It's not like anybody's going to hunt me down if I don't go, though.
I also "have to" brush and floss my teeth on a regular basis. Again, there are alternatives.
But if I chose to stop cleaning my teeth regularly, I'd start experiencing some memorable taste sensations: followed by discomfort, distress, and (most likely) missing teeth.
So, I brush and floss regularly.
If I chose to stop attending Mass regularly - and skipped the Sacrament of Reconciliation/Confession - I wouldn't get bad breath. At least, not because I was ignoring spiritual maintenance. I would, however, start collecting a serious buildup of crud in my soul.
That's not speculation: I'm a convert, and I remember 'before' and 'after.'
So, does that mean that I feel all Saved and Cleansed each Sunday morning: shouting "Hal-le-lu-ya!!" all the way down the aisle?
I don't get all gushy about flossing my teeth, either. But I do it, anyway.
Come to think of it, wouldn't it be a trifle disturbing if someone got emotionally worked up over dental hygiene?
Just Another Sunday MorningBy the time my family and I get to Our Lady of the Angels church, here in Sauk Centre, folks have usually started saying a before-Mass Rosary. I join in, picking up wherever they're at. As far as I know, there isn't a rule about that - It's just a habit I've picked up.
Before Mass at Our Lady of the Angels, Sauk Centre, Minnesota. October 17, 2010.
I took that photo before Mass started last Sunday. Nothing special going on: apart from the pre-Eucharist Rosary.
"Eucharist," by the way is an older - and somewhat more technical - term for what we usually call "Mass" in this country. ("Glossary of Church Terms," Office of Media Relations, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops)
And that's another topic.
- "Photos and Faith in Sauk Centre"
(August 22, 2010)
- "Catholic Vestment Colors: Symbols of Our Beliefs"
(July 23, 2010)
- "Colorful Catholics: Vestment Colors For Every Season"
(July 22, 2010)
- "Sunday Obligation, Recovering From Surgery, Wild Weather and Martha"
(July 17, 2010)
- "Miracles, Mass, Bread and Wine"
(June 7, 2010)
- "Working on Sunday: At Growing the Christian Interior Life"
(January 2, 2010)