Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Every Sunday we park Sister Mary Fiacre in front of the Mass for Shut-ins. We're not sure how aware she is, whether she realizes she 'at' Mass or not. She tends to like things that move very fast, like basketball. So unless there is a flurry of activity with some incense, the Mass just doesn't seem to actual draw her attention.
We feel it's our duty to bring her to Mass each Sunday, because contrary to popular belief it is indeed a mortal sin to miss Mass on Sunday. Better be safe than sorry. For eternity.
I can tell you unequivocally that many people, many who consider themselves very good Catholics, seem to have the idea that Mass is optional. I know this because these people ask me about it all the time.
"Sister, how serious is it to miss Mass on Sunday?"
"Did you go to Saturday Mass?"
"Were you in ICU, hooked up to monitors?"
"Were you struck on the head and had amnesia?"
"Then unless you make it to confession before you fall down the basement stairs or your grandmother hits the gas instead of the brake while you're standing behind the car getting the groceries out of the trunk, you can expect to go straight to Hell."
The question isn't whether or not missing Mass is a serious sin. The question is why do people not know that it is a serious sin.
"I don't think it's a serious sin."
Well, God does. God doesn't really care what you think (although he loves you very much). He wants you at Mass on Sunday.
How do we know this? God tells us things. For one thing, He has those pesky Ten Commandments, which is probably how we ended up with Saturday Mass for those people who can't figure out if Saturday or Sunday is the Sabbath. All they know is, Monday they have to be at their desks.
It's Sunday. I know...it used to be Saturday. But the other handy conduit of God's rules, the Pope, changed it to Sunday. It works out better for everyone, too, because then everyone can do their grocery shopping and laundry on Saturday and rest on the Lord's day like they're supposed to. We even rest on Sunday....between rosaries.
"We were so busy, and everyone was tired, and we looked at the clock and missed the last Mass. We didn't miss Mass on purpose."
Too bad. You'll pay really close attention to the clock in Hell, hoping it will be over soon, but it never will be.
"Why would God punish us for all eternity for missing one Mass?"
Because you've made it clear you don't want to hang out with Him. You would rather attend a sale at TJ Maxx. You get the Max for the minimum in God's laws, too.
By the way, it's not okay for you to attend the Mass for the Shut-ins if you are not one.
And brace yourself...if you are the cause of anyone else not attending Mass on Sunday that is a double sin on you. Think of the mountain of sin you are lolling around with there in bed with that hangover!
Sometimes we take Sister Mary Fiacre to an actual Mass if we don't have anyone to stay with her at home. We park her next to the organist, which keeps her alert. And if anyone asks us why we've taken the trouble to bring her we tell them, "It is a serious sin to miss Mass on Sunday."
Really, it is.