I missed Mass on May 12.
I could have made it to the 6 p.m. Spanish Mass at a Parish near mine.
But… I would have been in my Army uniform and smelly. I had spent four hours riding in the back of a HMMWV and three additional hours driving from my unit to my home.
I would have had 20 minutes to shower/change/get ready and leave for Mass… and I would have been late to Mass. At least 10 minutes late.
Or I could have not changed or showered and been on time.
To a Spanish Mass… which I’ve gone to before.
And it’s almost like going to a Latin Mass for me. I don’t know what’s going on.
The Spanish Mass is the ordinary rite, but it’s… in Spanish.
I don’t speak Spanish.
So… I didn’t go.
I figured this would be a good time to see what the Catechism said about this.
2192 “Sunday… is to be observed as the foremost holy day of obligation in the universal Church.” “On Sundays and other holy days of obligation the faithful are bound to participate in the Mass.”
Bound to participate in Mass. Wow. That’s pretty clear.
Bound to do so. We need to, have to, must do so.
2178 This practice of the Christian assembly dates from the beginnings of the apostolic age. The Letter to the Hebrews reminds the faithful “not to neglect to meet together, as is the habit of some, but to encourage one another.”
Dates from the beginnings of the apostolic age.
It’s been going on for a while. This isn’t some “new rule” the Church just thought of.
We know the Church doesn’t work like that, anyway.
Our traditions have generally existed since the beginnings, we just don’t always have them written down. We don’t always have them in concrete.
That doesn’t mean they aren’t legitimate.
This is my favorite:
2179 “A parish is a definite community of the Christian faithful established on a stable basis within a particular church; the pastoral care of the parish is entrusted to a pastor as its own shepherd under the authority of the diocesan bishop.” It is the place where all the faithful can be gathered together for the Sunday celebration of the Eucharist. The parish initiates the Christian people into the ordinary expression of the liturgical life: it gathers them together in this celebration; it teaches Christ’s saving doctrine; it practices the charity of the Lord in good works and brotherly love:
Let me break in here. “The parish initiates the Christian people into the ordinary expression of the Eucharist.”
Ordinary, in this case, means what we should see as normal, usual. It’s the usual practice that we should receive the Eucharist, that we should receive Christ.
We shouldn’t receive Christ at home (unless necessary). We shouldn’t say an act of spiritual communion if we can make it to Mass.
The usual, normal, ordinary way, is the way we should do it. That’s in the Mass.
You cannot pray at home as at church, where there is a great multitude, where exclamations are cried out to God as from one great heart, and where there is something more: the union of minds, the accord of souls, the bond of charity, the prayers of the priests.
You cannot pray at home as at church.
Hm. You cannot pray at home as at church. You can not pray at home as at church.
I just have to repeat it to make it stick.
… from one great heart…
There is power when we gather together that we don’t have when we’re alone.
This doesn’t mean that our personal prayer doesn’t matter.
But prayer together matters too. It’s important.
A religion necessitates this community aspect. We must gather.
Jesus asked us to gather together.
“He who is not with me is against me; and he who does not gather with me scatters.” (Matthew 12:30)
2180 The precept of the Church specifies the law of the Lord more precisely: “On Sundays and other holy days of obligation the faithful are bound to participate in the Mass.” “The precept of participating in the Mass is satisfied by assistance at a Mass which is celebrated anywhere in a Catholic rite either on the holy day or on the evening of the preceding day.”
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:
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.
The minimum. These laws are the minimum we need for sanctity. That’s what we want, after all.
2042 The first precept (“You shall attend Mass on Sundays and on 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…
This paragraph continues with the second and third precept. Those aren’t topical right now. I’ll get to them someday.
1382 The Mass is at the same time, and inseparably, the sacrificial memorial in which the sacrifice of the cross is perpetuated and the sacred banquet of communion with the Lord’s body and blood. But the celebration of the Eucharistic sacrifice is wholly directed toward the intimate union of the faithful with Christ through communion. To receive communion is to receive Christ himself who has offered himself for us.
Makes sense to me.
Of course, there are reasons one can miss Mass. But it should be a rare occasion.
A dire need.
I plan to add this to my next confession.
See my previous Learn something post:
Here’s the day-late list of what I read in March, online and in 3-D.
I will not admit to not scanning some of these articles.
Crossing the Most Dangerous Line: How some bioethicists undermine human value: http://www.apologeticalliance.com/blog/2013/03/03/bioethics-human-value/
Amazed by Wonder:
In Francis, the Catholic Church has a Pope for life:
If Atheists Exist, God Does Not?:
Cleaning up the engine room:
Pluralism, tolerance and the Gospel:
Theology of the Body for Beginners – Christopher West
Heaven’s Song – Christopher West (still in the process of finishing this)
The 100-year-old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared – Jonas Jonasson (this book was so fun to read)
Soon, my boyfriend and I are starting a “mini book club” with The Lord of the Flies.
We’ll see how that goes.
He doesn’t read as much as I do, so I might get ahead of him.
Process on researching and writing about women in the church is going well.
I have broadened it a lot, and I think I may try to publish it as a work of non-fiction.
