Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Catholics and the Common Cold

My family and I have been having a cold. I'm pretty sure it's the same bug that's had us all coughing, croaking and sneezing our way through life for the last week or so.

I'm quite ready for it to be over.

By the way: I'm 'backdating' the time of this post a bit, to make it show up on Wednesday. Which, as far as I'm concerned, it still is. And will be, until after I go to sleep. Which should be a few minutes after I stop writing this post.

Where was I? Catholics. Colds. My family. Got it.

Sacraments and the Common Cold

What we've got is an annoyance: nowhere near serious enough to warrant a sacramental anointing of the ill. (Catechism, 1511-1519) It's just one of those things that we muddle through, blowing our noses as needed.

Doesn't feel very 'spiritual,' does it?

I've gotten the impression that 'religious' folks would be expected to exorcise the cold: rather along the lines of what witch doctors did in the old movies.

Exorcisms are done - very, very rarely and with great care. (Catechism, 1673) But that's if - and only if - there's demonic involvement.

When it comes to the rhinovirus and its cousins: we rest, drink plenty of fluids, and wait for our bodies to deal with the infection. And go on with our daily routines as best we can: prayer included.

I've missed a few Masses because I was too ill - or might infect others. Catholics are required to go to Mass on Sunday: it's that 'Sunday obligation' you hear about sometimes. But there are common-sense exceptions to that rule. (Catechism, 2181)

Bottom line? We're called to holiness - not stupidity.

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What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.