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Ask the DRE

I write a little blurb in the parish bulletin entitled "Ask the DRE" where people can send me emails asking questions about the faith etc. Here is a question from a few months ago that I thought I share.

ASK THE DRE – If I live a great life, love God, and all the rest, how can choosing to miss Mass once be a mortal sin that could put me into Hell?

If I eat well, exercise, and take good care of myself, how can choosing to jump off a cliff one time be enough to end my life? Now, the difference with this analogy and missing Mass is of course whether one misses Mass deliberately or because of difficult circumstances. In the analogy of the cliff, it doesn’t matter whether it was an accident or on purpose, you’re still dead. God is much more patient and forgiving than nature.

Missing Mass deliberately is a grave sin against God, Whom we should love above all else – even the thing we are missing Mass for. It is also breaking the Third Commandment. Actually, if you really take time to think about it, it is breaking at least 8 out of the 10 Commandments.

Look at the question in another light, in the light of what Faith is all about: Relationship. For instance: If I take care of my wife, remember all of those special days with chocolate and flowers, and I am faithful to her for 25 years, how can choosing adultery once destroy our relationship? Or if I am a great father, spend time with my kids, and do everything an ideal dad could do, how could one instance of abuse destroy our relationship? Missing mass deliberately is not about breaking a rule, it’s about breaking a relationship and not having a relationship with God, is Hell.


scmom (Barbara) said…
Just had this debate with my brother over Christmas. He's a cradle Catholic (not that that means a darn thing) and just could not understand how missing Mass is a mortal sin (ie death to the soul, ie if you die without confessing, hell). What part of keep holy the Sabbath don't you understand? I said. That means Mass is more important than thyself.

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