I think that might be my sticking point in trying to submit to all these competitions. I just can’t get myself to sit down and write fiction, though reading and writing about women in the church is amazing. I could do it all day (and I do!).
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Special intention list for the weekend:
Pope Francis, of course, our cardinals and the seat of St. Peter, for visitors to the Vatican that they stay safe during this busy time in our Church
God bless our Holy Father and the global Catholic Church.
If you aren’t praying the Novena to St. Joseph… why?
Find it. And start praying. Like I say, he’s a workhorse.
Remember how I said I was doing Insanity workouts three days a week?
Yeah, that didn’t happen. I was done on Sunday. Just couldn’t force myself to do it. So instead of just having one day off a week (Tuesday), I’m having Sundays off, too. I’ll have three Nerd Fitness workouts and two Insanity workouts. Which is what I did last week and what I’m shooting for this week.
In the future, I can try for more. I don’t want to overwhelm myself at the beginning of this Insanity workout schedule.
My boyfriend’s birthday is tomorrow. We’re going to get Chicago-style deep dish pizza, and I’ll be making him brownies, and we’ll probably drink some wine… I might ask him to teach me to play video games just for fun.
I got to see a small chicken farm today. So fun. The framer gave me a dozen eggs. Nice.
I’m quite the slacker on the Quick Takes. Some weeks I’ve stressed about the list so much, this week, I don’t even know what I’ve written in 1 through 5, and that’s OK. Not the stressing, but the not knowing.
It’s just something that I need to work on… focusing on my blog writing, that is. Among other things.
I’ve been reading studying the Sacred Congregation’s Inter Insigniores, and I’ll be posting my thoughts in several posts over the next several weeks. Get excited for that!
For more (and better!) Quick Takes, find everyone else at Conversion Diary!
One thing I can’t quit doing
lately is reading. Seriously. I have a book in my hands nearly at all times. I wish I could stir bisque and read a book at the same time.
Here’s what I’m reading right now:
G.K. Chesteron – Orthodoxy
Scott Hahn – A Father who keeps His Promises
Christopher West – Theology of the Body for Beginners
Oh, and it wasn’t around for the photo but I’m also reading Philip Jenkins – The New Anti-Catholicism.
I haven’t started the TOB one yet. But I am reading the other three concurrently.
I did have notes about the Hahn book, but I don’t have them with me. But one thing I do remember is the connection between Noah’s sons offspring and the wars between Israel and other nations. Those other nations are descendents of Ham!
I don’t know why I had never connected that before. It’s startling to me, after studying Religion in school, that I didn’t know that. I should have taken a more in-depth “history of Israel” class or something. I did take an Old Testament class, but it was one semester and covered the whole thing.
So, Jews are decedents of Shem. Thus, Semite. Wow. My ignorance of this is overwhelming me.
Thank you Scott Hahn for your books. I’ve read others by him (The Lamb’s Supper, mainly) and love the way he writes.
So those books are counting toward my Year of Faith Goals.
40 Days for Life
Ended on Nov. 4. I made it without buying… coffee. I did buy hot chocolate twice. Once was on the 4th. Does that count?
The fact was, the point is, I thought about it constantly. This was a good thing for me to give up. I thought about the effects of abortion, the children killed, a lot.
Don’t ask how I managed to create that. Haha.
My coworker suggests a tripod. I agree.
With this, I thought I had a good shot looking at the LCD screen. Nope. At least you can visualize what’s going on here.
Sammy’s across the park square.
And this. Too shaky. Not enough light. It happens.
Did you create any Year of Faith Goals? How’s it going?
Orthodoxy chapter 2
“But a moment’s thought will show that if disease is beautiful, it is generally someone else’s disease.”
“It is the happy man who does useless things; the sick man is not strong enough to be idle.”
“The cross opens its arms to the four winds; it is a signpost for free travelers.”
It is amusing to nottice that many of the moderns, whether sceptics or mystics, have taken as their sign a certain eastern symbol of this ultimate nullity. When they wish to represent eternity, they represent it by a serpent with his tail in this mouth.”
Chesterton… at least my experience with him… and his writing… it’s one of those books that you have to slow down and read. And re-read a line a couple times. ust to make sure you’re fully grasping everything he’s trying to say. There’s just so much… so much good stuff, symbolism, education, awareness. And such great ways to explain our faith.
I feel like I could win some arguments if I study Chesterton enough.
Let’s just say that shot… as white and pretty as it is… didn’t turn out.
This goal is a work in progress. For sure.
This one… better. You can at least see what’s going on there.
Which, are some flowers. And an electric guitar behind. I feel this picture could be very telling about my life if one really wanted to really think about it.
I’m just going to quit trying to explain what I was thinking when I took these.
The sky is bleached out… the colors are washed out…
But I’m trying.. ach. This week kind of got out of control (like every week), seriously.
So for next week! I’m going to keep my camera with me. It’ll give me more opportunity to experiment.
Which is better? The all white photo or the all black photo? I guess it’s not all black…
Black means not enough light. White means too much.
At least I know that. That’s something.