A family I know has been through a rough few months (death in the family, job loss, kids having multiple problems at school, financial issues, caring for elderly parent…) And today, when I ran into the mom at the grocery store after Mass, she said they didn’t go because they just needed a day off to rest together and “hang out” with nothing on the schedule (she was picking up an Rx from the pharmacy for her elderly mom.) I know how she feels but I wonder - is this still a sin? To take a day off to just let everyone rest and lay around in their pajamas after a crazy few weeks? She has three kids ages 5-11.
Well, no one is really in a position to judge whether it’s a sin, since that’s a determination that requires a lot of information we have no access to. Missing Mass is always a grave matter, but it’s still permitted under reasonable circumstances, e.g., being ill, being traveling without access to the Mass, etc. I suppose genuine physical exhaustion might excuse a person from the obligation the way physical illness would.
I’d be more concerned that the troubles in her personal life are reflected by growing troubles in her spiritual life (i.e., “Does God even exist if all this bad stuff has happened to me?”). You might reach out to her.
It seems like a sign that they are fleeting from Christ during this rough time instead of running to His comfort. They definitely need some prayers for comfort.
In general, Catholics are obligated to attend Sunday Mass, except when ill, caring for infants, the elderly, etc. Of course, every case will vary.
Frankly, I would treat it as a private matter and avoid deep speculations into their spiritual life. Are you able to lend a hand, since you’re aware of their situation?
Maybe, maybe not. Perhaps the mum knows something the OP doesn’t. One should always give the benefit of the doubt.
There are valid reasons to miss Mass, but if she could go to the pharmacy (i.e. she was not too sick/exhausted to go out, or stuck home caring for the sick, or young children) she should have gone to Mass. I leave it to her confessor to determine the sinfulness.
The reason to miss mass needs to be quite serious.
It would be judging one’s intentions to say something without knowing the reason why a person missed mass (ie. maybe you saw her at the store because she was going to get medicine for her sick child who needed to be tended to at home that day…). Unfortunately, the ensuing conversation you had with her demonstrated that she had a poor understanding of Church teaching and I think a response may have been necessary to re-inforce the importance of attending mass on Sundays. I might have said something to the effect of: “Well, the Lord did create Sunday for rest, but our souls need rest too and going to mass on Sunday is an important part of that”.
Most Catholics know the importance of attending mass on Sunday, a friendly word or two may be all that is necessary to remind them of the importance!
We can not speculate whether your friend’s choice is sin, but generally if you question it when making the choice for yourself, that’s your conscience talking. I’ve had to miss Mass because we were all simply exhausted, but it was a choice I made only after a considerable amount of discernment. If I don’t have to energy to handle my boys in church and keep them from being a distraction to others, then I can’t very well take them. Thankfully they are getting older, and that’s not been a problem for me in a good while.
If the choice is simply “lay around in your pajamas” or “go to Mass,” then you go to Mass. Catholics do not have lazy Sunday mornings unless they’ve been to the Saturday night vigil!
under those circumstances no it is not.i will say it out aloud.
but there are posts on here that are saying she needs a shoulder to lean on.if i was in your shoes,i would pick up the cross,no problem.but that is up to you.you sound like a good person.otherwise you would not have paoid interest in the starting of this thread. do the right thing.God will give you the strength.in turn make this lady stronger aswell.
in my prayers.
But she was getting medicine - for a sick person who doubtless had to be looked after. It’s not like she was going out to the movies or to a fun park or something.
Thanks everyone - I wasn’t so much speculating on the state of this woman’s soul but rather asking if being “burned out” is a valid reason to skip the occasional Mass. And of course, I did offer to help her with getting her kids to school, shopping, etc. She has had a really rough few months and looks a mess.
This was my thought too. I went out to the pharmacy today and honestly, it’s was ALL I could do to get there and back. My husband is working, so it had to be me. After I came back, I was resting for quite some time even before I could muster up the energy to eat the food required for one of the prescriptions.
None of us are in any position to judge another’s situation. It’s one thing to wonder what you might do in the situation, but if you haven’t lived it, you don’t really know.
And here I am wondering if I’ll be well enough to attend on Dec 31/Jan 1.
Could you tactfully ask her permission to mention her situation to the priest, and maybe if he judges it to be dire enough, he could arrange to bring the family Holy Communion as shut-ins? And by asking the question - gently - it might give her a nudge to not be too lax. Also to offer transportation or other ways of taking the burdens off her so that she can conserve her energy for going to Mass? Just some ideas.
Exactly. Prayers for you - perhaps ask if someone can bring Holy Communion to you if you cannot make it to Mass.
I’m in RCIA right now and don’t receive communion yet in the RC church.
Ah. Well, not quite the same thing as being there, but EWTN offers live streaming of their Masses several times a day - available online if not on your tv. Just check the guide for the times.
The reasons that are valid to miss Mass are spelled out in the CCC - things like caring for an infant or sick person (or being sick yourself), lack of transportation, danger or bad weather on the roads.
Since Mass is a means of receiving grace (even if we don’t receive communion), than being burned out would be a reason to go more often to Mass!
I think part of what makes going to Mass difficult is our expectation of ourselves in terms of dress and behavior. We don’t want to go to Mass in just slacks with our hair in a ponytail. We think we need to be dressed up, our kids need to be dressed up and perfectly behaved - all that makes just getting out of the house exhausting.
Sometimes the best plan is to leave the kids who haven’t made their first communion at home and simply slip out of the house to the early Mass (usually quieter, shorter, and less formal). Then the other parent can take the older kids to a later Mass (perhaps in the evening even).
We go to Mass to be with God and to worship him and receive the strength we need for the week. We don’t go to be seen or to act our the ‘perfect family’ fantasy.
I will say a prayer for your friend and her needs.
Mass is indeed a means of receiving grace, but we are still to exercise our God given comonsense. If you have, for example, been spending such long and fatiguing hours either at work or at other duties that you are liable to fall asleep at the wheel of the car en route to or from Mass, then the virtue of prudence dictates that you rest rather than risking an accident.
Absolutely agreed! I was thinking more of attending Mass as a respite from trouble, but one shouldn’t go if driving would be dangerous, or you need sleep and rest so you don’t get physically sick.
So true! I often get overwhelmed thinking about putting on a dress, heels, makeup, styling my hair - only to come home and put my hair in a pony, wash off my face and slip into oversized sweats! But for everyone who suggests a neat ponytail, clean jeans, flats and a t-shirt for busy moms, there is someone else bemoaning how people don’t dress up for Mass anymore! I once read something to the effect of “You are going to meet your king - so dress like you are meeting a king!” I would feel so much better just going in basic, clean clothes that I could do the grocery shopping in later on.