parish coming together. But Jesus is there in all the messiness too, and he asks us – through his Church – to bring our own messiness and add it to the mix on a Sunday.

As you go through RCIA you’re going to find other areas where the Church says “this is what it means to be Catholic.” The Church will tell you that you need to go to confession at least once a year whether you feel like it or not. The Church will tell you that you need to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday whether you feel like it or not. Sometimes these precepts can feel a little rough. What happens then?


#18

You would be disobeying the Lord as he gave the Bishops and priests power to bind you to disciplines. Missing Mass on Sunday is a violation of a precept of the Church. Purposely violating the precepts is just as sinful as purposely violating one of the 10 Commandment. When you look at many or most of the published Examinations of Conscience, you will see questions about both the 10 Commandments and the Precepts of the Church to help you recognize sin.

The other side is that you are shortchanging yourself by not going to Sunday Mass. The Liturgy of the Word is fuller on Sundays; there is always a homily; some of the prayers of the Mass are not included on weekdays and most of the major feasts of the Church calendar are celebrated on Sundays.

And finally, an important point to remember is that Catholic worship always includes both a vertical (me to God) component and a horizontal (me and my community) component. While you will often see on CAF people decrying (usually for very good reason) the over-emphasis on the horizontal, over emphasis on the vertical is just as lop-sided. We worship on Sundays together with our parish community and with Catholics all over the world who are coming together to hear the same readings and celebrate the Lord’s day.

(as an aside, even when a Catholic goes to Mass on Saturday evening, he/she is participating in the Liturgy for Sunday with all of its fullness)

Welcome home and I am sure that you will find comfort and understanding as you continue on your RCIA journey. :slight_smile:


#19

C. S. Lewis, in The Screwtape Letters:

One of our great allies at present is the Church itself. Do not misunderstand me. I do not mean the Church as we see her spread but through all time and space and rooted in eternity, terrible as an army with banners. That, I confess, is a spectacle which makes our boldest tempters uneasy. But fortunately it is quite invisible to these humans. All your patient sees is the half-finished, sham Gothic erection on the new building estate… When he gets to his pew and looks round him he sees just that selection of his neighbours whom he has hitherto avoided. You want to lean pretty heavily on those neighbours. Make his mind flit to and fro between an expression like “the body of Christ” and the actual faces in the next pew. It matters very little, of course, what kind of people that next pew really contains. You may know one of them to be a great warrior on the Enemy’s side. No matter. Your patient, thanks to Our Father below, is a fool. Provided that any of those neighbours sing out of tune, or have boots that squeak, or double chins, or odd clothes, the patient will quite easily believe that their religion must therefore be somehow ridiculous…* Work hard, then, on the disappointment or anticlimax which is certainly coming to the patient during his first few weeks as a churchman. The Enemy allows this disappointment to occur on the threshold of every human endeavour. It occurs when the boy who has been enchanted in the nursery by Stories from the Odyssey buckles down to really learning Greek. It occurs when lovers have got married and begin the real task of learning to live together. In every department of life it marks the transition from dreaming aspiration to laborious doing.


#20

Yes, I imagine He would be pleased with your efforts at going to daily Mass and they will not have been wasted efforts if you include obedience to His Church on earth, including obedience to the precepts of His Church. All of the great Saints (even the mystics who regularly received direct communication from God - like St. Teresa of Avila) have not done what was requested by God until they were given permission by they’re superiors. In Original Sin Adam and Eve tried to make themselves equal with God - pride, our main sin from which all other sins proceed. Obedience to the Church, especially when we can’t understand why (read Job 39) or “feel” love, is the premier anti-dote to pride. Even the Saints, who were only happy when they were worshipping Him because they loved Him so much, knew that they needed that obedience.
You need to go on Sunday (or Sat. Vigil) because you’d rather not.


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