Looking for any wisdom on this matter. Since my conversion this year i go to Mass nearly every week unless i have a work commitment. Once or twice (and today looks to be a case) i feel pressure from my wife not to go. My wife is Catholic by birth but not practicing since childhood. Every now and again she will make comments such as saying it’s ridiculous that you have to go each week, inferring i feel that there’s a control element to it, or complaining that if i go it messes our plans for the day. It’s something that is bothersome to me.
Many Catholics have several options to attend Sunday Mass. Some of them are not very attractive to some people (I would hate to get up early on a Sunday morning to attend 7:00 am Mass).
You say you are a convert, presumably an adult convert. Did you not promise to obey the Church when you were confirmed?
Do you (or your wife) think it’s OK to break a solemn promise?
Do you (or your wife) think it’s OK to break your promise because Manchester United FC is playing football on that day?
You are permitted to miss Mass when engaged in a serious matter when you have no reasonable alternative. Your moral obligation to attend to this matter exceeds your moral obligation to uphold the promise you made at your confirmation, so the former takes prescience.
But you may never neglect your moral obligation to uphold your promises for lesser obligations. Watching a Manchester United game does not qualify.
We don’t seem to have as many Mass options in the UK as exist in some other countries, from what I’ve read on here - don’t know about you, but the church(es) I attend have two Sunday morning Masses at 9-ish and 11-ish and nothing earlier or later. Luckily for me, my non-Catholic husband is completely supportive.
Have you tried attending a Vigil Mass, normally at around 5.30 or 6pm on a Saturday? That fulfils your Sunday obligation. I went to Vigil Mass last night, as today is my sister’s birthday and there’s a family gathering.
You might mention to your wife that as she is Catholic, it’s not just you who needs to attend Sunday Mass.
You’re both lucky to be able to attend Mass. I was hit by a truck on June 4, 2014, and haven’t been able to attend Mass since. I was left barely able to hobble around (and outside the house, i.e. to go to the doctor, I still have to use a wheelchair, still in physical therapy for my leg and still on pain medication), a concussion that left me with narcolepsy that is not completely under control yet, and activated lupus. It breaks my heart to miss Mass, to see that it’s time for Mass to begin, and I’m not there. I don’t even feel worthy to pray anymore, though I do.
I agree with another poster. When your wife complains that Mass interferes with your plans for the day, you should tell her that Mass is part of your plans for the day. At some point you need to put your foot down that going to Mass is something you are going to do, not because you have to, but because you want to. Tell your wife, you would love to have her accompany you because she is Catholic, too, and because you would enjoy her company at church. If she chooses to stay home, go anyway. Set a good example.
When you are feeling pressured to miss Mass on Sunday, imagine yourself explaining it to the crucified Christ on the Judgement Day.
“I died for your sins and rose again from the dead so that you could go to Heaven. I gave you the Mass as your way of saying “thank you.””
But my wife wanted me to stay home.
But there was a football game on.
But I felt like sleeping in.
But I forgot to do my homework on Saturday.
But … :shrug:
You go to Mass to be with Christ. There is nothing else that could take precedence.
My mom also did not like me and my husband and children going to church EVERY Sunday. She would make all these plans to try and force us to stop going to church. We said we were free all day Saturday of AFTER church on Sunday. She was very belligerent. We showed up to a picnic she had planned for Sunday morning, we got there after going to church. She had put away all the food and ignored us, saying we ruined her day. It was either God or her she said. God won
If we only attend Mass when it pleases us, have we not made Mass about us, and not God?
I have been where you are, though I am not a convert. There is something truly strange about us. I know when I was young and attended Mass without missing, my clarity of thinking (to easily see sin as sin), and ability to avoid sin seemed easy.
Then as I got into my early 20’s, hey, missing Mass once in awhile was no big deal, after all God knows where my heart is. But the devil is clever. Once in awhile became twice or thrice in awhile. No big deal, God still knows where my heart is (let’s just say it’s definitely not pristine anymore). Gradually taking part in things that I would never dream of before, I could make excuses as to why they are not sins in my case. A clear path was now mirky.
One day, if you are lucky, you wake up like the prodigal son, and realize you are far off the path. All that, because people that were smarter than me told me it was no big deal to miss Mass. Funny thing is, they never attend Mass anymore, yet they admit their life is a mess. They cannot connect the dots. Too proud to say that they are wrong.
As an added bonus, since my wife and I have made a concerted effort to never miss Mass, our marriage, which was bumpy for twenty years, has been pure bliss for the last few.
Can you imagine, the Church requires us to do communal worship one hour a week, and a few holy days in a year, and I would grumble about inconvenience? Yet I would have no problem wasting two hours watching a violent movie in a theater, with terrible language, that was actually detrimental to my soul. Or sit in a bar with friends and get drunk for hours on end. But spend one hour with the Lord? How burdensome.
I am sorry you are having this issue with your wife. I was in a similar situation with my husband (now ex-husband). He was not Catholic and I was not practicing my faith when we married. Three years after our marriage I returned to the Church and at first he was ok with it, but when he realized I insisted on going to Mass every Sunday it caused real problems in our marriage.
I, too, tried going to Mass at different times on Sunday, or to a vigil Mass on Saturday evening. I tried to make the rest of Sunday special for him, but nothing worked and he became increasingly hostile to my faith.
I suggest speaking with your pastor about your situation to see if he has any advice.
Would your wife be willing to attend RCIA classes? Would she go with you to classes? Or a Bible study? Any type of social activities in the Church the two of you could attend together? If she hasn’t practiced her faith since she was a child chances are she has misunderstandings about what the Church teaches.
I will pray for you and your wife to be able to resolve this problem. You are correct in that you must attend Mass every Sunday.
Share with her the following, I’m sure it will give her a different perspective
Heb 10: (all emphasis mine)
“23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful; 24 and let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. 26 For if we sin deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27* but a fearful prospect of judgment, and a fury of fire which will consume the adversaries. 28* A man who has violated the law of Moses dies without mercy at the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29* How much worse punishment do you think will be deserved by the man who has spurned the Son of God, and profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and outraged the Spirit of grace?”
So dissecting that reading, and in particular looking at the words in red.
*]they celebrate the Eucharist when they meet together on (the Day) Sunday
*]it’s a grave sin to deliberately not meet on Sunday. That brings judgement and terrible consequences for those who do it.
]for THEM there is no sacrifice for sins who deliberately don’t meet?
]THEY spurn the Son of God by deliberately not meeting?
]THEY profane the blood of the covenant by deliberately not meeting?
]THEY outrage the spirit of grace by deliberately no meeting?
[/LIST]When Hebrews mentions the sacrifice for sin and blood of the covenant it refers to the Eucharist. The summit of our faith.
o Jesus used that language In Context This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins (sacrifice for sin) when instituting the Eucharist.
o Jn 6:53unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. Life of the soul is grace in the Eucharist.
That’s why deliberately missing the celebration of mass / Eucharist does all that damage to one’s soul.
I hope that helps start a meaningful discussion with her. Either way don’t YOU miss mass. Your good example will speak volumes especially knowing there are HUGE reasons for going to mass faithfully.